Child Safeguarding Statement of Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union Ireland/Wales Province
This statement has been prepared to comply with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015 and is derived from Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016. The policy of the Catholic Church in Ireland is based on standards of practice which contain indicators that assist in reaching these standards. These indicators can be used in assessing and managing risk.
Name and contact details of the service provider
Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union
Ireland/ Wales Province
17 Trimleston Drive, Booterstown, Co. Dublin A94TD50
Telephone: +353 1 26193503
As a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland, we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children, are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being and will work in partnership with parents/ guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development.
All Church personnel (including clergy, religious, staff and volunteers) have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.
Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm
The Ursuline Sisters as a constituent member of the Catholic Church in Ireland exists to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church. This includes the following ministry with children, as defined in Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016:
LIST OF MINISTRIES WITH CHILDREN
Ursuline Boarding School
St. Angela’s Academy of Music
As outlined in the Safeguarding Children 2016 Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland we are committed to the following principles:
Each of us has a duty to notify the statutory authorities of suspicions, concerns, knowledge, or allegations that a child is being or has been abused:
- through neglect
Suspicions, concerns, knowledge, or allegations may relate to possible abuse by a member of Church personnel, but they can also relate to incidents in the child’s family, or elsewhere in the community.
- Caring for the welfare of all children and the adults who work with
Measures to create and maintain environments that are safe for children, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church for children and the adults who work with them, will continue to be strengthened and reviewed. This will be done through training support, communications, and quality assurance.
- Responding appropriately to child protection suspicions, concerns, knowledge, or allegations.
Anyone who brings any suspicion, concern, knowledge, or allegation of current or past abuse of a child to the notice of the Church will be responded to sensitively, respectfully, actively and in a timely manner, in line with statutory child protection procedures and Church requirements.
All Church personnel have a responsibility to report suspicions, concerns, knowledge, or allegations of child abuse that reach the threshold for reporting to the statutory authorities. The Designated Liaison Person can assist with this process. These reports will be made irrespective of the status of the person (lay, cleric or religious) who is suspected of having been abusive to a child. If the allegation being reported relates to a lay member of Church personnel, in addition to notifying the statutory authorities, the allegation must be reported to the Church authority. If the allegation being reported relates to a cleric or religious, in addition to notifying the statutory authorities, the allegation must also be reported to the Church authority and the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
All Church personnel will cooperate with the statutory authorities in all cases
In responding to complaints of child sexual abuse relating to clergy and all those in forms of consecrated life, Church authorities will act in accordance with the requirements of civil law and canon law, and so will respect the rights and uphold the safeguards afforded in these, both to the complainant and respondent.
Caring pastorally for complainants and other affected persons
Those who have suffered child abuse by Church personnel will receive a compassionate and just response, and will be offered appropriate pastoral care, counselling, and support as they seek to rebuild their lives. An appropriate pastoral response to the family, parish, province, or order and to the wider community will be provided, with due regard to the right of privacy of those directly involved, and to the administration of justice.
Caring pastorally for respondents and other affected persons
This Church body in its response to suspicions, concerns, knowledge, or allegations of child sexual abuse will respect the rights under civil law and canon law of an accused cleric or religious or other Church personnel. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and Church inquiry processes. As the processes develop, additional assessment, therapy and support services may be offered to the respondent.
The Church authority will take responsibility for ensuring that any cleric or religious who is considered to constitute a danger to children is managed according to a risk management plan.
All requisite steps will be taken to restore the good name and reputation of anyone who has been wrongly accused of abusing a child.
Respondents belong to families and diocesan or religious communities.
The Church authority will be mindful of the need to provide support to members of families and communities affected by the respondent’s changed situation.
The table below sets out the identified risks to the safety of children and young people involved in Church activities in Ursuline Sisters Ireland/Wales Province and the steps taken to minimise the risks of abuse.
|Risk Identified||Procedure in place to manage risk|
|Those who work with children are unsafe to do so.||Procedures for safe recruitment, including Garda Vetting. Appropriate Procedures are in place for visitors.|
|Risk of harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) of a child through bullying by peers.||Anti-bullying procedures are in place.|
|The environment in which work with children is facilitated fails to protect them from harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015).||Procedures and training are in place for creating a safe environment for Children including safe care,|
maintaining adequate supervision ratios; dealing with accidents; exceptional 1:1 contact with children; complaints procedure; hazard assessment of activities; use of technology.
|Risk of harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to a child during outings or trips away|
(Including overnight) from home from peers, Church personnel or strangers.
|Procedures and Policy in place for trips away.|
|Risk of harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) using digital media (photography, video, and social media).||Procedures for the safe use of digital media are in place.|
Guidance is available.
|Ursuline personnel fail to report an allegation, suspicion, concern, or knowledge appropriately.||Robust procedures for recognizing, responding, and reporting, child abuse is in place. All Ursuline personnel have received awareness raising exercise and training|
|Ursuline personnel fail to act during and following any investigation into allegations of abuse against clerics and religious to ensure children are protected from harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015).||Induction training in place for all those involved in direct ministry with Children on Safeguarding responsibilities|
|Ursuline personnel fail to understand their responsibilities to safeguard children.||Induction training for all those involved in direct ministry with Children on Safeguarding responsibilities given on an annual basis.|
|Children and their parents do not understand the Church’s policy, procedures, and structure to safeguard children and protect them from harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015).||Procedures are in place to ensure that Children and parents who are involved with Ursuline Sisters activities receive safeguarding information through registration, policy leaflets and website.|
|The procedures for safeguarding children from harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) fail to be implemented.||Procedures to ensure compliance and the implementation of the policy are in place.|
|The Church authority fails to ensure the appointment of a relevant person and maintain a list of mandated persons.||The Ursuline Sisters appoint a DLP to monitor and review compliance with child Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. A Safeguarding Audit is conducted annually as part of the Child Safeguarding strategy.|
|Those who wish to behave dangerously or unethically towards children can do so.||Code of Behaviour and a complaints procedure are in place.|
All procedures outlined in the risk assessment above are available on www.ursulines.ie Safeguarding Policy /Risk & Hazard Assessment, Ursuline Boarding School & http://www.stangelasacademyofmusic.com/.
Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union Ireland/Wales Province is committed to safeguarding children through the implementation of Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016. This Child Safeguarding Statement and our practice supports our desire to keep children safe from harm while in our ministries. As part of our annual audit against the relevant indicators of the child safeguarding standards, we will review the effectiveness of our practice as outlined in this statement and will revise, as appropriate.
For any queries relating to this statement please contact the Designated Liaison Person at +353 862643700
Date: March 24th 2022