We have received the following invitation for Safeguarding/Child Protection training; it is an opportunity for members of our parish community to become more aware of the issues around keeping our children and vulnerable people safe:
‘As the Child Protection Officer, I would like to invite you to some of the child protection courses we are running at the school. We have Robin Watts from Kidscape coming out again on the 26-28 March. I wondered if you would be interested in having a few places for any leaders etc from the church? This year, there is a small charge of €100 per company/group to cover some of the expenses of Robin’s visit.
I have several options for you for the Level 1, basic training, that really, all people should have who work with children:
Wednesday 26th March: 8.30-11.30
Friday 28th March: 8.30-11.30 or 12.30-3.30
Robin Watts, from Kidscape, is very well-known on the international circuit for his child protection training. As an ex-police officer working with victims of child abuse etc, he has working knowledge and experience of child protection and aims to ensure that all people who work with children are aware of how to recognise child abuse, how to prevent it and how to support victims.’
This is an opportunity for myself and members of our parish community to make sure we are aware and up-to-date when it comes to Safeguarding. If you are able to attend one of the sessions, please let me know and we can make a group enrolment. The parish can cover the necessary expenses.
Draft Safeguarding Guidelines: see the item below posted here in October 2014. Suggestions for improving the draft guidelines are always welcome.
For over a year our Parish Council has been working on Safeguarding: seeking a strategy and practical guidelines to help ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are protected, and that catechists and others who work in our community are equally protected. This task has proved challenging, given the particular nature of our parish, the geographical spread of our community members and the variety of cultures and church backgrounds we all come from. However, the challenge must be met, and at our recent Council meeting (22nd October) we agreed to publish draft guidelines for Safeguarding. These do not represent a fully developed strategy, but the first, necessary steps towards such a strategy. It is vital that this draft is considered, reflected upon and discussed in our community, and suggestions for improvement are invited and welcomed. When we do have what we consider to be a developed strategy which we wish fully to implement, we will then pass it to the archdiocese for approval, and publicise it for all who are part of, or visitors to, our community.
It would be helpful if suggestions (proposed amendments, additions or subtractions) followed the following format:
- Your name; any particular experience/expertise you might have (eg. parent, teacher, carer, experience from previous parish/diocese)
- Your suggestion/s (what you think should be added, taken away or amended)
- The reasons for your suggestions (to help us understand the concerns you are addressing)
- Any other comments and observations.
Your comments may be emailed to me, to any member of the Parish Council, or handed in at the sacristy.
To repeat: this text is a draft, an early stage in our formulation of a policy; as such, it is necessarily inadequate. We must begin somewhere, however, in formulating a policy that is ‘best practice’ and suited to our particular situation; transparency in this is essential, and your help greatly appreciated.
Thank you. Fr Ed