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Oct 18th
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Interim Guidelines Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

The Region of Ireland, Missionary Society of St. Columban recognises that there are many people with whom Church personnel have contact who require special care and attention. The Region values and encourages the participation of vulnerable persons in all parish liturgies and activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development. We believe that all Church personnel, including priests, religious, staff and volunteers must carry out their ministry respecting the rights of the individual in line with gospel values and human rights legislation.

The Region recognises and upholds the dignity and rights of vulnerable persons and is committed to safeguarding all our members. The guidance set out in this document provides a framework of how it is recommended that the Region ministers and cares for vulnerable persons. It identifies what we mean by the term and highlights values and principles which should underpin such necessary work.

These guidelines apply to all clergy (both Society and visiting), staff, volunteers, and religious and adhere to current practice and guidance in the Republic of Ireland. They should be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding Policy & Procedures, both of which are available on the Regional website. The Region, through these guidelines, sets out to protect vulnerable persons from harm and exploitation and to uphold their rights by acting in their best interests and with their consent. This is an Interim document.  It will be reviewed and amended by the Region during its first year of operation. It will then be reviewed and amended, as required, but at least every three years, to take account of any major changes including legislative or policy changes in safeguarding.
You can read the full document here 

Columban Safeguarding Children Policy

Columban Safeguarding Children Policy
The Columban Missionaries are committed to the highest Child Safeguarding Standards.  Following a review Safeguarding Practice by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) we have revised the Irish Regional Safeguarding Policies for the Columban Missionaries.
We invite anyone who has concerns or complaints to make contact with us. 
The Designated Liasion Person of the Columban Missionaries in Ireland, Ms Sandra Neville, can be reached at 0879844779
The NBSCCCI can be contacted directly at 01-5053124

You can read the current policies and reports below.

2015 Safeguarding Committee Report Columbans

2015 Training Report Columbans

Action Plan 2015-2018 Columbans

Audit 2015 Columbans

2016 Training Plan Columbans

Communication Plan 2016 Columbans

The Safeguarding Committee of the Irish Region has proposed to review and update the present Irish Regional Policy on Safeguarding Children (2015) in 2016. This decision was taken following recommendations from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church Ireland as the present Standards & Guidance is been revised.
The following interim guidance have been added to the policy:

Interim Guidance on Recruitment & Selection of Personnel

Interim Guidance on Recruitment & Selection of Personnel

Safe practice starts with safe recruitment procedures. It is important that all possible steps are taken to prevent unsuitable people working with children and vulnerable adults in Church organisations. While the vast majority of people who want to work with children and vulnerable adults are well-motivated, good recruitment and selection procedures help screen out those who are not suitable and enhance the prospects of identifying the best person for the post.

The following procedures form part of the process of recruiting and selecting Church personnel:

· use of a Recruitment and Selection Checklist to ensure that effective practices are followed;

· use of a Volunteer Application Form; use of a Volunteer Reference Form, where appropriate;

· completion of a Declaration Form, stating that there is no reason why the applicant is unsuitable for working with young people or vulnerable adults;

· completion of the Garda Vetting Process where necessary by the National Vetting Unit;

· interviews with applicants in order to discuss their application form and their suitability for working with children and vulnerable adults, as well as exploring some important aspects of the work, including safeguarding children/vulnerable adults awareness;

· ensuring probationary periods are served, where appropriate;

· provision of an induction programme in order to maintain standards and good practice.

In relation to the completion of declaration forms and the Garda vetting process, the document Safeguarding Children (NBSCCCI 2008) sets out the following guidance:

"All those who have the opportunity for regular contact with children, or who are in positions of trust, will complete a form declaring any previous court convictions and undergo other checks as required by legislation and guidance and this information is then properly assessed and recorded"

This guidance, together with our Duty To Care (DOHC 2002), sets out standards for the recruitment process.

