Every human being has a value and dignity which we as Catholics acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. This implies a duty to value all people and therefore to support them and protect them from harm.
In the Salisbury Catholic churches this is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults; supporting families under stress; caring for those hurt or alienated by abuse in the past as well as ministering to and managing those who have caused harm.
It is because of these varied ministries that we need to provide a safe environment for all which promotes and supports their wellbeing. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and responding robustly where concerns arise.
Everyone has a responsibility for safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of vulnerable people. In England & Wales overall responsibility sits with the Bishops Conference and the Conference of Religious.
Following the release of “Safeguarding with Confidence,” the report of the Cumberlege Commission in 2007, a National Catholic Safeguarding Commission was established. This reports directly to the Conference of Bishops and the Conference of Religious. The Commission also oversees and manages the work of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service. This (CSAS) is the National Office with responsibility for developing and supporting the implementation of National Policies and Procedures. It has a primary role in supporting and advising Diocesan Safeguarding arrangements. The National Office meets regularly with Safeguarding Co-ordinators and Officers from the Dioceses in order to improve consistency of practice and identify learning and development needs.
Our Bishop is responsible for safeguarding issues in our Diocese. He delegates responsibility via the Trustees to the Safeguarding Commission. The Safeguarding Commission, together with the Bishop, appoint a Safeguarding Co-ordinator, and Safeguarding Officer. The Commission is accountable to the Bishop and advise him on policy implementation and best practice. The Co-ordinator and Officer report to the Commission and are accountable to the Bishop via the Commission. (Link to Clifton Diocese Safeguarding)
The Parish Safeguarding Representative is responsible for making sure the Parish is aware of the importance of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; promoting good and safe practice, including what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. As a parish we are required to carry out Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks of individuals whose employment or voluntary role may bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults. Our Parish Safeguarding representatives [Details Here] can answer any questions with regards to these checks and will help you to complete all necessary paperwork.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps organisations make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). A large number of our volunteers have undergone DBS checks as have all of our clergy and employees.
As a parish, we are required to carry out DBS checks on any individuals over the age of 16 whose employment or voluntary role may bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults. So, for example, those taking communion into the homes of elderly parishioners are required to undergo a DBS check as are our sacristans because they are in regular contact with our altar servers. If you have questions about the DBS process or need assistance filling in the application form, contact your Parish Safeguarding Representative.
NEVER discuss this with the person who you think is the abuser. If you have witnessed abuse or received an allegation of abuse where a child is in immediate danger you must inform the Statutory Authorities (Police/Social Services). You should then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator/Officer that you have done this. If you think there is no immediate danger you must report the allegation to the Co-ordinator/Officer immediately, who will then inform the Statutory Authorities.
“Grooming” is a process undertaken by those seeking to perpetrate sexual abuse. This can take months, sometimes years, and will almost inevitably involve grooming of parents/carers. In its early stages, grooming may be misinterpreted as kindness or helpfulness, while latterly it tends to become increasingly coercive and manipulative.