WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Safeguarding Workshops Underway

WelCom April 2019:

Safeguarding is about ensuring we have a culture and environment where the safety of children, young people and adults is paramount. Safeguarding is about the physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual safety of everyone. A programme of workshops is underway in the dioceses.

Brendy Weir

Fifty-three people attended the Archdiocese’s first Safeguarding workshop held at Wellington South Parish on 28 February. Attendees came from a variety of church roles and groups including Parish Councils, Lay Parish leaders, children’s Liturgy volunteers, Life Teen, Passionist Family group, Home of Compassion, St Patrick’s College, and Chaplaincies for Filipino, Samoan, Samoan Sunday School, as well as the Indonesian community, the Wellington Women’s Trust and Archdiocesan staff.

People were keen to hear and share information about this challenging topic of Safeguarding. Feedback has been positive and adjustments have been made to better meet the needs of others attending future Safeguarding workshops in parishes.

In general:

  • Most felt the Safeguarding workshop was good or excellent.
  • Many thought it would have been good to have more time to discuss topics.
  • Several expressed a wish to talk about Cardinal Pell, and to remember victims of all those abused by anyone.
  • Most said they thought the information about Safeguarding and child protection was good or excellent.
  • Most said they now feel clear about who to consult and where to find more information.
  • Several said they would like more opportunities to talk with their parish about the practicalities about how to make their parish safer.

The following points are among the topics being discussed at the workshops.

  • Understanding of Safeguarding.
  • Why is Safeguarding important?
  • What is abuse and what is its impact?
  • What to do if someone says they’ve been harmed.
  • Know who to consult and when.
  • How the Archdiocese will support you.
  • Your role in building a stronger culture of safety.
  • Practical guidance with resources and tools.
  • How to make a complaint or report concerns.

During March, workshops were also held at Porirua Holy Family and Te Ngakau Tapu (25 people); Te Awakairangi (90 people); Te Wairua Tapu (10 people); Ss Mary and Joseph-Hāto Mere me Hophepa, Ōtaki-Levin (15 people Levin and 20 people Ōtaki).

For more information contact Brendy Weir, Safeguarding Adviser for the Archdiocese, email b.weir@wn.catholic.org.nz or phone (04) 496-1768 or 021 1958 307. To view the new safeguarding policy documents go the Archdiocese website at: wn.catholic.org.nz/adw_type/safeguarding-in-the-archdiocese-of-wellington/