“I welcome the publication today (Monday 20th May 2013) of the 2012 Annual Report of the National Board for Safeguarding Children. The work of the Board is an important element within an overall programme of work which needs to be completed in order to provide the necessary assurances to the public, and to the statutory authorities, that appropriate safeguarding and reporting measures are in place and operating well across the Catholic Church.
The publication of a reviews into safeguarding practices in individual dioceses and religious congregations will assist in presenting a national picture of how both are engaging with the issue of child protection and the regimes in place to ensure that proper safeguarding arrangements are being applied and, more importantly, complied with.
I welcome the intention of the Board to have completed all diocesan reviews by year end and to have the task as a whole substantially completed by the end of next year. I look forward to the publication of all remaining reviews and expect that the Church authorities will engage with the Safeguarding Board in order to complete the national review process.
The review process to date has revealed evidence of good and improved practice in the development of better safeguarding structures and processes. This is to be welcomed. However, there is no room for complacency and it is imperative that the standards are fully implemented across the Church and that this continues to be validated by the Safeguarding Board.
I would also like to highlight the enormous contribution which Mr Ian Elliot, Chief Executive of the Safeguarding Board has made to the development of more effective and transparent child protection practices in the Catholic Church. The integrity and objectivity he has brought to this process have been hallmarks of the work of the Safeguarding Board and have brought great public credibility to the huge work under way to improve safeguarding practices within the church. I look forward to this work being continued to the same standard by his successor.”