PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND SAFEGUARDING POLICY OFFICER

THE POSITION

The role of the Professional Standards and Safeguarding Policy Officer is to work effectively and collaboratively in serving the mission and vision of CRA.

The purpose of the Professional Standards and Safeguarding Policy Officer is to support CRA and its members by promoting a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults and holding the dignity of survivors with care and compassion. This is effected through the provision of advice and expertise to assist in shaping CRA policy and practice in professional standards and safeguarding.  Reporting directly to the National Executive Director, this role has the responsibility for recommending strategy and implementing decisions of CRA to support professional standards and safeguarding in the Church and wider society.

KEY POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Professional Standards and Safeguarding Policy Officer is accountable to the National Executive Director:

Advice:

  • Provide confidential, high-level advice on matters pertaining to professional standards and safeguarding

  • Research, request, record and analyse information from CRA members and other sources to substantiate advice and inform a strategic position

  • Keep up to date and advise on best practice developments, areas of risk and issues in professional standards and safeguarding, identified through various sources including:

    • legislative and government policy changes

    • the media

    • Church and external entities

  • Identify areas requiring development, comment or action by CRA and propose an appropriate response

  • Manage long and short-term projects that assist CRA and its members such as the Royal Commission Recommendationssuch as the Royal Commission Recommendations

Collaboration

  • Work collaboratively with other Church and government/regulatory bodies on various projects

  • Inform, advise and collaborate with key stakeholders and peers on matters of improving safeguarding, including policy and the implementation and development of best practice

  • Attend to CRA’s input into the response to the Royal Commission Recommendations.

Standards:

  • Development, management and implementation of policies, processes, resources and tools for compliance with professional standards and safeguarding standards for CRA and its members to ensure that national safeguarding standards are met.

Communication

  • Provide appropriate communications and other resources for CRA and its members including training, seminars, fact sheets and updates

  • Support CRA Professional Standards Committee/s.

Relationships:

  • National Executive Director

  • President and Council of CRA

  • Staff, committees, area networking group of CRA

  • Professional standards colleagues

  • Religious institutes

  • Bishops/dioceses and Catholic agencies

  • Government and other agencies

Key Requirements:

  • Demonstrate commitment to the mission and values of the Catholic Church.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Religious Congregations and their organisation, leadership, responsibilities and significant role within the Church

  • Demonstrated experience in a similar role or in a field with readily transferable knowledge and skills (e.g. child protection, child advocacy, or investigations experience in industrial relations or criminal law).

  • Tertiary qualifications in a discipline relevant to the role (e.g. legal, social welfare, clinical psychology, social welfare, employment/industrial relations, human relations, education, management).

  • Excellent analytical skills, strong written and verbal communication skills, the ability to confidently communicate solutions in a reasoned and practical manner.

  • Knowledge of related civil and canonical legislation, with experience in the practice of the relevant legislation and legal processes.

  • Experience in or deep understanding of case management and the conduct of investigations and inquiries and the implementation of subsequent recommendations and outcomes through care management does not form part of this role.

  • Ability to build credibility with key stakeholders.

Specific Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills, and Experience:

The Professional Standards and Safeguarding Policy Officer will be:

  • Educated to degree level (or professional equivalent) and have evidence of relevant training in safeguarding.

  • Able to demonstrate that they have the required knowledge, skills and attributes to undertake this role with competence and confidence. To this end, they should have a minimum of three years professional safeguarding or related experience obtained in a suitable professional background, e.g. social work, police, probation or health services.

  • Able to work within and be sensitive to the values, principles and ethos of the Catholic Church in all aspects of their work.

Safeguarding Knowledge:

  • Understanding of different forms of abuse and neglect and their impact on child development and vulnerable adults;

  • Ability to identify signs of abuse and neglect (including physical, sexual, emotional and financial).

Effective Communication:

  • Communicate effectively to a high standard, both orally and in writing to provide detailed reports.

  • Have the highest standards of discretion, sensitivity and appropriate practical knowledge of requirements for privacy, confidentiality, ethical practice and data protection.

  • Demonstrate respect for survivors of abuse and reflect the ethos of the Catholic Church in their approach to survivors.

  • Have effective negotiation and advocacy skills and the ability to consult with key stakeholders, partners and individuals.

Multi-agency Work:

  • Understand procedures and methods for working with multiple agencies within the Catholic Church and externally.

  • Understand civil law, canon law, local policies and procedures.

Other skills and attributes:

  • Work as part of a team as well as on their own initiative.

  • Have a high degree of self-motivation.

  • Have exceptional interpersonal skills, positive assertiveness, observation and judgement.

  • Empathise with others.

  • Engage in effective, appropriate information sharing.

Performance Measures:

Performance will be assessed having regard to:

  • Successful outcomes of the major responsibilities of the role

  • Achievement of the agreed objectives of any work plans.

Service levels and the level of satisfaction expressed by key stakeholders in respect of the individual’s performance and the collective performance of CRA.

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