The Passionist Family Group Movement (PFGM) is committed to the principle of life-long learning and of living and working according to the highest standards of personal and professional behaviour. This relates to the areas of knowledge, competence, behaviour, dress, language, and duty of care. It is the responsibility of every person in the PFGM to contribute to a safe and enriching environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults.
There are mandated practices to be observed that require us never to be alone with a child and to report suspected abuse or neglect. More than simply conforming to the obligations required, we must always have an attitude of overriding concern to ensure the safety and well-being of every child, young person or vulnerable adult.
The Passionist Family Group Movement is committed to the following principles:
- At all times the safety, well-being and protection from any form of harm or abuse of children, youth and adults at risk are paramount.
- All people involved within the PFGM have a duty of care to support and protect children, youth, and adults at risk.
- Our recruitment, employment and supervision processes are to be of high quality in order to select and engage suitable people to work with children, youth and adults at risk.
- Education and training in recognising abuse, responding to a disclosure, and reporting an allegation is provided for all engaged in working with children, youth and adults at risk, either directly or indirectly.
- If there is suspicion that a child, youth, or adult at risk is subject to some form of harm or abuse there will be immediate intervention ensuring the person is protected and supported.
- A prompt compassionate and just response is made on receiving any complaint or notification of harm or abuse (current or historic).
- Care is offered to the family of the child or person who may have suffered harm.
- Persons involved in an allegation of abuse will be treated with justice and compassion and have appropriate confidentiality maintained.
Passionist Family Groups within a local parish fall under Archdiocesan or Diocesan Safeguarding requirements and are the responsibility of each parish. Please refer to the responsible Parish Safeguarding officer in your parish regarding their responsibility to manage any risk of abuse or discrimination to children or adults at risk.
Commonly asked Questions from Parishes
Q. Do Passionist Family Groups fall under Parish/Archdiocesan safeguarding volunteer requirements – whereby all volunteer/leader onboarding, training, organising, and formation is managed by the parish, or is this a Passionist responsibility?
A. PFG’s within a local Parish fall under the Archdiocesan or Diocesan Safeguarding requirements, which are managed by the local parish. Safeguarding training for this is the same as for any other parish-based ministry and is a parish responsibility. When Passionist Family Group personnel attend a parish to assist local PFG’s, they operate under the Passionist Code of Conduct and Safeguarding requirements while maintaining the standards of the local parish.
Q. Are individual Family Groups expected to have outlined a risk assessment of their regular activities/gatherings? Where does the liability reside if an injury or incident occurs during a Passionist Family Group gathering – with the individual householder, the parish, or the Passionists?
A. These activities would come under the normal risk assessment response to a parish activity. Liability resides with the parish because it is a parish-based activity. Liability for a householder hosting a parish-based activity would need to be assessed and clearly communicated under the parish liability policy. If the parish does not accept liability, parishioners involved (in the PFGM) need to be advised.
Q, Does the Passionist Family Group Movement provide training in how to support vulnerable people (adults at risk) who may be part of the group (i.e., people with mental illness, elderly/infirm people etc and minors)?
A. Training in these areas is the responsibility of the parish – as it is for other parish ministries. Where there are the needs/special circumstances we would advise sensitivity and informed ‘helpful hints’ among group members. Professional guidance should be obtained when necessary. The Movement is not licensed to provide specific training for parish-based members.