Update from our Safeguarding Co-ordinator
Safeguarding Introductory Workshops
Safeguarding introductory workshops for parish leaders have now been held throughout the Diocese to raise awareness of safeguarding and the importance our diocese has placed on the implementation of safeguarding practices. Thank you to parishes for such a warm welcome. For those unable to attend a workshop in person, an online version will soon be available.
A Diocesan Safeguarding Policy has been approved. This may be modified as a national strategy is developed, but will give our Diocese some priority and direction in the interim.
The Policy prioritizes the implementation of procedures in the following areas:
• Safe selection and recruitment of volunteers
• Managing concerns/complaints and disclosures of harm
• Safe practices and activities in our parishes
Members of our clergy have recently undergone police vetting, and in the New Year our diocese will begin the process of vetting volunteers who work with children or vulnerable adults. This work will be undertaken centrally by the Diocesan Office to alleviate pressure on Parishes. More information, including the necessary forms for signature, will be provided to Parishes in the New Year.
Parish Safeguarding Representative
Parish priests have been asked to appoint Parish Safeguarding Representatives to support parishes implement new safeguarding practices. Please talk to your parish priest if you are interested in taking on this role for your parish.
Catholic Social Services Workshop
The next safeguarding workshops will be presented by the team at Catholic Social Services and will focus on the signs and symptoms of abuse. Dates and times will be advertised in the New Year.
If you have any queries – please do not hesitate to contact me on: email@example.com
Pope Francis has made it clear he expects the Church on every level to implement whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy.
The aim of this Diocese is to provide a consistent vision to create and foster a secure physical, emotional and spiritual culture in our faith communities, enabling everyone to enjoy the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
The “National Guidelines for the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand” prescribes the commitment of the Church to have safeguarding measures in place in our organisations.
Creating safe environments involves active participation and responsibility taken by all parishes. It requires collaboration, vigilance and a proactive approach through polices, procedures and practices.
Abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional. The Church takes all complaints of abuse seriously. Where the complaint of abuse appears to be of a criminal nature we encourage complainants to take the matter to the police, and will support them in doing so. If the alleged abuse is reported to the police, we will not protect the accused/offender from the processes of civil law nor hide the facts from those entitled to know
Our Diocese already has a number of safeguarding measures in place, for example the Standards for Volunteers and Employees in Ministry. We will be working to strengthen these measures through the adoption of new polices and procedures. These will be developed by the Diocesan Office for implementation in all Parishes.
We will keep the Diocese up to date as we introduce these new safeguarding measures.
For further information about our safeguarding within the diocese, please contact:
Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Virginia Noonan