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Donnybrook Parish

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Donnybrook Parish

Safeguarding ChildrenSunday, 23rd September 2018

The Parish Safeguarding Representative in this parish, Roddy Stafford, with Mgr Lorcan O’Brien and the Parish Pastoral Council ensure that diocesan safeguarding policies and practices are followed in this parish. Safeguarding is all the things we do to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected from harm. We were trained for this role we have access to advice and support from the diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service.

We in the Archdiocese of Dublin value and encourage the participation of children and young people in parish liturgies and in Diocesan activities. Safeguarding is about creating an environment, which facilitates such involvement so that children can grow strong in their faith as they experience the love of Jesus in his Church. Everyone who ministers in the parish is a representative of the Church and must observe safeguarding practices and guidelines. Good safeguarding practice is integral to ministry. It is not an optional extra.

We know from sad and bitter experience that the Church in Dublin has not always been a safe place for children. Archbishop Martin is deeply grateful to all the priests, parish sisters, deacons, parish pastoral workers, staff and volunteers in our parishes who have worked with great dedication in order to change this and to make our parishes and diocesan agencies safer places for children and vulnerable adults. If we want the future to be different from the past, we have to accept that changes have to be made. Change is not easy. It has been hard, for example, for some to accept the need for Garda vetting of parish volunteers, especially for those who have occupied positions in the parish for many years.

This year saw the introduction of the new updated Diocesan Safeguarding Policy, which was launched at Deanery meetings throughout the Dioceses. This document clearly outlines the policies and procedures that all parishes must have in place to safeguard children. Should anyone want a copy of this document, it can be downloaded from the Dublin Diocesan Child Safeguarding & Protection Service website or alternatively, you can contact any member of the Parish team, who in turn will email you a copy.

The measures that we put in place in this parish, as in all parishes in the diocese, to keep children and vulnerable adults safe are the following:

  • Adopting a child centred approach, which involves valuing children and demonstrating our respect for them

  • Obtaining the consent of parents for the involvement of their children in parish activities

  • Choosing carefully those who work with children and vulnerable adults in our parish

  • Ensuring parish workers and volunteers behave appropriately towards children and vulnerable adults

  • Making proper arrangements for activities involving children, including ensuring adequate adult supervision of such activities

  • Keeping good records of parish activities involving children

I (and my colleagues) can be contacted through the parish office if anyone wishes to find out more or would like advice and information about a safeguarding matter.
Anyone who has a concern for the safety or welfare of a child or vulnerable adult should contact the diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service. People can also take such concerns directly to the civil authorities:

  • Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, if the concern relates to a child

  • HSE, if the concern relates to a vulnerable adult, or

  • The Gardaí, in an emergency.

    Contact details are on the notice in the church porch.

Thank you