Safeguarding Our Children
Feeling at Home in Woodlands
Child Protection: at Woodlands Academy, the welfare of the child is the first and paramount consideration. All children have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured, cared for and protected. Therefore, all those who collaborate in Woodlands Academy, are properly trained in accordance with the Child Safeguarding Policy of the Legion of Christ. This policy follows the standards and guidance document by the Catholic Church in Ireland, which is based both in Gospel values and civil legislation. Furthermore, Woodlands Academy works with Praesidium Inc., a leading company in abuse risk management, based in the United States of America.
The Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement are called to “Love Christ, Serve People, Build the Church.” Our various programmes have attempted to provide guidance for youth, helping them to develop their relationship with Christ and to acquire an integral formation to serve as a solid foundation for their adult lives. The fundamental principal underlying this work has been the command of the Lord, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them” (Lk 18:15).
To fulfill this mandate from our Lord, it is clear that the Church must be a protagonist in the fight to safeguard children from sexual and, indeed, all forms of abuse. As the Bishops of Ireland commented in June 2009, “Abuse represents a serious betrayal of the trust which was placed in the Church. For this we ask forgiveness. We are ashamed, humbled and repentant that our people strayed so far from their Christian ideals. That abuse has occurred within institutions of the Church is a tremendous burden for all of us and prompts us to more vigorous efforts to protect children.” As a religious congregation, we are utterly committed to supporting our Bishops.
Pope Benedict strongly encouraged this effort. Speaking at the ad limina visit of the Irish Bishops in October 2006 he said: “The wounds caused by such acts run deep, and it
is an urgent task to rebuild confidence and trust where these have been damaged. In your continuing efforts to deal effectively with this problem, it is important to establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice are fully respected and, above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes. In this way, the Church in Ireland will grow stronger and be ever more capable of giving witness to the redemptive power of the Cross of Christ.
I pray that by the grace of the Holy Spirit, this time of purification will enable all God’s people in Ireland to ‘maintain and perfect in their lives that holiness which they have received from God’ (Lumen Gentium, 40).”
Safeguarding children is an imperative for us all. Abuse of any form will not be tolerated in any way in any institution of the Legion of Christ in Ireland.
LEGION OF CHRIST SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN POLICY STATEMENT
We believe that each child or young person is created in God’s image to ‘have life in its fullness’ (John 10:10).
All children and young people have a fundamental right to be respected, nurtured, cared for and safeguarded. This right is embedded in Gospel values, in international law and in domestic law. We, in the Legion of Christ are committed to a practice which strives to protect children and young people from harm. Furthermore we are fully committed to provide a caring, supportive, safe and a truly Christian environment based on Gospel charity and the respect of the individuality of the person.
The institutions of the Legionaries of Christ collaborate with parents in the education of their children. The directors of the institutions will put in place such measures to create a safe environment conducive to the education and integral formation of the students.
All those affiliated with our institutions (members, staff and volunteers) will be properly trained in accordance with the contents of our Child Safeguarding policy and procedures and will adopt the code of conduct.
All knowledge or suspicion of abuse will reported without delay to the civil authorities.
24 Hour Supervision:
a) Students are always supervised.
b) Night Supervision. Should any student need attention, two night supervisors are always available for each group, to be woken up at any time and accessible for the student’s needs.
c) Only female staff lives in the Academy with the girls. These are members of Regnum Christi CoWorkers/Deans of Students.
d) For students’ safety the Academy is equipped with CCTV cameras, 24 hours a day.
During July 2015, The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) conducted a review of our safeguarding practice.
If you have any concerns, we invite you to come forward to us (Designated Liaison Person; Mrs. Lisa Homan, tel: 086 3210602), the NBSCCCI (01-5053124), An Garda Síochána (Inspector Declan Daly 016663430)/PSNI or TUSLA (01637300)/HSC and give contact details.