Please find below answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Not found the answer to your question? Please Contact the Safeguarding Officer
Q. We have a parish halls in the parish, and I would like to understand does the policy expect that an ‘accident form’ is completed for general accidents, cuts and bruises? If we have organisations such as scouts / GAA and they have their own accident / incident forms, can they use their own format or do we have to still enforce our template form? What is the expectation for groups using the hall that do not have their own forms?
A.The incidents forms should be used for all incidents and accidents relating to children. For external groups they should have their own, if they don’t then it is their responsibility, this should be part of their child safeguarding procedures in any case. However you may want to check what the parish insurance states for hiring out the hall, as you might have to have a incident / accident book for general use.
Signed Agreement reference 5.1.A:
Q. Appreciate if you provide clarification on who needs to sign the agreement template 5.1.A as I note as part of this agreement, people are required to attend a full day training on safeguarding, so in this respect, I would like to understand if this agreement and associated training day must be completed by the following for example
- Choir Directors
- Altar Server Parents who supervise the children
- Parish Hall Group Leaders?
- Parish Hall Coordinator
A. Those who have direct contact with children, such as Altar Server parents, Sacristans, choir directors should sign this form and be given the code of behaviour for adults, at the bottom of the form it says about full day training and 2 hr info sessions training. They should attend one of these, as I point above.
Parish Hall leaders and coordinators, would only need to sign this form if they have contact with children
Consent Forms for Children:
Q. We are clear about the requirement to have completed consent forms for children participating directly in Church activities such as Altar Servers / choir members etc., however, please advise the expectation to complete this requirement for organisations using the Parish Halls,
Is it acceptable that this is managed by the group leaders using the hall, e.g. Dance groups, Badminton groups, etc.
Is it sufficient for us to provide guidance that these groups need to obtain these forms if children participating in their groups? If so, is there a requirement to audit these forms? As you can imagine this would be quite onerous and a lot of work as members can join and leave these groups on a very frequent basis.
A. For any external groups as you mention above, we have no responsibility for them. We cannot give any advice or guidance. They MUST complete the renting of parish hall form 1.5A ( attached) any group that has children and not run by the Parish, can only use the hall if they complete that form stating they have insurance and a child safeguarding policy. We have been told by our insurers that we cannot obtain a copy of their safeguarding policy, so they just have to sign they have one. If they don’t, THEY CANNOT USE THE HALL.
So it is not the Parish’s responsibility to check etc. However if an activity is being run and you are concerned it is not safe, then you must contact PP and or myself and we will need to decide what needs to happen, i.e. Stop them using the hall.
Q. Is there training available outside the guidance provided in Section 1.8a, reps are trained on completing these assessments.
Can you advise what are the expectations of completing these Hazard assessments for those groups using the Parish Hall.
A. The Hazard Assessment is a new part of the policy. I will be looking at sending out more guidance. Really what you are looking at is for any areas that might cause problems, like no toilet facilities? were the nearest first aid box is kept? Are there emergency exits? The hazard assessment is a one-off for each group.
Q. If we were to organise an evening where we got all groups together, would someone on your team be willing to attend to speak to the importance of the Safeguarding program in the protection of children participating in Parish Life.
A. Yes, I would be more than happy to come out myself.
Q. Can we have a copy of the policy document sent to the parishes again.
A. We don’t have hard copies left. They can be downloaded from the website and printed off. Hard copies were a huge cost from the National Board
Q. Can we have a clear list of lay ministries that need to be Garda Vetted? In Kilmurry, the sacristan is sure they will all leave if she asks them. I think an info session for the parish might be in order.
A. There was a list sent out to all parishes earlier this year and guidance on website.
Q. Signing in books in the sacristy – who needs to sign and when? There are altar servers at some Masses, but not all. Should they sign at weddings/ funerals/ baptisms/ weekday masses/ etc? sometimes there are altar servers, often from the family at the center of the celebration.
A. There should be a Sacristy Register or signing in book in every sacristy. This MUST be signed at each Mass or Ceremony by all priests , servers, sacristan, server helpers and anybody who is in the sacristy.
Q. Should the priest/ sacristan sign in at every Mass or just where there are children present?
A. If there are no servers present, then line to be in saying NO SERVERS. However, it must be filled in by priests and sacristan etc.
This is our only record of who was in the sacristy. A hard book / register should be used and once full, retained and stored in parish.
Q. Do Parish Safeguarding Reps need to attend another full day safeguarding training, if already done one previously.
A. With the new training programme, anybody who has previously undertaken a full days training, only need to do a 3 hour refresher every 3 years.
Q. Will safeguarding training be delivered online in the future.
A. We hope to start rolling out the adult safeguarding information sessions online in the next few months. We are currently looking at developing an online information session for parishes in relation to children, instead of the parish based info sessions in the past
Q. If we have existing Altar servers returning, do we need to have a new parental / guardian consent form signed?
A. If there are no changes and the last form signed included permission for photos, etc then no.
Q. Do Church stewards need to be Garda vetted?
A. As stewards do not have a role with children or vulnerable adults thy do not need to be vetted.