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DIOCESAN AUDIT - ONE YEAR ON

Category: Child protection

National Office Recommendations............. Action Taken 

(1) Bishop Drennan should review all cases of living priests who are on administrative leave (“out of ministry”) to ensure that formal written precepts have been issued and shared with the accused priest, and a copy retained on file.

  •  The priests in question received the list of restrictions and replied by post that they would abide by them.

(2) Bishop Drennan needs to appoint a suitable person to initiate the preliminary investigation under Canon 1717, in relation to all priests out of ministry (where this has not already happened) and inform the CDF if required so that any subsequent penal process may take place.

  • Bishop Drennan has appointed a canon lawyer to review the relevant cases. The CDF has been informed in all revelant cases.

(3) The Safeguarding Co-ordinator should put in place written risk management plans which should be shared with the accused priest: and a record made of all reviews of risk and monitoring visits.

  • The Statutory agencies are fully aware of the circumstances of all priests who are out of Ministry.  
  • Each priest is subject to written restrictions and the Director of Safeguarding is responsible for monitoring each priest, and a written record is being kept of all visits.
  • A risk management plan has been developed in conjunction with a risk assessment .

(4) Bishop Drennan in consultation with his designated people must decide how to proceed in relation to seeking advice on case management issues. Should they decide to retain both their own Diocesan Advisory panel and the National Case Management Reference Group (NCMRG), then they must draft protocols so that there is clarity around panel roles and responsibilities.

  • Bishop Drennan has decided that all new Child Sexual Abuse allegations will be reviewed by the NCMRG while the Diocesan Advisory Panel will be called upon to advise on how best to address breaches of Diocesan Safeguarding Policy on issues related to Child Sexual Abuse

(5) The designated person must ensure that all case management records follow the NBSCCCI template with narrative accounts of all actions taken and meetings held.

  • The National Case file template is now in use in the Diocese, and is used for all new files being opened in the Diocese.

(6) To enhance communication further, the safeguarding committee should consider developing an annual communication plan and placing this on the diocesan website.

  • The Safeguarding Committee has developed an annual communication plan and this will be placed on the website in May 2014. This includes a Annual Conference to be held in October, Newsletter to be issued in June. Two training sessions to be held in 2014.

(7) Bishop Drennan needs to ensure that a support person is appointed as soon as possible; that the role is clarified, written down and shared in writing with future complainants. Bishop Drennan must also ensure that all contacts are recorded on the case management records.

  • A support person has been appointed and their position is in line with national guidelines.  

(8) The safeguarding co-ordinator in consultation with Bishop Drennan and the designated person should draft role descriptions for priest advisers and identify appropriate training and support for the priests who hold this role.

  • Two priests have been appointed and will undergo training with the national office in 2014.  

(9) The Safeguarding Director should ensure that the annual report for Bishop Drennan and the people of Galway Diocese which sets out all steps taken to safeguard children and evaluates the implementation of procedures at parish level is publicised on the diocesan safeguarding website and widely disseminated throughout the diocese.

  • This is now the policy of the Diocese and the annual report of the Director of Safeguarding is now put on the diocesan website and is also published in the Diocesan Newsletter which is sent to every parish.