It is recommended that a policy and procedures be reviewed annually and in more detail every three years. In line with good practice a working group has been formed from the Diocesan Committee for Safeguarding Children to update the Diocesan Policy and Procedures. The group are developing more detailed set of procedures, based on the new Standards and Guidance published by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, which will be released before Christmas.
The Archdiocese of Armagh recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of all children and is committed to ensuring their safety and well being. The Archdiocese values and encourages the participation of children and young people in all parish liturgies and in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
Above all the Archdiocese recognises the need to protect children and young people and aims to do this in a way that promotes their human dignity, integrity and worth as children of God.
The Archdiocese of Armagh recognises that while child protection is everyone’s responsibility, all involved in working with young people have a special duty of care towards them. The Archdiocese has committed itself to engaging in a process towards putting procedures in place through which this care is put into effect.
General Principles for Safeguarding Children
The Archdiocese of Armagh:
Values and encourages the active participation of children and young people in the life of the Church in ways that enhance their physical, emotional and spiritual growth within the safe, secure and welcoming environment of their Faith community. Each person should feel valued, encouraged and affirmed.
Recognises and upholds the fundamental right of the individual child and young person to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected. The rights are embedded both in our Gospel values and civil legislation.
Acknowledges and reaffirms its commitment to the care and protection of children and young people as ‘children of God’, with intrinsic dignity and worth.
Believes that Child Protection is everyone’s responsibility, but accepts that all those working with children and young people in Church ministries have a special duty of care towards them.
Is committed to ‘best practice’ in the area of Child Protection, including:
– The Development of effective structures for safeguarding children and young people.
– Responding to suspicions or allegations of child abuse, which includes cooperating with the relevant civil authorities.
– Providing pastoral support and training for all Church personnel.
Is engaging in a process of working towards a set of policies and procedures for those who have responsibility for the protection of children and young people in the life of the Church.
Is willing to listen to children and young people and involve them, where appropriate in decision-making.
Promotes an ethos and approach which at all times gives paramount consideration to the welfare of the child and young person.
Undertakes to inform parents/guardians/primary carers of our Child protection Policy.
In the event of a concern about the welfare of a child or young person we will:
– Respond to the needs of the child.
– Inform the primary carers unless the action puts the child at further risk.
– If there are child protection concerns the Archdiocese is obliged to pass these on to the designated person and / or duty social worker.
– In the event of a complaint against a member of staff we will immediately ensure the safety of the child and inform the parent/guardians/primary carers as appropriate.