We want to thank the priests and parish safeguarding representatives who attended the recent training and information sessions in Ashbourne, Mullingar, Navan and Tullamore. Thanks also to the parishes for making their warm and welcoming facilities available to us.

At each of these sessions, we presented participants with a safeguarding folder, which included the new Safeguarding Policy summary leaflet, the new Church poster, latest Newsletter, a Garda Vetting form, the Parish Self Audit and a copy of the power-point slides.

We explained the layout of the revised www.meathsafeguarding.ie and we encourage you to check it for updates regularly and to mention it in your parish newsletters. The contact details for the Designated Liaison Persons and all forms to be completed at parish level are available on the website.

We provided some background information to the revised standards – their foundations, our commitments, the scope of policy, and how to put policy into action.

In particular, we used the opportunity to reiterate the key role of the parish safeguarding representatives. We emphasised the necessity of safe recruitment procedures, using consent forms, supervision ratios, codes of behaviour, as well as the role of the parish safeguarding representatives in communicating the Church’s message, for instance, taking a piece from the safeguarding newsletter and publishing it in parish bulletins.

It is hoped that the safeguarding representatives will bring together the volunteers who work with children in the parish. The purpose of that meeting can be to explain the parish audit and to look together at the requirements of creating a culture of safety in the parish, focussing on Section 1 of this website.

Two other areas addressed during the information sessions were Garda vetting and the use of parish property by external groups.

The following personnel must be vetted in every parish, as well as all new volunteers and staff – clergy, parish safeguarding representatives, sacristans and directors of choirs were children are involved.

The form to be completed by external groups using parish properties is available at S4.18.

UPCOMING DATES TO NOTE

Wednesday 30 November 2016 – the parish audit should be turned to Bishop’s House, Mullingar.

Monday 5 December 2016 – Diocesan Safeguarding Children Committee meeting, to be chaired by Bishop Smith.

David Gavin & Antoinette Shaw (info@meathsafeguarding.ie)

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