Safeguarding practices have become the norm in society for organizations which deal with children and vulnerable adults. Safeguarding is about keeping everyone safe from harm, trauma and abuse, whether it be emotional, physical, or sexual.
We are all responsible for developing safe practices at all levels within the Church. Safeguarding applies to volunteers as well as to employees, priests, religious, lay pastoral leaders and anyone in ministry which involves children or vulnerable adults.
The National Office of Professional Standards is a partnership between the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the Congregation Leaders Conference of Aotearoa New Zealand. It develops and audits safeguarding policy and practice and responds to complaints of abuse in the Church. It has developed a set of documents which are being adopted by all the dioceses and religious orders, to ensure consistency of approach across the country.
These documents are:
- Safeguarding Policy
- Concerns and Complaints Policy
- Safe Recruitment and Training Policy
- Safeguarding Standards
- Code of Conduct for Employees and Volunteers
The Archdiocese of Wellington has formally adopted these policies and is developing the processes necessary to implement them. The Policies, Standards and Code of Conduct apply to everyone: clergy, religious, employees and volunteers.
Workshops on safeguarding will be provided in all parishes of the Archdiocese during 2019. These are open to everyone in the parish, but pastoral team members, Pastoral Council members and key volunteers must attend. This training will provide guidance and tools to support the implementation of the safeguarding policies in parishes. There will be an additional child protection workshop for those whose role and responsibilities require more extensive knowledge.
Cardinal John Dew has appointed Brendy Weir as the Safeguarding Adviser for the Archdiocese. Brendy has many years’ experience as a child protection social worker and senior advisor for child protection in the government sector, and more recently has been working for Catholic Social Services as a social worker. She will be leading the Safeguarding and Child Protection workshops.
Brendy Weir, Safeguarding Advisor 04 496 1768 or 021 1958 307, firstname.lastname@example.org