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Child Safeguarding

The policy of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland has been revised and updated. This policy applies to all Church authorities in Ireland. Presentation Sisters signed up to this policy on 13 September 2016.

The policy of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland can be accessed at www.safeguarding.ie. (On the home page, click on Policy and Guidance and follow the directions to view the policy and access the guidance) or you can access it  HERE .

See:  Child Safeguarding Statement – Presentation Sisters North East Province (Ireland)

The Presentation Sisters (Ireland) Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures

The Presentation Sisters (Ireland) Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures document was adopted by the Interprovincial Leadership Team of the Presentation Sisters (Ireland) in November 2017.

Presentation personnel are committed to practices which promote the protection and the welfare of vulnerable adults and safeguard them from harm. Any form of abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights. Presentation personnel accept and recognise their responsibility to develop awareness of the issues that can harm vulnerable adults. They are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe environment. They recognise that while safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, all involved in working with vulnerable adults have a special duty of care towards them. Sisters who are vulnerable are cared for in the community by agency staff or locally employed staff or in a nursing home.

Communities using agencies should refer complaints back to these agencies.

Therefore, as Presentation personnel, we

  • Foster best practice in creating a safe environment for vulnerable adults
  • Ensure accountability through effective structures
  • Follow agreed procedures laid down for the selection of staff and volunteers (see employee handbook)
  • Provide effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training
  • Implement a code of behaviour for all involved with Presentation sisters, including visitors and service providers
  • Ensure general safety and risk management procedures are adhered to
  • Respond effectively to allegations or suspicions of abuse in line with the principles of this policy
  • Report allegations where there is reasonable cause for concern and cooperate with the civil authorities
  • Take just and appropriate action in relation to personnel who have abused vulnerable adults
  • Take effective measures to guard against future risk of abuse
  • Promote healing and reconciliation.

This policy and procedures apply to all those with responsibility for the provision of health and social care services to vulnerable adults. It applies to all staff, volunteers and sisters.

You can access the full policy Vulnerable Adults Policy Procedures Nov 2017.

Definition of a Vulnerable Adult: 

The HSE Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse National Policy and Procedures defines a vulnerable adult as:
‘an adult who may be restricted in capacity to guard himself/herself against harm or exploitation or to report such harm or exploitation. Restriction of capacity may arise as a result of physical or intellectual impairment. Vulnerability to abuse is influenced by both context (e.g.. social or personal circumstances) and individual circumstances.’ (p. 3)

Overview of the Role of Mandated Person

Who are mandated persons?

The Children First Act 2015 places a legal obligation on certain people, many of whom are professionals, to report child protection concerns at or above a defined threshold to Tusla Child and Family Agency.  These mandated persons must also assist Tusla in their assessment of child protection concerns about children who have been subject of a mandated report, if requested to do so.

Mandated persons are people who have contact with children and/or families and who, because of their qualifications, training and/or employment role, are in a key position to help protect children from harm.

Mandated persons include professionals working with children in the education, health, justice, youth and childcare sectors.

What are the legal obligations of a mandated person?

Mandated persons have two main legal obligations under the Children First Act 2015.  These are:

  1.  To report, suspected or disclosed harm to a child, above a defined threshold to Tusla.
  2. To assist Tusla, if requested, in assessing a concern which has been the subject of a mandated report.

(Note: This explanation and obligations of the role of a mandated person is based on the Children First : National Guidance and the Children First Act 2015).

Contact Details of Designated Liaison Person (DLP) 

For details of Personnel to Contact if you are concerned about the Welfare and Safety of Children – see:  Page 8 – Child Safeguarding Policy Statement Contact Information

Child Safeguarding and Digital Media

As part of its remit in relation to child safeguarding, the Interprovincial Safeguarding Children Committee has been considering child safeguarding online.  The Committee welcomes the recent publication, Child Safeguarding and Digital Media, by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.  This publication offers guidance, advice and practice.

The use of digital media enables communication and interactive dialogue between persons and allows the sharing of information.  It is important to be aware of the risks involved in the use of digital media and to have good safeguarding practices to protect children online.

Click  HERE to read about the main risks to children online and the protections we can take in this context.  This is an extract from the publication referred to above.  The entire publication may be accessed on the website www.safeguarding.ie  under the ‘Publications Tab – GAP Papers’

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