Safeguarding is an essential element of all our ministries. The Carmelite Order have signed up to the policies and guidelines of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI), published in Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church in Ireland 2016 (SCPSCCI). The function of the Carmelite Safeguarding Handbook is to give an accessible and practical manual, which can give clear guidance on the correct implementation of the SCPSCCI. The Handbook addresses specific areas and topics, eg. recruitment of volunteers, organising events for young people, etc. and outlines the necessary policies and procedures to be followed.
While the Handbook was published in November 2020, it was hoped to have a full launch when the State guidelines on gatherings in time of Covid would allow. However, as we moved into January, the renewed restrictions and lockdown meant that this was not possible. It was decided to launch the Handbook virtually. The event was held on Wednesday January 27th at 7.00 pm. and was very well attended.
Mr Brendan McCauley, as Chair of the Safeguarding Committee, spoke of the development of the Handbook. Michael Troy, Prior Provincial, commended the work of the Safeguarding Committee in the creation of the Handbook and encouraged all in attendance to make good use of the Handbook. Ms Julie McCullough, the recently appointed Director of Safeguarding, outlined the content of the Handbook and how it can be used.
In September 2020, Ms Jan Perrin resigned as Assistant Director of Safeguarding to return to her previous role in Tuasla. We are very grateful for the enormous role Jan played in developing the Handbook, and the Safeguarding policies and procedures of the Order. In December 2020, Ms Mary Tallon resigned from her role as Director of Safeguarding. Mary was the first Lay Director of Safeguarding and Designated Liaison Person (DLP) appointed by the Order. Mary was a very popular figure with both Carmelite friars and with those who made contact with the Safeguarding Office. Her compassion and openness made her well suited to the role. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Mary, whose work has left us with a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the whole area of Safeguarding. Ms Julie McCullough was initially employed as Assistant DLP and Assistant Director of Safeguarding. Following Mary’s departure, Julie was appointed as DLP and Director of Safeguarding. We wish Julie all the best as she continues this vital work.