Commission set up for Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults

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Commission set up for Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable AdultsThe Commission for the Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults, which falls under the responsibility of the Maltese Episcopal Conference, will be made up of five members, the Curia announced today.

These are: Andrew Azzopardi, who will be the Head of the Safeguarding Commission, Dott. Roberta Attard, Dr Kevin Borg, Fr Antoine Farrugia S.D.B and Clarissa Sammut Scerri. Two other persons, Dr Joseph Sammut and Ms Mariella Fenech Pace, will have the role of legal consultant and administrator, respectively.

Andrew Azzopardi is a qualified social worker and specialises in safeguarding children. He worked in the public sector as a practitioner and manager, where he completed complex child protection investigations and worked with asylum-seeking children. He previously worked with the NSPCC where he completed risk assessments and offered therapy in child sexual abuse cases with both victims and sex offenders. More recently he headed the safeguarding investigations team at the Football Association in England. Andrew holds a post graduate degree in international politics and human rights from City University London. Andrew is the Head of the Safeguarding Commission.

Dott. Roberta Attard is a chartered clinical psychologist and social worker with training in Applied Systemic Theory. She has extensive experience in the field of child and adolescent clinical disorders, child psychotherapy, child forensic psychology, child protection and child abuse investigation. Roberta has practiced in a variety of settings specialising in the use of drawings, play, and psychotherapeutic techniques in individual and group psychotherapy with traumatised children and adolescents. She provides supervision and consultation to other professionals and institutions and delivers training workshops focusing on creative ways of working therapeutically with children suffering from psychological, behavioural and social difficulties. She is a full-time lecturer with the Department of Counselling and a consultant for various State boards and State run programs seeking to provide aid to vulnerable minors.

Dr Kevin Borg graduated as a medical doctor in 2006 and has been specialising in paediatrics since 2008 where he developed a special interest in safeguarding children. Over the past year he completed training abroad under the supervision of leading experts at University College London Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. The training has been recognised by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. He assessed a number of children where an allegation of child maltreatment, particularly child sexual abuse, was made. He has published material related to safeguarding children in both local and international journals. Kevin is currently reading an MSc in child health with Warwick University with a focus on safeguarding children.

Fr Antoine Farrugia S.D.B. is a Salesian educator and registered social worker, Fr Antoine works with young people and families in difficult situations, specialising in residential services for youth and children without parental care. Having trained locally and in Europe, he worked with NGOs, educational institutions and government entities in Malta, Ireland and Brussels, at service delivery, management and policy levels. Fr Antoine is qualified in the supervision and training of social workers, care workers and volunteers providing services for young people in difficult situations. Having graduated with an MSc in Child Protection and Welfare from Trinity College, Dublin in 2011, he is currently serving as Chaplain of MCAST and Rector of the Salesian Community in Senglea.

Clarissa Sammut is a warranted Counselling Psychologist, a registered Family Therapist, and a qualified Systemic supervisor. She is a full time academic member of the Department of Family Studies at the University of Malta. She is reading for a PhD at the University of Surrey. Before joining the University of Malta’s Department of Family Studies, she worked for several years in the social welfare field. She previously was the Head and clinical supervisor of the Family Therapy and Psychological Services, within Appogg. Her clinical expertise includes working with individuals, couples, family work and professional supervision. Her main interests lie in the study of attachment and psychological trauma especially the study of domestic violence and abuse in families.

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