Annual Report 2012
Download 2012 Annual Report NBSCCCI
Statement from the Chairman – John B. Morgan
At the Annual General Meeting in 2012, Sister Martina Barrett retired from the Board, having served as a director since 2006. I wish to thank her on behalf of the Board for her unfailing assistance in all our work. Doctor Kathleen Ganter died on 19 July 2012, RIP. We mourn her loss and her always helpful contributions to our discussions.
Monsignor Eamon Martin resigned from the Board at the end of our February 2013 meeting, following his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh. It was a resignation we accepted with great regret as we will miss the quality and wisdom of his advice. This is, of course, tempered by our joy at his elevation.
Ian Elliott retires at the end of June. His record as Chief Executive Officer over the last six years has been superlative. We are all in his debt for the leadership he has provided in seeking to bring best practice child safeguarding to all aspects of Church activity. He has been to the fore in pioneering not only a comprehensive programme of standards and guidance in child safeguarding but also in the undertaking of a Review and Audit Programme. If properly pursued and maintained, this programme, with its comprehensive methodology, should ensure that current risk to child safeguarding in any Church settings can be properly and effectively managed. We are conscious that Mr Elliot’s services will be eagerly sought after, and we hope he will be successful in all he undertakes and that our relationship with him can continue, in some form, after his retirement.
Sister Colette Stevenson, our much loved Director of Professional Standards, retired during the year from that position. She continues to work in a volunteer capacity, for which we are grateful.
We welcome Niall Moore as National Training Manager. He brings a wealth of experience to this hugely important post.
Facing into the future, the review of operations will determine more clearly the strategic and policy priorities for the Board. Our current objectives are set out in the report and they will clearly inform our future. The completion of the current Review Programme of all Church authorities will be a pivotal objective as it is not only a Church commitment but central to one of the key observations of the Holy See as published in the Summary of the Findings of the Apostolic Visitation in Ireland.
I wish to underline again this year the role of that most valuable resource provided by child safeguarding volunteers, their trainers and tutors. Without them, much of what we attempt would prove ineffective.
We record that our training activities directly reached more than 3,700 individuals in the last year. Many of these, I believe, realise that the Church is not simply an organisation, something structured, juridical, institutional – it is that too – but rather an organism, a living reality that penetrates the soul in such a way as Pope Emeritus Benedict has said, ‘I, myself, with my own believing soul, am a building block of the Church as such.’
We salute and thank again all who make up this most valuable resource.
Report of the Chief Executive Officer
Looking back on the last year, there is much to be proud of. A great deal of work has been undertaken and significant progress has been made. It is vital that this is maintained with continued commitment for the sake of vulnerable children within the Church.
It is gratifying to see an increase in investment in the safeguarding framework across the Church by individual Church authorities recruiting experienced and trained social care professionals to fill particular roles. This development is to be welcomed but ironically it has resulted in an increased level of demand for advice and guidance from the National Office.
During the year we had to address further data protection issues that arose for us in our work. I had the opportunity of bringing these before a political audience when I was asked to address the inaugural meeting of the North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association which was held in the Seanad Room in Leinster House in October. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation for the support provided by the Office of the Data Commissioner in Portarlington.
Their guidance has made a significant contribution to enabling us to continue the work of reviewing safeguarding practice in the Church.
On a personal note, I retire from my current role at the end of June, having completed six years as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer for the National Board. This was for me a fantastic learning opportunity in which I felt privileged to meet and work with many wonderful people who shared my passion for protecting the vulnerable child. A great deal of progress has been made and a number of significant challenges have been faced. What is now in place across the Church is a tribute to those people and I would like to thank them most sincerely for their contribution and support.