Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs

Governance and Child Safeguarding Issues in Scouting Ireland: Tusla and Scouting Ireland

10:00 am

Mr. Jim Gibson:

I believe that we have shown empathy with regard to that situation, which was not of our doing. We also need to reaffirm with parents that they must assure themselves there are good safeguarding measures in place where their child is going. The ultimate responsibility lies with parents and with organisations to ensure there are good safeguarding measures in place in order that children will not be harmed. This is a big question for all of us in society. If a parent or guardian is letting a child, or a niece or a nephew off to an activity then the adult needs to be clear that despite having all the policies and best practice in place, those who are intent on harming children can get themselves into positions to do that. It must be at the forefront of everybody's mind to ask those clear questions. We say this to all organisations. This is not just about Scouting Ireland. Any organisation that provides services for children needs to do its utmost to protect them. We need to make that distinction. It is not just about Scouting Ireland. It applies to all other organisations in our communities that provide such services.

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