The Sisters of St. Louis are inspired by their founder Louis Bautain’s vision of a world healed, unified and transformed, and are committed to transforming injustices and promoting peace and reconciliation. As health care providers, educators and community/pastoral workers they commit themselves to the all-round development and care of children and vulnerable adults. They do this by respecting, promoting and adhering to their Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults’ Guidelines and promoting the vision in all their places of ministry throughout the Institute.
Sisters of St. Louis believe that:
- A caring and supportive environment where children and vulnerable adults are listened to, treated fairly, taken seriously and feel safe is of utmost importance in all circumstances.
- Each child and vulnerable adult is cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity and bodily integrity.
- The best interest and welfare of the child and vulnerable adult will be paramount at all times and in any matter concerning a child or vulnerable adult.
- All members of the Institute and the staff who work with them in ministry have an obligation to ensure that the fundamental rights of children and vulnerable adults are respected.
- There must be zero tolerance for the exploitation and abuse of children and vulnerable adults.
These guiding principles inform their policy which draws on the guidance of the Catholic Church as well as on other relevant documents/legislation in the parts of the world where they minister and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which outlines forty-two fundamental rights.
Child Safeguarding in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Sisters of St Louis respect, promote and adhere to the Policy and Procedures of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCI). We signed up to these in June 2016. We promote the NBSCCI policy among our sisters and in all our places of ministry throughout the Region and have developed guiding principles:
- Each child is cherished and affirmed as a gift from God with an inherent right to dignity and bodily integrity.
- All members of our Region and the staff who work with us in ministry have an obligation to ensure that the fundamental rights of children are respected.
- The welfare of children is paramount at all times for Sisters of St Louis.
These guiding principles inform our policies, which draw on the standards and guidance of the NBSCCI, as well as on other relevant legislation for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. No Sister engages in behaviour that could allow any abuse to occur, or actions that could be misinterpreted by children, their families or other adults as constituting or leading to abuse. We are committed to ensuring that each of the members of the Region is aware of, and complies with, this obligation. A self-audit of practice is conducted annually, records are kept, and the National Office is informed by the Regional Leader.