Child Safeguarding Statement of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
This statement has been prepared to comply with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015 and is derived from Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016 and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Safeguarding Procedures 2014.
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 and volunteers) 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.
Nature of Service & Principles to Safeguard Children from Harm
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart as a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland exists to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church. This includes the following ministry with children, as defined in Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016:
- Celebrating the Eucharist and other Sacraments
- Sacramental preparation of children including school visitation
- Retreat/overnight pilgrimage (1-2 times per year)
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Principles to safeguard children from harm are:
- The safety and welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Through training, communication and quality assurance, we will ensure that we create safe environments for children and young people and those who work with them.
- The best interests of the child remain paramount.
- Children have a right to be heard, listened to and taken seriously.
- Parents/carers have a right to respect and should be consulted with in matters involving their child or family.
- Mandatory reporting: Each of us has a duty to notify the statutory authorities of suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations that a child is being or has been abused:
- through neglect.
- A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and respecting the rights and needs of parents/carers and families.
- Child protection is a multiagency, multidisciplinary activity. Agencies and professionals must work together in the interests of the children.
Risk Assessment of Potential Harm to Children while availing of our services
A formal hazard assessment is completed when planning activities with children. The requirement for the completion of hazard assessments in advance of an event is stated in the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Safeguarding Procedures. Included in this procedure is the need for a review of activities subsequently. Any issues are incorporated into the hazard assessment and risk management plan for future activities.
The table below sets out the identified risks attached to any Missionaries of the Sacred Heart activity for children and young people:
Procedure in place to manage identified risk
Those that work with children are unsafe to do so
Safe recruitment procedure
Those that work with children behave inappropriately towards them
Those that work with children fail to respond appropriately to allegations or concerns of abuse
Children or guardians are not aware of different roles and responsibilities of people working with children and who they can speak to if they have a concern
Unsafe environments putting children at adverse risk eg. Inadequate supervision, activities not well planned, risky physical environment
Those who wish to exploit children through the use of digital media in our ministries are able to do so
The procedures for safeguarding children fail to be implemented
- Code of behaviour
- Whistleblowing policy
- Complaint procedure
- Training policy
- Procedure for responding to allegations and concerns of abuse
- Communication policy
- Training policy
- Safeguarding poster displayed prominently
- Communication policy
Procedures for creating safe environments
- Supervision ratios
- Hazard assessment
- Guidance on trips away
Procedures on use of technology
Policy on quality assurance
All procedures outlined in the risk assessment above are available at Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Safeguarding Procedures www.mscmissions.ie. The procedures listed above include the following:
- Procedure for the management of allegations of abuse or misconduct against workers/ volunteers of a child availing of our service. (Standard 2: Responding to allegations; Standard 4: Management and care of respondents)
- Procedure for the safe recruitment and selection of workers and volunteers to work with children.
- Procedure for provision of and access to child safeguarding training and information, including the identification of the occurrence of harm.
- Procedure for the reporting of child protection or welfare concerns to Tusla.
- Procedure for maintaining a list of the persons (if any) in the relevant service who are mandated persons.
- Procedure for appointing a relevant person: This person fills the position of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Safeguarding Manager.
The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart is committed to safeguarding children through the implementation of Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016. This Child Safeguarding Statement and our practice supports our desire to keep children safe from harm while in our ministries. As part of our annual audit against the relevant indicators of the child safeguarding standards, we will review the effectiveness of our practice as outlined in this statement and will revise, as appropriate.
Signed: Fr Carl Tranter Provincial Superior
Date: 5th March 2018
For any queries relating to this statement please contact Mary Tallon, Designated Liaison Person, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01-4906622.