There are a number of resources available to assist all personnel engaged in church activities to safeguard children
- The Diocese of Killaloe Safeguarding Children Policies & Procedures are available in all parishes and on the Diocese website
- The Diocese of Killaloe Policy Statement and Designated Persons contact details are available in the porch of all churches in the Diocese
- Safeguarding Children Standards and Guidance document for the Catholic Church in Ireland. This document is available in all parishes or can be viewed or downloaded from the National Office for Safeguarding Children at www.safeguarding.ie
- Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children Department of Children & Youth Affairs. www.dcya.ie
- Child Protection & Welfare Practice Handbook. Health Service Executive www.hse.ie
The government has approved legislation which will provide for the Children First Guidance to be statutorily underpinned. This legislation will apply to all organisations working with children including statutory, community and voluntary.
There are four recognised forms of child abuse Neglect, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse.
Child protection concerns are suspicions or allegations that a child has been abused, is being abused or is at risk of being abused.
Can a person report directly to the HSE or an Garda or should the concern be reported directly to the Designated Person for the Diocese?
Yes, a person can report directly to the HSE (Health Service Executive) or An Garda Siochana. The numbers of the local offices are available on the Diocese Policy Statement in the church, on the HSE website or the Garda website or from the telephone directory services. If it is considered that a child is at immediate risk and it is not possible to contact the HSE or it is out of hours contact An Garda Siochana. If the concern relates to a priest or to a parish or diocesan worker the concern should be reported to the Designated Person for the Diocese.
Safeguarding refers to the measures that are taken to ensure that the church is a safe place for children. These measures are set out in the Killaloe Diocesan Policy , Safeguarding Children, Policy and Procedures.
The principle duties of the parish representatives are to be available to anyone in the parish who may have a child protection concern and advise them to whom it should be reported and also to raise awareness within the parish about good safeguarding practices and to ensure along with the parish clergy that these practices are implemented.
Yes, Garda vetting is a requirement for all Church personnel who have direct access to children or who hold positions of trust within the church.
If there are mixed choirs in parishes (Children & Adults) at all times or on occassions e.g. Christmas, Easter, should all adults sign declaration form and have Garda vetting?
Yes, as for all church activities – if the adults have direct access to children.
What is the guidance around use of photographs and also photographers taking photographs in the church at church functions?
Ensure that parents/children consent to the use of an image/photograph and that this is recorded. Photographs should not be displaced or used with the children’s full names and detailed addresses. It is not possible to govern what use photographers will make of pictures or images. Photographers are not prohibited from taking photographs at present in churches.
It is recommended that they have their own policy and adequate insurance in place.
is there a need for a Code of Behaviour for Children and should children be involved in drawing up the code?
Yes, it is good practice to have a code of behaviour for children and they should be involved in drawing up the code. There are guidelines in drawing up codes of behaviour in the Diocesan safeguarding policy document.
Our Parish Baptismal teams do not go to family homes, any meetings are held in the church, where, if children are present they are with their parents. Do they need to be Garda vetted?
If they do not go into homes, then they do not need to be vetted. However if this changes, then vetting will be required.
Yes all parents on a rota for Altar servers must be vetted. The reason for this is that the parent is not only supervising their own child but other children and the parish has a duty of care to ensure the safety of all children. This is also backed up in our safeguarding policy and now the Vetting legislation which states that all people who have ‘relevant and regular’ work with children have to be vetted and it is now an offense if not.
The Altar Server Parental Consent Form and the Code of behavior should be given out along with the Concise Policy leaflet and Safeguarding Children leaflets.
Need to be Gardaí vetted and complete the Safeguarding Policy and Code of Behavior agreement forms.
The details of who needs to be vetted can be found on the Safeguarding page of the Diocesan Website.
Yes, the register needs to be filled in at every Mass, if no Altar Servers are present then it should say that on the page.
No, given they are not officially part of the Parish or Diocese they are required under our safeguarding policy to have in place their own insurance and child safeguarding policy to be able to use Parish facilities, as do any groups who may have children present. They must complete the Hiring of Parish Hall Form.
All old forms, policies should be destroyed when you receive new ones from the safeguarding office. If in doubt, please contact the Director of Safeguarding.
Renting out of the Parish hall - if the hall is leased to a committee, what is the Parishes responsibility?
If there is a legal lease in place, then responsibility for the Hall falls to the committee, not the Parish.
Do Parish Safeguarding Reps need to attend another full day safeguarding training, if already done one previously?
With the new training programme, anybody who has previously undertaken a full days training, only need to do a 3 hour refresher every 3 years.
As stewards do not have a role with children or vulnerable adults they do not need to be vetted.
Submit Question (Safeguarding)
We welcome questions and your feedback. Please feel free to submit a question about the killaloe Diocese website, Safeguarding section