Safeguarding Policy Statement
As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland, we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children, are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being, and will work in partnership with parents/guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff, volunteers and any other Church personnel) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.
Here in the Harbour Parishes we are committed not alone to implementing this policy fully but also to creating and promoting further opportunities for children and young people to be actively involved in the life and worship of our parish.
The full details of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland are available online from The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland at www.safeguarding.ie
Details of the Diocesan Safeguarding Office and its policies and resources are available on online at www.corkandross.org/safeguarding-children/
Ensuring Children’s Safety and Wellbeing
We want all children in our parish to feel welcome in all our parish activities and to know that their contribution and participation are respected and valued. Ensuring these children’s safety and wellbeing is our priority.
The following requirements and procedures apply to all Parish Groups and Activities in the Harbour Parishes involving children or young persons under the age of eighteen:
All adult leaders and volunteers must undergo Garda Vetting before they take up their role.
A Joint Guardian / Child Consent Form is required of all children and young people taking part in parish groups or activities.
A Code of Conduct for Adults is in place for all adult volunteers and leaders.
A Code of Conduct for Children and Young People will be drawn up with the participation and collaboration of the children and young people participating in the group/activity.
An attendance record will be kept of all group activities.
Each group/activity will carry out a Hazard Assessment to ensure all facilities are compliant with health and safety standards.
Parents and Guardians are made aware of the complaints procedures, reporting procedures for allegations, suspicions/concerns and the codes of conduct for both children and adults.
Additionally, each group or activity involving children will retain the following:
Accident / Incident Forms
Media Permission Forms [that must be signed before any photos or videos related to parish activities involving children are published either in hardcopy or online].
At a minimum two adults are required for each activity. In addition the following minimum supervision ratios of adult leaders to children and young people, recommended by Church Policy, apply:
Newborn to one year old - One adult to three children
One to two years old - One adult to five children
Two to three years old - One adult to six children
Three to twelve years old - One adult to eight children
Thirteen to eighteen years old - One adult to ten children
For overnight activities, additional adult leaders should be considered. If the group is mixed, a gender balance of adult leaders should be maintained.
Safeguarding Records and Files: Data Protection
All records and files related to safeguarding will be stored safely and securely in accordance with the Data Protection obligations of the Harbour Parishes. The data will be used only for the purpose indicated on the form and it may only be accessed by those with responsibility for managing records or the respective group activity.
The Diocese of Cork and Ross encourages any person who has a concern about people or practices in the Diocese and its services to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Service. The scope of this policy covers any concerns about the conduct of Church personnel, either staff or volunteers. Any such concerns can be reported under this policy. The full policy is available on the diocesan website at www.corkandross.org
Parish Safeguarding Representatives
Our team of Parish Safeguarding Representatives works to ensure a safe and supportive environment for all children involved in the life of our parish. The Church’s Safeguarding Policy document describes their role as working with the parish clergy in:
Raising awareness of what child safeguarding is.
Ensuring that parishioners are informed regarding the standards that apply to all Church activities involving children.
Ensuring that Church activities in our parish are provided in a way that ensures the safety and well-being of the children involved.
Ensuring that the contact details of the Diocesan Designated Liaison Person, Tusla [The Child and Family Agency] and An Garda Síochána are widely publicised and are clearly displayed in all Church properties.
Ensuring that the standards in practice and behaviour laid down in the national policy are upheld.
Each of the Parish Safeguarding Representatives receives training approved by The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Our Parish Safeguarding Representatives are:
Celine Hyde Passage West
Lisa Hanna Monkstown
Nikki O’Neill Ringaskiddy
Jackie Keane Shanbally
The contact details of each of the Parish Safeguarding Representatives are available from the Parish Office or in any of the sacristies in the parish.
Reporting Safeguarding Concerns
If you are concerned about the welfare and safety of children, contact any of the following:
Ms Cleo Yates,
Diocesan Director of Safeguarding
Diocese of Cork and Ross
An Garda Síochána
National Protective Services Unit
Dublin 2 Tel: 01-666 3423
TUSLA [Child and Family Agency]
South Lee Community Services
St Finbarr’s Hospital. Tel: 021-432 7000
The Diocese of Cork and Ross works in partnership with Tusla and An Garda Síochána in dealing with any complaints it receives and follows the prescribed procedure in relation to the person accused.
Any person who makes a complaint of abuse to the Diocese will be offered counselling and support without prejudice to the truth or otherwise of the complaint. Counselling is available from:
Towards Healing Freephone 1 800 331 234
Towards Peace Freephone 1 800 303 416
Connect Freephone 1 800 477 477
Childline Freephone 1 800 666 666
National Counselling Centre [HSE] Freephone 1 800 344 116