Summary Report: Trustees’ Safeguarding Committee Monday 2nd October 2023 & Wednesday 29th November 2023

October 2, 2023

Jesuits in Britain

Trust for Roman Catholic Purposes

Trustees Meeting Saturday 9th December 2023

 

Summary Report:  Trustees’ Safeguarding Committee Monday 2nd October 2023 & Wednesday 29th  November2023.

 

1. Introductions: October Meeting: This was the first meeting Fr Peter Gallagher SJ attended in his capacity as Provincial. Apologies were received from Fiona Bateman and Nadra Gadeed. Jim Gallagher gave apologies for lateness.

November Meeting: All committee members were in attendance. Fr Provincial attended the whole of the meeting.

 

2. Safeguarding Manager’s Items: Julie Ashby-Ellis briefed the two Committee meetings on the following matters she had been engaged with:

Matters covered at conference of the CSSA in England and Wales including presentation from the DBS and the annual safeguarding conference in Scotland. Julie is participating in a number of CSSA working groups engaged in renewing CSSA guidance and processes. This work means it is unlikely that CSSA will be auditing the Province’s safeguarding process until much later in 2024.

Julie attended the network meeting of European Jesuit safeguarding co-ordinators in Paris where the matter of responding to Spiritual Abuse was discussed.

She provided training to the Novices and undertook visits with the communities in Glasgow and Preston.

An issue has arisen on arrangements and agreements with organisations who use parish halls for external groups. This arose as a result of an ongoing police investigation. As a result, Tom Acland is reviewing agreements and ensuring that all responsible for hall hires (formal and informal) are equipped with a suitable agreement.

In the summer term Julie supported the coordinator at St John’s Beaumont and engaged with a number of other school coordinators. In the autumn term there hasn’t been any engagement with schools but visits are planned for the next term.

3. DBS Checks: KWB produced a report to the October meeting. This prompted a discussion regarding checks relating to novices and seeking recognition by DBS of their eligibility for checks given their pastoral experiments (assignments). There are no outstanding checks amongst current Jesuits and employees. Working is ongoing to respond to the recent requirement that all spiritual directors including associates who engage in spiritual accompaniment will require DBS checks. The province is notifying associates who are not employees but are akin to freelancers who receive referrals or are engaged occasionally to support this work. It was noted that this will take time to complete and the DBS service appreciates this.

 

4. Victim/Survivor Case Work:

NG & JAE reported on actions to support 4victim/survivors. Relevant support and contacts are being progressed in all instances.

 

5. Safety Management Plans: The committee received an update on the review of the one remaining safety management plan which remains unamended. There are no changes to notify to Trustees.

 

6. Spiritual Abuse:  As reported previously a working group has been established.  It has now met on three occasions and its next meeting will be on 19th December.  Draft definitions and guidance have been produces. At the November meeting the Committee provided some helpful commentary which will be included within the deliberations of the working group. It is likely to take another couple of meetings to conclude the work and provide its conclusions to the Provincial.

 

7. Other Business: The Committee noted this was the last meeting which Fr Damian Howard SJ will attend as Provincial as his tenure draws to a close at the end of August. Thanks were extended to him for his fulsome support and leadership in promoting positive safeguarding practices across the works of the Province and in collaboration with Jesuit Schools. Fr Damian, in turn, thanked the Committee for supporting him and and the province in its safeguarding endeavours.

Agreed steps for providing induction materials and briefings for Fr Peter Gallagher SJ as he assumes the mantle of Provincial from September 1st.  The Chair undertook the first briefing with Fr Damian on 30th August. In October he will receive further briefings from DS and JAE and he intends to attend the next Committee meeting.

 

Next Meeting of the Safeguarding Committee: Thursday 25th January 2023.

 

James Reilly, Chair Trustees’ Safeguarding Committee

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