Safeguarding Policy Statement
Safeguarding Policy Statement
Our Corporate Commitment of 2008 – 2014 stated:To choose life today calls us to an awareness of a new worldview and urges us to a change of mentality, so as to understand, feel, and situate ourselves in a new way of relating to God, to humanity, to earth and all of creation. In the light of the cosmic vision that opens before us, we realise that all forms of life in the universe exist in total interdependence and as an intimately inter -related whole …..Together we form a sacred community of life whose source is our Trinitarian God who is Love – Communion.This awareness connects us deeply with our Charism, convincing us of its prophetic strength for our world today, and giving a renewed impetus to commit ourselves with enthusiasm and energy for mission (Vowed for Mission, p 2).
- Our Charism
Our Holy Family Charism opens us to the entire earth community with its multiplicity of relationships constantly generating life. It urges us to recognise and proclaim the primacy of God, and manifests God’s love for all beings by going beyond boundaries that maintain systems that threaten communion. These boundaries are often within us and among us. They also separate and divide communities, families, peoples, races, religion and humanity from other members of the earth community.
Our Charism asks us to become more sensitive to the gift of communion and more pro-active in expressing it (Vowed for Mission, p 8 #3.3). It calls us into a dynamism of relating that helps us towards a new understanding of “being family” as laity, priests, consecrated seculars and religious, both contemplative and apostolic and also as earth community (Vowed for Mission, p 9 #3.4).
The Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux strive to make safeguarding a way of life.
….”we are called to live the gift of communion, and, as hope-filled women, to offer this gift with joy and to share it in an understandable way among the people who touch our lives and whose lives we touch” (Vowed For Mission P10 #3.6). With this in mind we consciously strive, as individuals and as communities, to encourage others to enjoy the fullness of life in Jesus through our prayer, nurturing relationships, and supportive and protective environments in our communities and places of work.In all our ministries, but most especially when in contact with children and vulnerable adults we will act with:
- • Love and respect
• Openness and transparency
• Responsibility and accountability
• Compassion and support
• Justice and integrity
• Honesty and humility
• A readiness to question and challenge
• A willingness to learn and change
- All our member will strive “to act Justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8) We commit ourselves to be guided by the Standards of the NBSCCC in Ireland and CSAS in the UK. The Standards and Guidance for the Catholic Church in Ireland were issued in 2008 and adopted by the church in the following year. Due to the change in legislation these Standards are currently being updated.
We have followed the policies outlined in these standards and will be reviewing them in the coming months in line with the new recommendations.In keeping with our charism and the standards recommended by the NBSCCC we have drawn up our own guidelines, which we require all Holy Family Sisters in ministry, our lay staff and volunteers to adhere to when in contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- Standard 1
A written Safeguarding Policy Statement on keeping children safe
This Policy Statement has been signed by Gemma Corbett, the Provincial of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux on behalf of the Trustees of the Congregation. This statement will be given a prominent place in all Communities and on the website of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux. All Sisters, staff and Volunteers will comply with the content of the statement and follow the required procedures to report any child protection concerns to the civil authorities without delay.
A revised policy document accompanying this statement will be clear, precise and be in line with the revised Standards of the NBSCCC.
Where Sisters, staff or Volunteers are working in ministry in parishes, they will be familiar with and comply with the agreed diocesan policy for safeguarding children
The Trustees of the Sisters of the Holy Family will determine when this Policy will be reviewed in line with the revised guidelines of NBSCCC
This policy will address child protection at all levels in our work with children and young people. This will include ensuring a safe environment for all including on premises where children are engaged in activities, outings and other events.
- Standard 2
Management of allegations
The policy document will contain clear, precise information on managing allegations or concerns
This will be in line with the revised NBSCCC Guidelines, and consistent with legislation, child welfare and civil guidance.
The Sisters of the Holy Family have appointed a safeguarding team whose role and responsibilities for safeguarding children at congregational level will be clear and in line with NBSCCC guidelines.
A complaints procedure will be in place and available to all children, young people and adults in situations where unacceptable behaviour has been raised or identified.
All will be made aware of the guidance on confidentiality and information sharing in line with the guidance from NBSCCC.
Our policy document will include contact details of local child protection services, statutory services and other relevant contact details. This will also be available on the website of the Congregation.
- Standard 3
Preventing Harm to Children
The Policy Document will include clear procedures for Sisters, Staff and all Volunteers.
Safe recruitment and vetting practices will be in line with best practice guidance.
All those who are in a position of trust, and who have regular contact with children will complete a declaration form. These checks are a requirement by legislation and must be fully complied with at all levels.
Our policy document will contain clear codes of behaviour for all working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
All will be aware of the procedures to follow in situations where there are any concerns or suspicions about unacceptable behaviour towards children.
All will be aware of “whistle blowing” and “anti-bullying policies”.
All will be aware of and have a clear understanding of any discriminatory behaviour, of language which is not acceptable of race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality or political views. Clear guidance on these issues will be included in the policy document and in training.
- Standard 4
Training and Education
All sisters, staff and volunteers who are involved in any ministry with children, young people or vulnerable adults will have an induction into the Church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
This training will be ongoing and will take into consideration current legislation, guidance on best practice and in line with the Training Programmes approved by the National Board for Safeguarding Children.
- Standard 5
Communicating the Church’s safeguarding message in line with our Holy Family Charism and the National Standards:
to children and vulnerable adults
to parents and adults – Sisters
to other organizations.The Holy Family Sisters are committed to have a clear communications policy which is open, transparent, realistic and manageable.
The child protection policy will be available to all and displayed in prominent positions in communities and on the website of the Congregation.
Details of the names and contact details of the designated safeguarding personnel will be available to all.
- Standard 6
Access to Advice and Support
We will ensure that the revised policy document contains clear information for all, in order that they will know who and where to go for support and advice on any safeguarding issue. This will be in line with the revised guidelines of the NBSCCC.
Relevant information will be included to provide and assist those who have experienced abuse on how to seek support.
Appropriate support will be provided to those who have been subject to allegations of abuse or concerns.
- Standard 7
Implementing and Monitoring the Standards
The Trustees of the Holy Family Sisters have responsibility to ensure that there is an action plan in place to monitor the effectiveness of the steps taken to keep children and vulnerable adults safe.
They have delegated this to Srs. Colette Keegan, Maria Crowley and Sheila Roberts -the Safeguarding Team.
- Action Plan
• To monitor and oversee that the revised Standards set out by the NBSCCC are being fully implemented to the expected standard in all aspects of their ministry with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
• To ensure that there is effective communication between the Safeguarding Team and the Trustees Leadership Team
• To ensure that all policies and procedures are updated within the agreed time frame in line with current legislation
• To encourage the sisters, staff and volunteers to make safeguarding a priority in all their ministries and within communities
• To make sure that the Safeguarding Policy Statement and Code of Behaviour is on display in all communities and places of ministry and on the Congregation’s website.
• To review the work of the Safeguarding Team every three years or as and when the need arises.
For Code of Behaviour, click here…