Ursulines of Jesus

‘The WORD became flesh and made his dwelling among us'

Safeguarding Policy

The Congregation of the Ursulines of Jesus commit ourselves to cherish, respect, affirm and safeguard the dignity of each person as a gift from God

“Ever since God became man we meet Him in every human face”

Ursulines of Jesus, Book of Life No:33

In England and Wales, we commit  to adhere to the policies, guidelines and procedures, outlined by the Catholic Safeguarding  Advisory Service (CSAS) www.csasprocedures.uk.net. This is supported by the Archdiocese of Westminster Safeguarding Commission to which the Ursulines of Jesus are aligned.

In Scotland we adhere to the policies of The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service: www.scottishcatholicsafeguarding.org.uk

We adhere to the standards outlined by the National board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland  (NBSCCCI): www.safeguarding.ie

The Ursulines of Jesus in the Archdiocese of Dublin and the Diocese of Ferns are cognizant with the policy and standards document produced in 2016


What is Abuse?

Abuse is mistreatment by any other person or persons that violates an individual's human and civil rights.

Abuse can happen anywhere and can consist of a single act or repeated acts.

The main forms of abuse are:

Physical Abuse such as hitting, pushing, shaking, scalding, exposure to heat or cold not giving adequate food or drink or other treatment of a child or vulnerable adult that can cause actual bodily harm.

Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child/adult is aware of what is happening. This may include rape, or unwanted touching. A child or adult may be exposed to looking at pornography.

Psychological or Emotional Abuse is the persistent ill treatment of a child or vulnerable adult such as threats of harm or abandonment or putting them in positions of danger. Failure to convey to children, young person or vulnerable adult that they are loved, that they are valued is also a form of abuse.

Neglect such as ignoring medical or physical care needs, preventing access to health, social care or educational services or withholding the necessities of life, food, drink and heating.

Financial or Material Abuse involves theft, fraud or pressure in connection with wills, inheritance, possessions or benefits.

Discriminatory Abuse such as harassment or slurs based on race, sexuality or disability.

Cyber bullying: using technology to abuse or threaten.

1. Our Founder, Louis Marie Baudouin writes in 1808:
“Have a great love, I repeat a great love for the poor, the needy, sick, orphans widows, old people. God loves them”.

The health, safety and well being of all children, young people and vulnerable adults are of paramount importance to all the sisters who work with them. All vulnerable people have the right to be protected and safe wherever they are, regardless of age, gender, culture or disability.

2. Aims

2.1 To ensure that all our sisters and staff understand the actions necessary with regard to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.

To raise the awareness of all sisters and staff and to identify responsibility for reporting possible or potential cases of abuse.

To promote effective communication between sisters and staff on all safeguarding issues.

To set down the correct procedures for those who encounter an issue of safeguarding.

3. Procedures

3.1 There is a named sister – Safeguarding Representative in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland who is responsible for safeguarding issues. The Representative is guided by two principles:

The welfare of the child and vulnerable adult is always paramount.

Confidentiality is respected as far as possible.

The Safeguarding Representative has special responsibility for promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Congregation. The Representative needs to have a sound knowledge of the Safeguarding Policies and Procedures laid down by CSAS supported the Archdiocese of Westminster, the Catholic church of Ireland and the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.

She must ensure that all sisters and staff are aware of their responsibilities in relation to Safeguarding.

The guiding principles for any person in receipt of information about an allegation or concern should be. LISTEN, RECORD and REFER

3.2 Should a sister or staff become aware or suspect a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of or be a victim of abuse, they should not investigate, but immediately inform the named person see 3.1 about their concerns. Sisters and staff must not keep to themselves any information about abuse given to them by the child or vulnerable adult; they are required by law to pass on this information.

Should the child, young person or vulnerable adult be at immediate risk of harm they should contact the police.

3.3 Any action taken by the Representative when dealing with an issue of safeguarding must be in accordance with the procedures outlined in the CSAS and the Dioceses of Westminster safeguarding guidelines for England and Wales. Also, the policies and standards of The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland and The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.

3.4 When investigating any allegations of abuse the Representative works closely with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator in their dioceses and other relevant authorities such as the Social Services Department. All parties involved handle such investigations in a sensitive manner, remembering that the interest of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is of paramount importance.

3.5 Should a child or vulnerable adult allege abuse, a referral is made without communicating with parents or guardians first. In some circumstances the parents or guardians are informed first.

3.6 If child protection referral is made, a case conference is held which offers the opportunity to share information and formulate a plan of action.

3.7 All information relating to protection issues is regarded as confidential. Information is passed on to appropriate persons only.

3.8 The child, young person or vulnerable adult is informed at all stages of who is involved and what information we have given them.

3.9 We require all adults seeking employment with the sisters involving contact with children and vulnerable adults or those wishing to join the Congregation to obtain the appropriate certificate DBS, PVG or Garda Vetting. This is to ensure that there is no evidence of past offences involving the abuse of children or vulnerable adults.

3.10 In the course of their duty, there may be times when sisters or staff use physical intervention to restrain those in their care. In such an incident, the manager or sister in charge requires the person involved to report this immediately and document it.

3.11 Staff working in our Care Home in Wales are familiar with the rights, risks and restraint in the Care Home Policy. In line with legislation, this Policy takes into account the various Acts passed in health and Social Care since 1998.

3.12 All sisters and staff are required to update their knowledge of safeguarding      procedures. They are aware that they share the responsibility to promote good and safe practices in all activities of the children, young people and vulnerable adults in their care, including other members of the Congregation.

4 Confidentiality

4.1 To comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and CSAS guidelines the general principle is that information will only be shared with the consent of the subject of the information. Exception to this would be when the child or adult would be at serious risk of harm.

For the purpose of Safeguarding, information may need to be shared with other agencies and appropriate authorities who are required to keep information confidential.

Records need to be up to-date, accurate and kept in a secure place.

5 Review

5.1 This Policy is to be reviewed annually by the delegated councillor and Safeguarding

Representatives in accordance with guidelines from CSAS, Westminster Dioceses,
The Catholic Church in Scotland and Ireland.

Updated 18th November 2018