2021-11-19 GENERAL HOUSE

Child Safeguarding Standards and Protocols – Manual for the Administrative Units

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In September the Institute published the revised Child Safeguarding Standards. The Standards were first published in 2012 and have now been reviewed and updated by the International Commission on Child Safeguarding. This revised document reflects our continued efforts to develop a culture of child safeguarding in our ministries and institutions. In this revised document the Commission has taken into account the Institutes commitment to the rights of children, the church’s pledge to protect children and vulnerable adults and the experience of our Administrative Units in dealing with the issues of child safeguarding.

From our very beginnings the institute has been committed to the safety of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Marcellin Champagnat often stressed the importance of respecting children and young people and providing appropriate care for them. This commitment is reflected in the statement from the 22nd General Chapter and the new Constitutions. During the 22nd General Chapter at Rionegro, Colombia, the delegates confirmed that the Marist Institute at all levels conforms to the highest standards of “child protection, so that all our works are child safe and child friendly.” (Statement of the Marist Brothers to Victims and Survivors of Abuse, 20th October, 2017). The new Constitutions also state that, “we ensure that all our houses, educational centres and social works are places where children, young people and vulnerable adults always feel safe and respected” (Const. 59).

Standards and guidelines to assist Provinces and Districts

The document contains Standards and guidelines to assist Provinces and Districts in reviewing and updating their policies and procedures for the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is a reference for all Administrative Units in preparing or revising their own policies and procedures.

Our thanks go to the International Commission on Child Safeguarding for its work of review and updating. The commission, which began in September 2019, is made up of three brothers from the General Council: Ken McDonald (Superior General delegate for child safeguarding), Ben Consigli and Óscar Martin; and a representative group from various Regions: Br Gabriel Villa-Réal Tapias (L’Hermitage), Br Rogerio Renato Mateucci (Brazil Centro-Sul), Br Fortune Chakasara Chiedzo (Southern Africa) as well as Ms Deborah Swain (Australia), Ms Nancy Camilleri (West Central Europe), Ms Marcela Hormazabal (Santa Maria de los Andes) and Ms Qalista S. Dohny (East Asia).

At its Plenary Sessions in June 2021, the General Council studied and approved the text presented by the Commission.

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Br. Ken McDonald, General Councillor – Superior General delegate for child safeguarding

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