Our Policies

Child Safeguarding Statement

Last updated on 12/10/2022

This statement has been prepared to comply with the requirements of the Children First Act2015 and is derived from Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for the Catholic Church inIreland 2016. The policy of the Catholic Church in Ireland is based on standards of practicewhich contain indicators that assist in reaching these standards. These indicators can be usedin assessing and managing risk.
As a lay organisation of missionaries that serves the Catholic Church in Ireland, we recognise and uphold the dignity and rights of all children regardless of race, religion, ability, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, are committed to ensuring their safety and well-being and will work in partnership with parents/ guardians to do this. We recognise each child as a gift from God, and we value and encourage the participation of children in all activities that enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.
All NET Ministries staff and volunteers have a responsibility to safeguard children through promoting their welfare, health and development in a safe and caring environment that supports their best interests and prevents abuse.
Nature of service and principles to safeguard children from harm
As defined in the Children First Act 2015, “harm” means, in relation to a child (a) assault, ill-treatment, or neglect of the child in a manner that seriously affects of is likely to seriously affect the child’s health, development, or welfare, or (b) sexual abuse of the child, whether caused by a single act, omission or circumstance or a series or combination of acts, omissions, or circumstances, or otherwise.
NET Ministries, as a lay organisation of missionaries that serves the Catholic Church in Ireland, exists to encourage young people to love Jesus and embrace the life of the Church. This is done through hosting retreats and youth clubs with primary- and secondary-school-aged children, during which young adult volunteers facilitate small group discussions, deliver large group presentations, plan retreats, deliver brief faith sharings, liturgy planning, lead and participate in music and skit activities in schools and parishes throughout Ireland during the school year. Safeguarding children includes all the work of NET since we serve in youth ministry with children, as defined in Safeguarding Children Policy and Standards for theCatholic Church in Ireland 2016 and implemented in our own policies and training.
As outlined in the Safeguarding Children 2016 Policy and Standards for the CatholicChurch in Ireland and implemented in our own policies and training we are committed tothe following principles in all aspects of our ministry:
Mandatory reporting:
  • Each of us has a duty to notify the statutory authorities of suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations that a child is being or has been abused physically, emotionally, sexually, through neglect.
  • Suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations may relate to possible abuse by amember of Church or NET Ministries personnel, but they can also relate to incidents inthe child’s family, or elsewhere in the community.
Caring for the welfare of all children and the adults who work with them:
Measures to create and maintain environments that are safe for children, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church and within NET Ministries for children and the adults who work with them, will continue to be strengthened and reviewed. This will be done through training, support, communications and quality assurance.
Responding appropriately to child protection suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations:
Anyone who brings any suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or past abuse of a child to the notice of NET Ministries will be responded to sensitively, respectfully, actively and in a timely manner, in line with statutory child protection procedures and Church requirements.
All suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations that reach the threshold for reporting to the statutory authorities will be reported to the appropriate statutory authorities. This will be done irrespective of the status of the person(lay, cleric or religious) who is suspected of having been abusive to a child. If the allegation relates to a lay member of Church personnel, in addition to notifying the statutory authorities, the allegation must be reported to the Church authority. If the allegation relates to a cleric or religious, in addition to notifying the statutory authorities, the allegation must also be reported to the Church authority and the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
All NET Ministries volunteers and staff will cooperate with the statutory authorities in all cases.
In responding to complaints of child sexual abuse relating to clergy and all those in forms of consecrated life or relating to NET Ministries volunteers and staff, NET Ministries will act in accordance with the requirements of civil law and canon law, and so will respect the rights and uphold the safeguards afforded in these, both to the complainant and respondent.
Caring pastorally for complainants and other affected persons.
Those who have suffered child abuse by NET Ministries volunteers or staff will receive a compassionate and just response, and will be offered appropriate pastoral care, counselling and support as they seek to rebuild their lives. Inappropriate pastoral response to the family, parish, congregation or and to the wider community will be provided, with due regard to the right of privacy of those directly involved, and to the administration of justice.
Caring pastorally for respondents and other affected persons.
NET Ministries in its response to suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations of child sexual abuse will respect the rights under civil law and canon law of an accused cleric or religious or other Church personnel. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and internal inquiry processes. As the processes develop, additional assessment, therapy and support services may be offered to the respondent.
NET Ministries will take responsibility for ensuring that any volunteer or staff member who is considered to constitute a danger to children is managed according to a risk management plan.
All requisite steps will be taken to restore the good name and reputation of anyone who has been wrongly accused of abusing a child.Respondents belong to families and diocesan or religious communities.
NET Ministries will be mindful of the need to provide support to members of families and communities affected by the respondent’s changed situation.
Designated Liaison Person/Relevant Person
In the event of a child safeguarding concern, please contact Teallia Gorman, NET Ministries DLP and Relevant Person under the Children First Act 2015.
mobile: 083 207 0047
office: 074 919 0606
email: teallia@netministries.ie
The head office of NET Ministries is located at:
College Court
Main Street
Co Donegal
Risk Assessment
The table below sets out the identified risks to the safety of children and young people involved in activities organised by NET Ministries Ireland and the steps taken to minimise the risks of abuse.
Risk Identified
Procedure in Place to Manage Risk Identified
Risk of harm (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) of a child by NET Ministries staff or volunteers.
Procedures for recruitment and training of volunteers and staff.
Risk of harm through bullying (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) of a child by NET Ministries staff or volunteers or peers.
Procedures for creating and maintaining safeenvironments

NET Ministries Ireland is a charity registered in Ireland (no.17982) and the UK (no.107461).
The registered offices are at College Court, Lower Main Street, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal 
and De Montford House, 5 Clarendon Street Lower, Derry.