Safeguarding Children: Implementing guidelines

May 23, 2016 in News

In April 2015 the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) undertook a review of safeguarding practices in the Society of Jesus in Ireland (Jesuits).

The NBSCCCI made nine recommendations. The following table details the progress made in addressing the recommendations. The Society of Jesus is committed to building on and further developing our safeguarding practices. There will be no room for complacency. The participation of children and young people is valued and encouraged in our pastoral ministry. We continue to work to ensure the environment we create for children and young people is safe and caring, supports their interests and prevents abuse. We take this opportunity to again, express our unreserved apology to any person who was hurt or abused by a Jesuit member or employee while in our care.


1. The Provincial should ensure that all records relating to case management are consolidated into the appropriate case file and that in future all records are assembled according to the NBSCCCI template with authorisation clear on all records. Complete:

  • DLP has sourced relevant records and consolidated into the case file.
  • New files will be assembled as per NBSCCCI template.
  • DLP is responsible for case records and ensuring they are appropriate and signed.
2. The Provincial must ensure that a whistleblowing policy is developed and all Jesuits and staff are inducted in its use. In progress:

  • A whistleblowing policy has been written and we are in the process of disseminating to all Jesuits, staff and volunteers. Induction will be completed during training program in Autumn 2016.
3. The Provincial should consider accessing training for the safeguarding Committee to assist in their development of role, terms of Reference and work plan. Complete:

  • 1. Two members of the committee attended safeguarding committee training with the NBSCCCI.
  • 2. The committee has been reorganised, new membership, new DLP in place and clear work plan.
  • 3. Further safeguarding committee training by the NBSCCCI will be considered in late 2016.
4. The Training Manager should conduct a training needs analysis and consult NBSCCCI to assist with the development of a training plan to meet the needs of all members of the Society. In progress:

  • A training strategy has been devised.
  • Training needs analysis is being conducted. Action plan in place to meet any gaps.
  • All members and relevant staff and volunteers will complete one day Church safeguarding refresher training in Autumn 2016.
  • Consultation with NBSCCCI is planned.
5. The Provincial should ensure that the safeguarding committee develops a communication plan so that all members of the Society and anyone engaged in ministry from the Jesuits are informed of their safeguarding messages. Complete:

  • Communication plan has been developed. The Safeguarding Committee maintain oversight of its implementation.
6. The Provincial should consider separating the Advisory Panel from the Safeguarding Committee and strengthening the skill base of the latter. Complete:

  • The committees have been separated as advised. Membership has been reviewed. Further training will be sourced if required after the operation of both groups is reviewed in a number of months.
7. The Provincial must ensure that an advisor is offered each time a member is accused of child abuse and that this role holder forms part of a management plan which is monitored by the case manager. Complete:

  • There are two advisors in the Province. Both have attended NBSCCCI training for the role. It is practice that a person on being advised of an allegation against them is offered the support of an adviser. This role will be reflected in the safety plan.
8. The Provincial must ensure that complainants have access to lay support personnel, who can assist them with accessing all counselling and advice that is needed or appropriate. Complete:

  • There are two support persons available in the Province and both have attended NBSCCCI training. They are offered to a complainant at the earliest opportunity.
9. The Safeguarding Committee should produce an annual report for the Provincial on the developments in safeguarding across the Society including review of safeguarding and case management. Complete/In place:

  • The safeguarding committee will produce annual reports for the Provincial. This is written into the terms of reference. The DLP provides bi-monthly reports to the Chair of the committee and the Provincial on general safeguarding matters.