The webinar series will focus on how safeguarding professionals are reaching out to members of the community, especially victims.
ROME, May 26, 2020 – The Catholic Church and other faith-based organisations will be encouraged to continue with safeguarding programmes despite the expected COVID-19 recession in a webinar hosted by the International Safeguarding Conference (ISC) Steering Committee. It’s the first in a series of webinars aimed at strengthening safeguarding good practice across the globe.
Concern about potential cuts to safeguarding programmes come as a result of a funding crunch due to the severe economic hardship brought about by Coronavirus. Fr Hans Zollner, a member of the ISC Steering Committee, says: “COVID-19 presents challenges across the board for all organisations, including the Church. Church leaders have invested many resources in safeguarding programmes. As organisations are under pressure, the temptation may rise to make cuts across the board. But we cannot afford to treat our investment in child safety as though it was any other social or educational activity.”
Media reports indicate a rise in violence against children and an increase in domestic violence in recent weeks. The UN Secretary General said the health crisis caused by COVID-19 is quickly becoming a child rights crisis and safeguarding professionals have expressed concerns that home is not safe for everyone. The first webinar, which will take place on Friday 29 May at 3pm CEST, will focus on how the Church is meeting its safeguarding responsibilities during the pandemic and will give particular attention to the way victims are experiencing this challenging time.
Tina Campbell, another member of the ISC Steering Committee says: “This series of webinars will create a platform for safeguarding professionals across the globe to benefit and learn from one another’s expertise and experience. Encouraging dialogue and discourse will help ensure safeguarding remains on top of the Church’s agenda.”
The webinars called, A Safer Church, aim to enable safeguarding professionals to share good practice in safeguarding, both in the current circumstances and in ‘normal’ times. In each webinar, ISC will partner with various safeguarding experts for a live discussion and a question and answer session. Professionals interested to join can register at bit.ly/RegisterISC1.
The ISC Steering Committee offers training and formation to people working in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. ISC’s aim is to keep safeguarding on top of the agenda of organisations and to ensure that every organisation aims to achieve excellence in its service delivery to children and vulnerable adults around the world.
The Members of the Steering Committee are:
Dr Alessandra Campo– Network Coordinator, Centre for Child Protection (PUG) Mr Andrew Azzopardi – Coordinator of the Vatican Safeguarding Taskforce and Head of Safeguarding Commission, Maltese Ecclesiastical Province Fr Hans Zollner SJ – President, Centre for Child Protection (PUG) and Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors Mr Simon Davies – Director of Professional Standards, Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Australia Ms Tina Campbell – National Safeguarding Coordinator, Catholic Bishops’ Conference Scotland