Archdiocese of Tuam - Safeguarding Children Policy
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY
The 'Safeguarding Children' Policy is the most recent and up to date policy of Tuam Diocese.
It contains best practice, contact numbers and appendices. The Diocesan Child Protection Policy can be viewed if you click here. A summary is available from the Parish Office.
Diocesan Child Protection Designated Persons:
The Parish of Westport seeks to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to make known the Good News of Christ more fully through worship, service and witness. In keeping with this aim, ministry with children and young people in the Parish is informed by the three Gospel principles of Truth, Justice and Love.
The Parish values and encourages the participation of children and young people in all Church liturgies and parish activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development.
The Parish recognizes the dignity and rights of all children and young people and is committed to ensuring their safety and well being in a way that promotes their human dignity, integrity and worth as children of God.
Each child/young person is to be affirmed as a gift of God and has a right to dignity of life and bodily integrity, which must be respected, nurtured and protected. These rights are inalienable by the very fact of their human dignity.
The Parish recognizes that all who work with children and young people have a special duty of care towards them. Leaders must create a safe environment for children and young people in order to secure their protection and enable their full participation in the life of the Church.
The Parish has committed itself to putting procedures in place to ensure the welfare and protection of children and young people together with the welfare of those who work with them. The welfare of the child is always paramount.
Parish Code of Conduct
- This code of conduct applies to all adults who work with children and young people on a professional or voluntary basis and to all children and young people in their care:
- Children and young people will be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity.
- There will be an adequate ratio of leaders to children and young people at all times. ( 1:8 for trips / 1:15 for children’s choir plus one other adult.)
- Mixed gender groups will have an appropriate number of male and female leaders
- Leaders must not work in isolation with children and/or young people. In instances where pastoral need may require privacy for a young person, working in isolation should be undertaken in a transparent and open manner. There will be a minimum of two adults present with children or young people.
- Physical contact between children/young people and leaders must be appropriate at all times.
- Photographs of children/young people engaged in church related activities may only be taken and/or made public with parental consent
- For away trips:
- A pre-check on accommodation and transport arrangements must be undertaken
- Information session for all young people and their parents must be held
- Children/Young people will not be permitted to consume alcohol or use illicit drugs while participating in Church related activities
- All children should be treated equally at all times.
- Adults working with children and young people will be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity
- Leaders will not consume alcohol or use illicit drugs while having responsibility for or in the presence of children/young people.
Parish Core Procedures
The Parish is committed to have the following procedures in place. These Procedures and Code of Conduct will be made known to both parents/guardians and to children and young people;
- A code of conduct for children, young people and all adults who work with them
- Procedures for recruiting, overseeing and supporting adult leaders working with children and young people
- Appropriate supervision ratios of adults to children and young people.
- Adequate record keeping processes.
- A clearly communicated Accident/Emergency plan - First Aid Kit.
- Procedures to respond to internal conflicts and disciplinary issues.
- Procedures for reporting Child Protection concerns and or complaints.
- The Archdiocese has appointed a Designated Person to whom all relevant concerns and/or complaints are brought. He/she will respond promptly and will liase with the required civil authority and church authority.
- Each parish will have access to a Child Protection Representative. Our representative is -------- who can be contacted through the parish Office at (098) 28871. The responsibilities of the Parish Child Protection Representative will be:
- To promote awareness of the Church’s child protection policies.
- To ensure that the public has ready access to contact details for the Designated Person and relevant HSE officials.
- To facilitate anyone in the parish in bringing an allegation or suspicion of child abuse to the attention of the Designated Person should they wish to have such support.
- All activities taking place on Church property in the parish are subject to this policy, as well as any policies which a governing body of the given organisation may have in place.
The Parish is committed to healing and reconciliation. Support persons are available to both victim and accused.
The Parish of Westport is committed to keeping confidential all personal information about children and their families. The only exception may be when child protection concerns arise in relation to a child. In this situation information will be shared on a need to know basis in the best interest of the child.
It is now procedure that all people involved with young people in a Parish setting have their details submitted to the National Garda Vetting Unit in Thurles for Garda vetting. You will appreciate the necessity of this both for the protection of young people and vulnerable adults, as well as those who work with them in the Parish. Since the unit opened itself to parishes and other groups last year, there has we believe been a backlog of applications being processed. The priests of the diocese were submitted for vetting last October, and we are now in a position to begin submitting forms on behalf of all other parish personnel and volunteers.
The form will be processed on your behalf through the Western Regional Vetting Office in Galway. We wish to ensure you that all information provided will be treated with the utmost confidence. You should fill out the form and return it in the envelope provided at your earliest possible convenience. The forms will then be signed by Fr. ........ and forwarded on for processing. Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Parish. Forms not properly completed are normally returned, so please take your time in filling it out. We appreciate that many people in the Parish will have already completed these forms as part of their employment or for other groups they are involved in, however as there is no cross-referencing available the forms need to be filled out again.
Garda Vetting Forms are available from the Parish Office.
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