Dear Scouts & Scouters
Today’s Irish Times contains an article on Scouting Ireland and our safeguarding procedures.
I want to reassure all members that the safety and protection of all our members and volunteers is and always will be of paramount importance. Safeguarding procedures were implemented in Scouting Ireland before it was legally required and we are committed to informed compliance with best practices and our statutory obligations.
We have, as you are aware through your training and experience in Scouting, strong safeguarding procedures which are entirely in line with best practice, as well as required by the relevant legislation and we have statutory reporting in place. Equally we have responsibilities to the relevant statutory agencies, across this island. I can confirm that these responsibilities are strictly observed.
As is best practice we continuously review and update our procedures, in this area. These reviews are conducted both internally and by external experts. It is only by vigorously examining our safeguarding procedures that we can ensure as far as is possible, that we have robust protections in place for all members, both children and adults, in our organisation, Scouting Ireland.
As part of this continuous review process, Scouting Ireland retained a recognised expert in June 2017 to review our safeguarding procedures and report to the National Management Committee. That confidential report made recommendations for improvements in a number of areas. Some of these recommendations have already been implemented while the remainder are in the process of being done.
We welcome the comprehensive review recently undertaken and the report produced and we continue to work with the safeguarding expert on our policies and procedures, in this area.
The National Management Committee and I are fully committed to ensuring Scouting Ireland is a national leader in terms of providing a safe environment for our youth and adult members. We depend on the cooperation and work of all our members to ensure we can realise this aspiration and are appreciative of the efforts you constantly make in this important area.
Together we will continue to provide fun, challenging and safe activities for our thousands of youth members across Ireland.
Yours in Scouting