We are delighted to welcome the St. James Vicariate to the Keeping Children Safe members’ network and our Keeping Victims and Survivors Safe Programme. We are really looking forward to working with them on their child safeguarding measures.
The St. James Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel is an integral part of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Vicariate gathers the Hebrew-speaking Catholics who live in Israel, with those coming from other nations, and includes local Christians and migrants.
As always, we like to post a news story about new members, and promote the organisation amongst the KCS members’ network and online following.
To publicise their KCS membership, the vicarage has made the following public announcement:
Already in 2017, in cooperation with Keeping Children Safe, St. James Vicariate for Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel, in strengthening its mechanisms for the protection of children and youth we work with, has developed a Child Safeguarding Policy to minimize the risk of harm to children and youth who are members of our communities, participants in our holiday camps or in care at our day care centres. In this process we set up a child safeguarding committee, comprised of six members who address any concern directed towards the Vicariate.
In 2018 St. James Vicariate’s child safeguarding policy paper was finalized, stamped and published. In furtherance of this policy, St. James Vicariate adopted procedures to promote prevention of child abuse, striving through awareness, good practice and training, to minimize the risks to children and take positive steps to help protect children and youth who are the subject of any concern.
During workshops in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa the staff and volunteers of St. James Vicariate not only got informed about the content of the policy paper and its implementation but also got the opportunity to discuss different points and their role in everyday situations. A great reflection process was initiated during these exchanges.
In 2019 Saint James Vicariate was able to work with ELI (the Israel Association of Child Protection). In three theatre shows, actors from ELI performed for our children and youth group performances that delt with topics such as:
- How to guard one’s body (children age 6-8 years)
- Prevention of web vulnerability (age 9-11 years)
- Sexual abuse between teenagers and abusive use of the internet (12 – 16 years)
In addition, the child safeguarding committee was able to take two group counselling sessions with an experienced therapist working at ELI in order to further sensitize for their task.
Tal Yaron, head of educational institutions and project manager in the defense department of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, assessed in 2019 the different places where St. James Vicariate is working with youth and children, giving us his recommendations on improving safety standards. Furthermore, we were able to hold a workshop with Tal in which he informed and sensitized us on safe recruitment of staff and volunteers.
Today we are excited to announce that to further develop our implementation process St. James Vicariate has partnered again with Keeping Children Safe in a one-year guiding program. We will further develop our education program for staff and volunteers, improve St. James Vicariates standard operational procedures and promote our policies and procedures among those we are taking care of! We are looking forward to a fruitful exchange of thoughts and developing ways to guard those entrusted to us, in the best and safest way!
St. James Vicariate’s policy paper can be accessed here.