Child Safeguarding Policy: Knock

Carmelite Monastery, Tranquilla,
Knock, Claremorris,
Co. Mayo. F12 AH64

Safeguarding Policy Statement for Children

The Carmelite Monastery of the Nativity, Tranquilla, is a contemplative monastery in the Parish of Knock which is home to a community of Discalced Carmelite Nuns. We follow the Safeguarding Policy of the Archdiocese of Tuam and have put in place a number of other guidelines for the Community.

Each member of our Community recognizes the importance of protecting children from every form of abuse, whether physical, emotional or sexual. The human and Christian dignity of each child is paramount and we are committed to establishing practices which respect each one and offer a safe environment for all. We aim to treat all with respect and courtesy and to avoid any inappropriate behavior or language.

Our particular way of life
As contemplative nuns we do not have any direct ministry to children. We observe papal enclosure and our contacts with people are normally confined to the door, the parlours and the chapel, from within the cloister. At times we receive groups of children preparing for 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation, and students researching school projects in religion, or wanting to know more about our way of life.

In these situations every Sister agrees on the following:

* We will not be alone with a child (an under 18 year old). If a child asks to meet a Sister, we will ask him / her to come accompanied by a parent or other adult. If for any reason, a Sister is on her own with a child, she will call another Sister to join her.
* We ensure that groups of children are accompanied by the requisite number of responsible adults, teachers or parents, as outlined in the Archdiocesan Policy.
* We ensure that the permission of the parent/guardian and/or the person is given, if there is a question of photos or videos being made of a child, or group of children at any meeting in the parlour.
* We permit no unaccompanied child to enter the enclosure.
* In the sacristy, on the few occasions when altar servers may be present, i.e. Midnight Mass at Christmas, the Easter Triduum, the Sr. Sacristan and companion will be in attendance and a book will be available to be signed and dated by the Celebrant(s), the servers and the Sr. Sacristan.
* The Prioress shall ensure that each Sister is fully aware of all aspects of our policy statement.
* This policy statement to be reviewed every three years.

What we should do if someone should come to us with a safeguarding concern:

* Listen, be respectful and supportive.
* Do not question the person, or seek to investigate the matter yourself.
* Explain that there are persons whose responsibility it is to deal with these concerns: give him/her the names and phone numbers of the persons listed on the Policy Statement.
* It is essential to encourage the concerned person to make contact with the designated persons, the Social Services contacts as listed, or the Gárda Síochána.
* Our normal practice is to observe confidentiality re personal information shared.
* However, if a person should confide a personal abuse story to a Sister, she must immediately make known to that person that she cannot keep such information confidential, but is obliged to report it.
* The Sister must inform the Community Designated Person who will report it to the appropriate authority.
* The Community Designated Person shall contact the Designated Person of the Archdiocese of Tuam, or the Tusla Area Manager, or the Gárda Síochána. All relevant information concerning the alleged abuse will be shared with the agencies as outlined in the Policy of the Archdiocese of Tuam.

Contact Details

Archdiocese of Tuam:
Fr. John O’Boyle – Designated Person 093 24166/52284 (ext 2) or
Mrs. Mary Trench – Assistant Designated Person 087 9315823

John Smyth – Service Director: 074 9197114, [email protected]
Duty Officer, Swinford, Co. Mayo: 094 9050133

An Gárda Síochána:
Dublin –   Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit: 01 6663435
Knock –   Gárda Station, Knock, Co. Mayo: 094 9388102      or
Gárda Station, Claremorris, Co. Mayo: 094 9372080
North –    PSNI: 0845 600 8000

Other useful contacts:
National Board for Safeguarding Children:
National Safeguarding Children Office: 01 5053124
National Safeguarding Children Director, Teresa Devlin: 01 5053018
Knock Counseling Service: 094 9388100
Towards Healing: 1800 303416

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