WelCom February 2020
The Catholic Church in New Zealand has implemented a policy towards creating safe environments for children and adults who may be vulnerable. Church personnel are required to complete Safeguarding education and training. The policy applies to all clergy, religious, employees, and volunteers in all six dioceses. It also includes people working within parishes who are part of any Catholic organisation or agency accepted as a Catholic entity.
Last year, Safeguarding Adviser for the Archdiocese, Brendy Weir, presented workshops to all parishes in the archdiocese. More than 820 people attended, demonstrating a strong commitment to safe parishes. The workshops gave an overview of what Safeguarding is about and why it’s important.
Every parish has now appointed a Safeguarding Administrator who are each working to ensure all volunteers have signed up with Codes of Conduct, are Police-vetted, and that they have support in their volunteer roles.
Brendy will be revisiting all the parishes this year bringing a second workshop ‒ co-facilitated with local Safeguarding Administrators. ‘The aim is to get everyone involved in group exercises to practice dealing with scenarios, which might arise in parishes,’ Brendy says. For example:
- managing sensitive paperwork;
- managing inappropriate gossip;
- recruiting ‘safe’ volunteers;
- structural building safety and visibility;
- child’s disclosure at children’s liturgy;
- disclosure from housebound elderly.
Brendy is arranging dates and times with parish leaders for the second workshop series.
Contact Brendy on firstname.lastname@example.org or ph (04) 496-1768 with any questions.