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Child protection procedures audited

The Jesuits in Ireland were one of eight male orders who invited the The National Board for Child Protection in the Catholic Church (NBSCCCI) to audit its child protection procedures. In April of this year, two members of the board, including the CEO Teresa Devlin, spent two days reviewing files and procedures and speaking to relevant parties. They issued their overall report on Wednesday 9 September.

The report regarding the Jesuits was published on the Jesuit website the same morning along with a statement (read here) from the Province apologising once again to survivors of abuse and welcoming the recommendations of the report which are currently being implemented.

The reviewers found that the Jesuits had no outstanding allegations to report to Gardaí and this was the same for all the orders audited. They noted that Gardaí were happy with their contact and communication with the Jesuits in the area of child protection.

One of the Board’s nine recommendations was that record keeping in future be consolidated and assembled according to the NBSCCCI template. Another was that the Provincial should consider separating  his Advisory Panel on Child Protection from the Safeguarding Committee. They also requested that a whistleblowing policy be developed and that all Jesuits and staff be inducted in its use.

They NBSCCI reviewers audited the orders on the basis of how satisfactory their child protection procedures have been since 1975.  They assessed the handling of allegations and the implementation of child protection policies. In this regard the report has helped the Irish Province to assess objectively its past performance in the area of child protection and has provided it with an objective template for future development.