Today some members of the adult safeguarding panels in the Republic of Ireland met online to do refresher training.
All adults have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected from harm or the risk of harm. These basic rights are embedded in both our gospel values and within international and domestic laws.
However abuse does still occur. The 2018 Annual Report of the HSE National Safeguarding Office reported 11,780 adult safeguarding concerns, the highest annual rate reported by the Office to date, and a 14% increase from 2017. A report recent commissioned by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) together with Safeguarding Ireland in October found that 20% of adults have experienced financial abuse.
The Church of Ireland adult safeguarding policy was adopted in April 2018. It is a set of principles and practice guidelines that inform our dealings with all of those we meet in the course of our ministry. We need this to help create a safer environment for everyone and so that we know how to respond to concerns.
Definitions as to what is meant by vulnerable adults or adults in need of protection are really important and these can be found on the website in the adult safeguarding sections, here for the Republic of Ireland and here for Northern Ireland.
Each diocese has an Adult Safeguarding Panel in place to support anyone who has any concerns and they liaise closely with the Safeguarding Officers.
If you have a concern the panels can be contacted by email and their details are available in each diocese. Alternatively you can contact the Safeguarding Officers, details can be found in the contact section of the website.
It is the policy of the Church of Ireland to safeguard all adults sharing in its ministry and to protect them from all forms of harm and abuse and the church commits itself to promoting a culture of zero tolerance of harm to adults.
Adult safeguarding is everyone’s business. For further information please see the Church of Ireland Adult Safeguarding policies on our website.