Staff Recruitment Procedures refer to the Staff Handbook

The following are required to complete the Declaration Form:

Clergy engaged in ministry.

Local Safeguarding Representatives

All volunteers who work with children and vulnerable adults in Church related activities.

The following are required to complete the Garda Vetting Process

Clergy engaged in ministry.

Personnel commissioned by the Missionary Society of St. Columban for pastoral outreach at parish or diocesan level (e.g. those working on promotions, youth ministry etc.)

Interim Guidance for Members who volunteer/work with other organisations

Interim Guidance for Members who volunteer/work with other organisations. July 2015.

The Regional Director in consultation with his Regional Council is responsible for assigning Columban members to a particular ministry.
Should a member of the Irish Region wish to work in a particular Diocese or any other orginsation he is required to seek the permission of the Regional Director prior to making any commitment to this work.


The Region of Ireland has implemented a Safeguarding Policy & Procedures and all Society members, staff and volunteers are required to comply with this policy, and procedures and practices as set out in the document.

Columban Members assigned to dioceses or any other organisation will comply with the safeguarding policies, procedures and code of practice of the organisation.

To ensure best practice and the safety of children/vulnerable adults the Regional Director will be required to satisfy himself and to confirm that the particular organisation has a comprehensive/approved safeguarding policy and procedures. The Regional Director should obtain verification in writing where necessary from the organisation that such policies and practices are in place and comply with National Guidance and the statutory authorities

The organisation should also be requested to demonstrate that it has adequate insurance in place to deal with any claims that may arise as a result of any act or omission by the member during his work with them and a guarantee that the Society will not be held liable for any claims made against the organisation.

The Safeguarding committee will review this interim guidance in 2016.

* Any members presently volunteering/working with any organisation that does not have a comprehensive safeguarding policy approved by the statutory authorities/National Board for Safeguarding Children in Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) should seek guidance from the Columban Safeguarding Officer, Region of Ireland.

Interim Guidance on the use of facilities within The Missionary Society of St. Columban, Dalgan Park

Interim Guidance on the use of facilities within The Missionary Society of St. Columban, Dalgan Park Navan for retreats, conferences etc. August 2015

Purpose of guidance: The purpose of this document is to provide a clear overview of the procedures for the use of the facilities for residential groups (those involving young people).

Available Facilities: The Missionary Society of St. Columban, Region of Ireland has one facility that can be used for residential purposes, the IMU Centre.
The IMU centre which is situated in the main college building (including the residential areas for the Columban fathers) has residential facilities for male and female residents in single bedrooms (not en-suite). These sleeping areas are on two separate floors the male rooms on the first floor and the female on the second floor. Within the IMU centre there are three conference areas and a kitchen; a stairway within the centre is shared with the Columban Fathers.

The Missionary Society of St. Columban has clear policies and procedures in relation to safeguarding children. Any group/organisation operating under the name/auspice of the Society must comply with the Society requirements.

As outlined in our policy statement "Each child shall be cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity of life and bodily integrity which shall be respected, nurtured and protected by all"

As a Society who provides the use of facilities and services to individuals and groups who work with children and young people (service users) it is our responsibility to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to safeguard children and young people using our facilities and services.

To ensure best practice in relation to safeguarding, under 12 year olds will not be accommodated at the centre. This is regardless of whether they are accompanied by their parents/responsible adult.

Prior to any event/retreat etc. taking place within the IMU centre a risk assessment needs to be completed for that activity. In light of the results of the risk assessment a management plan should be put in place to ensure the safety and welfare of all utilizing the centre.

Update Report on the Review of Safeguarding Practice

Following a review by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) of the Safeguarding Practice of the Missionary Society of St Columban, a number of recommendations were made.

The following is the Update Report on the implementation of these recommendations
Update Report on the Review of Safeguarding Practice

Columban Martyrs

Columban Martyrs

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Timeline of the History of the Society

This timeline was drawn up by Dr Neil Collins SSC who is documenting the history of the society.

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