If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.
It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.
If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.
If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to our safeguarding Co-ordinator Janice Pearson 0117 954 0993
What is Safeguarding?
“Being loved and being kept safe go to the very core of the Church’s Ministry to children and vulnerable adults. The work of safeguarding has to be seen within the overall mission of the Church. As she seeks to protect the vulnerable and weak, the Church needs to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’. (Micah 6:8).
It is a ministry of love and healing and seeks justice for all”.
The Cumberlege Commission 2007
In cases of emergency, or where there is an immediate threat to vulnerable people, then you should contact the police or social services. If you have any other safeguarding concern then please contact either one of the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or our Parish Safeguarding Representative.
Our Parish Safeguarding Representative is Iris White, who may be contacted at email@example.com.
Safeguarding in the Clifton Diocese
The Diocese has a Safeguarding Commission chaired by an Independent lay person with extensive experience in working with children and vulnerable adults. Other members of the Commission come from a range of relevant professional backgrounds such as Social Care, the Police, Health, Probation and Clergy. The Commission oversees and guides the work of the Safeguarding Team, ensuring the correct implementation of Policy and Procedures.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator can be contacted on 0117 954 0993 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information about safeguarding within the diocese may be found at www.cliftondiocese.com.
The parish recognises and follows the CSAS (Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service) policies and procedures and there is a rigorous process to ensure the best safeguarding practice.
Clifton Diocese is a member of the Anti-slavery Partnership, which is a multi-agency group jointly chaired by Bristol City Council, Avon and Somerset Police and the charity Unseen.
The partnership helps prevent slavery and exploitation and supports victims by raising awareness, sharing information and referring people who have been trafficked for help. The Church is often one of the few places traffickers will allow their victims to attend and as such we are in a unique position to help identify victims, report such cases and offer pastoral support.
Towards a Culture of Safeguarding
The Church has a responsibility to ensure all those who undertake work in the name of the Church are adequately trained in safeguarding matters.
The Catholic Church is dependent on Clergy, Religious and Lay people using their skills and talents to nurture and support the Catholic community. Some will be paid employees, but the majority undertake their work on a voluntary basis. Whilst some will recognise their role as a volunteer, many rightly see their caring and support contribution as part of their Christian responsibility and ministry. But we all have a role to play in safeguarding the young or adults who may be at risk.
ALL roles within parish life has mandatory training for volunteers
Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency online training for volunteers:
The modules can be found on the CSSA website www.catholicsafeguarding.org.uk (accessible via the Training Tab under Resources in the main menu)
Key things to know:
The training is for:
- entry level volunteers (e.g. a flower arranger)
- intermediate level volunteers requiring a DBS without a barred list check (e.g. a hospital visitor, parish visitor or eucharistic minister) and
- advanced level volunteers requiring both a DBS with a barring check (e.g. a music leader)
The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, CSSA, the regulatory body for the Catholic Church have a website with some very useful practice guidance and template forms. The link for this website is as follows.