News archive 2011, Towards Healing

Limerick Diocese announces appointment of first Director of Safeguarding Children

PRESS RELEASE

13 April 2011

Limerick Diocese announces appointment of first Director of Safeguarding Children

The Diocese of Limerick has today, Wednesday, 13 April 2011, announced the appointment of its first Director of Safeguarding Children to oversee all aspects of child protection in Church related activities throughout the Diocese.

Ger Crowley, a former Head Social Worker and Director of Child Care Services in the statutory child protection services, commenced the role in early March. Limerick Diocese, after the Archdiocese of Dublin, is only the second diocese to make such an appointment. The post was advertised on November 8th last.

Limerick Diocese has had a lay Diocesan Designated Person for the past 3 years and this role will also be taken over by Mr Crowley.

Mr Crowley will support the 60 parishes and Diocesan Agencies in all aspects of safeguarding children. The Director, in his overarching role, will ensure that a safe environment is fostered for children throughout church life.

In managing the Diocesan Safeguarding Service, the Director will be the Diocesan designated person with responsibility for receiving allegations of abuse or concerns regarding child welfare of children in any Church related activity. The Director will also be responsible for ensuring that all necessary actions are taken, including notification to An Garda Síochána and the H.S.E., as well as ensuring that help and support are made available.

Announcing the appointment, Limerick Diocesan Administrator Very Rev Tony Mullins said that it is a key element in a range of measures adopted and implemented by the Diocese in recent years to enhance child safeguarding procedures.

“This appointment underpins the seriousness with which the Diocese views the welfare of children and indicates our commitment in working with parents/carers to ensure that the welfare of children in the church is paramount.

“Ger Crowley’s expertise and experience at the highest level locally and nationally in the area of child protection is unparalleled and his appointment will build confidence in the safeguarding structures currently in place in the Diocese.

“Over recent years, the Diocese of Limerick has taken a range of measures to promote the welfare of children within the church environment.   This range of measures includes being one of the first Dioceses to have accredited “Keeping Safe Trainers” and trained parish representatives throughout the Diocese.”

Subsequent to his role as Head Social Worker and Director of Child Care Services in the statutory child protection services, Mr Crowley was the Assistant Chief Executive of the former Mid-Western Health Board and, in that capacity, represented the Health Boards on the working group which developed ‘Children First’ The National Guidelines for The Protection and Welfare of Children’.  Mr Crowley held the position of Assistant National Director of the H.S.E. until December, 2010.

Anyone with a child protection concern may contact: 

An Garda Síochána, Henry St. 061-21 24 00

HSE West, 061-48 27 92 (Office Hours)

Diocesan Designated Person 087-32 33 564 (Dedicated Mobile)

Details are on the notice board of each church

The newly appointed Director of Safeguarding Children will:

  • Report to the Diocese on the management of safeguarding children issues and the ongoing development, implementation and monitoring of appropriate structures and best practice.
  • Be responsible for planning and managing the service with particular emphasis on creating, maintaining and monitoring a safe environment for children in all aspects of Church life.
  • Act as Diocesan Designated Person: Receive and provide appropriate responses to disclosures and allegations of child abuse.
  • Formulate and implement safeguarding children policies and procedures.
  • Manage resources and budgets.
  • Work collaboratively with a range of Agencies.
  • Manage media queries.

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