The electronic newsletter for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland 2013
Welcome to our fifth newsletter. The past months have seen some major changes for us and we welcome the opportunity to share them with you in this newsletter. We remain very busy but we have been greatly encouraged by the appointment of a new member of staff, Niall Moore. Niall has been appointed as the National Training Coordinator for the NBSCCI. Many of you will have met him already and will know that he has a great deal to offer through his experience and his enthusiasm. We are delighted that he has joined us and we wish him all the very best for the future.
National Board Directors
In our last newsletter, I reported on the sad death of Dr. Kate Ganter who died following a short illness. She was a great loss to the Board. Also, Mgr. Eamon Martin has resigned following his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh. Sister Martina Barrett also stood down from the Board after many years of great service. Our sincere thanks and gratitude is due to them all. However, these departures have left the Board seriously depleted but I am pleased to report that this issue has been recognised by the Members who are in the process of identifying a number of new directors to be appointed to the Board. An announcement with regard to these appointments is expected very shortly. We would hope that at least four additional directors will be recruited.
Each year we issue an Annual Report which many of you will have seen and be familiar with. We would aim to issue our Annual Report for 2012 towards the end of April which is a couple of weeks earlier than last year. Preparing the contents of the Report is always demanding and we welcome your support and cooperation with any requests we make for confirming the details of allegation notified to us or advice provided.
As the work of the National Board develops the scope and content of the Annual Report grows. This year we will be including the content of the evaluation which we just completed in respect of the National Case Management Reference Group, for example.
Guidance on Leave from Ministry and Apostolate
As many of you will be aware, the Interim Guidance which was adopted and issued by the Members of Coimirce at the start of last year has been revised following an extensive consultation. The new guidance has been adopted by the Members and will be issued shortly with an operational date of 1st May 2013. I would like to thank all the Bishops, Provincials and others who contributed to the consultation process which confirmed that the overwhelming view was that the direction and content of the Guidance was very helpful and in the right direction. The issue of making a public statement, as a matter of course when these situations arise has been revised. It is important to emphasise that the document represents ‘Guidance’ rather than a ‘Directive’. The authority of the Ordinary to ultimately decide the nature of the response has not been diminished through it adoption in any way.
Guidance on the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults
The Members considered the draft Guidance that had been prepared for their consideration. They welcomed it and asked that it be circulated for comment widely with a short paper outlining the need for such policy within the existing safeguarding framework in the Church. This will be issued shortly with a request that all comments should be forwarded by an agreed date to the National Office.
Review of Safeguarding Practice
The Church authorities involved in the 3rd Tranche have all received their reports and have met to agree a date for their publication. It is anticipated that this will be towards the end of April. We would like to thank all of those involved for their support of the process and their commitment to its completion. Without it, we could not hope to successfully complete the task.
National Case Management Reference Group (NCMRG)
This initiative continues to thrive and prosper. We have 16 dioceses and a growing number of religious who have joined and submitted cases for consideration. To further develop an understanding and appreciation for what the NCMRG offers in terms of a service, a day long training event is planned next. All existing members will be invited to attend. The event will seek to ‘de-mystify’ the operation of the NCNRG but also clarify the important difference that exists between it and an ‘Advisory Panel’ for example
Changes in the Management of the National Office
Finally, I will be retiring from my post as Chief Executive Officer at the end of June after six interesting years. The issue and form of any on-going involvement in the Board’s Review and monitoring activities is being considered by me. It is a matter of personal satisfaction that there has been so much positive development in safeguarding in the Church in that time. It is my sincere hope also that his momentum will be continued in the months and years ahead.
Ian A. Elliott
Chief Executive Officer