CONGREGATIONAL SAFEGUARDING POLICY
“Conscious that everything is interconnected, and we are all interdependent, we are invited to a greater consciousness of our responsibility both with respect to the Charism and its creative transmission.” General Chapter Orientations 2019
We, the Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy, are committed to the safety and welfare of children and vulnerable adults in each and every circumstance and situation.
We believe that human life is sacred from the moment of conception and that it is God who calls each and every person into in a special relationship with Him. Accordingly, we recognise that each human being, irrespective of age or circumstance, should be accorded the dignity and respect due to a child of God and we recognise the uniqueness of every human life. This belief and fundamental principle is echoed by our founder Fr. Jean Pierre Medaille in our Congregational documents:
Constantly enriched with the fullness of Trinitarian Love, we dedicate our lives to passing on this gift to all those to whom the Congregation sends us. (Const. #38)
As Sisters of St. Joseph of Annecy, faithful to the ideal which our Founder, Father Medaille, put before us, we aim to further God’s greatest glory by the exercise of the love of God and our neighbour (P.R.)
The Sisters of St Joseph of Annecy are present in 11 countries across the world – France; Switzerland; India; England; Ireland; Wales; Senegal; The Gambia; The Congo; Tanzania and Kenya. Each Entity has its own robust Safeguarding policy and the Sisters follow the civil, legal and ecclesial directives laid down in the countries in which they live.
The Congregation is committed to the protection of all children and vulnerable adults in our care and all those with whom we come in contact. We accept that by definition a child is anyone below the age of 18 and a vulnerable adult is someone who "by reason of an impairment or insufficiency of their personal faculties, (are) is not in a position to protect their interests". (Hague Protection of Adults Convention 2000)
We affirm that any form of abuse is intolerable and not in keeping with our vision and principles which are based on Gospel values, our Charism, Congregational texts and the teachings of the Church in this regard.
We recognise that abuse can be carried out in many forms, principally:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological/emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
Irrespective of the national or local cultural traditions of where we live and minister, as Srs of St Joseph of Annecy we will do everything in our power to ensure that all children and vulnerable adults are kept safe from all that could harm them or deny their innate dignity.
At General Leadership level we will ensure that:
each Entity in the Congregation has a robust Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, which includes the process for reporting any incidents of abuse.
these policies are to be reviewed and updated regularly.
each Sister is fully aware of the policy for her Entity and knows the process for reporting an incident of abuse.
a Designated Person with responsibility for Safeguarding is appointed in each Entity of the Congregation and she receives adequate specialist training to fulfil this role.
all women in Formation are treated in the same way as vulnerable adults with respect to the Congregation’s Safeguarding values and principles.
before a collaborative ministry is entered into, the Major Superior will ensure that the other Congregation or organisation has a Safeguarding policy in place. This is a criterion for entering into a collaborative ministry.
Safeguarding procedures are reviewed during Formal Visitation of any house.
All Congregational members are required to live in accordance with this document.
The Congregational Safeguarding Policy was adopted by the Superior General and Council on 16th July 2019. It will be reviewed in June 2022.