The Southern Cross : December 09
www.adelaide.catholic.org.au The Southern Cross December 2009 Page 19 news The Child Protection Of fice has been gathering information about ser v i c e s , p rograms or activities for children and young people up to the age of 18 years that exist in the Catholic Church in South Australia. This is par t of the overall approach of the Child Protection Of fice to pro m o t e the care, wellbeing and protection of children and youngpeople. Child Protection Policy Of f i c e r Madeleine Regan said 80 o r ganisations and groups were contacted in October and November. She said the Office would like to make sureit haddetails ofall organisations that work with children and young people in both the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Diocese of Por t Pirie. The infor mation that the Child P r otection Office is collecting fro m organisations and groups that work with children and/or young people includes: • What kinds of activities are provided? • How many children and/or young people are involved? • What are the ages of childre n and/or young people in your o r ganisation? • How often does the group meet? • Wheredoesthegroupmeet? • Who is the contact person? "These details will give a picture of the range of organisations and groups that cater for children and young people in the Church in South Australia," said Ms Regan. O r ganisations not yet contacted should get in touch with the Child Protection O f fice and give details of what s e r vices, programs or activities they p rov ide for children and young people. The information will be published on the Child Protection Of fice website as part of the child safe environments focus of the Policy for the Care , Wellbeing and Protection of Childre n and Young People. All parishes in South Australia are expected to implement the Policy by the end of June 2010. Ms Regan is working with deaneries and parish pastoral councils to assist with the steps involved in implementing the Policy. The Of fice has produced 'The Fast Track Guide' which outlines the kinds of actions and activities that parishes need to under take. Many aspects of the Policy have already been implemented in parishes, including: • DisplayoftheChild Protection Council Char ter in the Church • Completion of the Child Safe E n v i r onments training sessions by priests, pastoral associates, s e c retaries and other parish employees • Undertakingof police checks. The focus on the Policy brings people together in parishes to think about the ways to include the voice of childre n and young people. The Child Protection Office will pro v i d e re s o u r ces for parish pastoral council meetings and for other groups in parishes to assist with the implementation of the Policy. For further information and to providedetails ofyour organisation's activities phone Ms Regan on 8210 8159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Child Protection update Madeleine Regan Change of hear t The South Australian Upper House of Parliament has rejected a move by Greens MLC Mark Parnell to introduce voluntar y euthanasia after a vote of 11 to 9 against his bill. Ann Bressington MLC had earlier expressed suppor t for the legislation but her ultimate decision to abstain from the final vote had the potential to see the house deadlocked at 10 votes to 10 with the casting vote of the President set to see the bill pass. At the last moment, however, Liberal MLC David Ridgway made an emotional declaration that the recent death of his mother had caused him to reconsider his earlier suppor t for the bill, tipping the balance against the bill. "Mr Ridgway's speech and the circumstances surrounding his change of hear t should ser ve to remind us all of the fragile nature of our existence and the profound beauty and dignity of the human person," said Paul Russell f r om the Diocesan Family and Life office. Mr Russell said Mr Parnell would most likely re-introduce his bill in the new Parliament after the March 2010 election. "The possibility that changes to the membership of the Upper House as a result of the election will move the vote in favour of such a bill is all too real. We need to keep this in mind as the election approaches," he said.