24 Jun 2004

Mr Barney McNeaney, Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People said:  

"We were shocked by the tragic events that were unveiled in court during the recent case concerning Macedon Children's home".  

"We all hope that the people touched by these tragic events will receive the support they need".  

"The Commissioner believes that one of the basic duties of any society is the protection of children and young people from harm. One key element in the protection of children from harm is to ensure we have robust processes in place for vetting those who work with children and young people. Because of this, in March of this year, our office was asked by the Secretary of State, Paul Murphy to undertake a review into child protection vetting arrangements in Northern Ireland."  

The Commissioner has recently announced that the chair of the review will be Ruth Lavery.  

"The first phase is already underway," said Mr McNeany.

"One of the first tasks facing the review will be to benchmark practice in terms of vetting those who work with children against the standards proposed by Sir Michael."  

The Commissioner will, in coming months, unveil details of how children, young people, parents and organisations can  help inform the chairperson's recommendations for improving practice.  

 "We hope that our review, combined with the work of many other agencies, will improve the work undertaken to protect children on a daily basis by many individuals," said Mr McNeany.

For further information please contact the Press Office on 028 90 316397.