Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all the different graces of God, put yourselves at the service of others. (1 Peter 4:10)
The safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the heart of the Church’s mission. There is no place in the Church, or indeed society, for abuse, a grievous crime which can affect people for their entire lives.
Victims come first. This has not always been the case. The Church deeply regrets all instances of sexual abuse and the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and accepts that grave mistakes were made in the past.
In December 2013, Pope Francis, who has declared there should be ‘zero tolerance’ of abuse, established a Vatican commission on the protection of minors. Last year, the Holy Father said that he wants to encourage and promote the Church’s commitment to protection and care “at every level — episcopal conferences, dioceses, institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life — to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults and to respond to their needs with fairness and mercy”.
All allegations of abuse reported to the Church in England and Wales are immediately passed on to the police. The Church works closely and cooperatively with the statutory authorities as these allegations are investigated. Following this investigation, which follows UK law, the Church conducts its own internal investigation, following Canon law.
The Church recognises the personal dignity and rights of all Vulnerable People towards whom it has a special responsibility. The Church and individual members of it undertake to take all appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all and to practice fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and adults at risk and to respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.
The Church authorities will liaise closely with statutory agencies to ensure that any allegations of abuse are promptly and properly responded to and where appropriate survivors supported and perpetrators held to account.
The Church wishes to ensure that its parishes and Religious Congregations have the confidence to enable vulnerable people to have peace of mind, knowing they will be cared for and loved by their Christian community and therefore any volunteers or Parishioners who wish to undertake certain roles in the Diocese will be required to comply with the National Safer Recruitment policy which includes completing a Disclosure and Barring Service application form , Diocesan application forms and supplying original identification documents to the local Safeguarding Representative for the Parish.
Which type of roles are subject to the Safer Recruitment Policy?
I would like to help and volunteer in my Parish how will I be recruited?
How aware are you on how to protect Children and Adults?
Sign up to FREE Online Training for ALL Members of the Catholic Community
Online Safeguarding Training – 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 Trust for England and Wales has purchased a package of e-learning programmes available to all members of the Catholic community free of charge. This is part of the Church’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding. These modules include:
Child Protection in Education
Child Exploitation & Online Safety
What do I need to do to access this training resource?
1. To register your interest please email: email@example.com
2. Your email should contain your name, the name of your parish/order/ congregation, and your role (for example: Priest; member of the Religious; Safeguarding Representative; Youth Worker; Teacher; SVP/Volunteer; Parent/Grandparent/Guardian; Other.
3. On receipt of your email the safeguarding administrator will register your email address with EduCare.
4. You will receive a welcome email from EduCare inviting you to set your password.
5. You will then have instant access to the training programmes.
Safeguarding Volunteer Handbook
CSAS have now moved the Safeguarding Volunteer Handbook online so any updates are not missed / handbooks become outdated. This includes:
- Code of practice / acceptable behaviour
- Risk assessments
- Event planning toolkit
This can be accessed via the CSAS Resource Area on the link below.
I want to plan and organise a Parish event for Groups of Children and Youths but not sure what I have to do…. See the ‘ Tool kit below’
A toolkit for planning and organising Parish or Diocesan Events and Groups for children and youth
APPLICATION FOR APPROVAL OF EVENTS AND EVENTS WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
(BY PARISH PRIEST OR LEADER OF THE ORGANISATION)
RISK ASSESSMENT FORM
PARENTAL CONSENT FOR AN ACTIVITY/EVENT
DECLARATION ON SAFEGUARDING PROCEDURES
Hiring of Church Premises for activities involving Children
What are “Church Premises”?
They include buildings and properties such as:
Church premises should give a sense of safety and security. For this reason even when they are being used by individuals or groups not normally associated with them (such as keep fit, dance groups etc), Church authorities should take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and secure environment.
Whenever there are non-parish activities involving children, young people or vulnerable adults on church premises, the Safeguarding Representative must be informed.
Where a non-parish based group uses church premises on a regular basis the Safeguarding Representative much ascertain that they have a safeguarding policy in place for their organisation, including proper recruitment procedures for their leaders and helpers and that references and DBS checks have been appropriately obtained.Evidence of this must be provided and continued use of the premises will be subject to this condition.
A written agreement should be signed by non-parish based groups using church premises detailing that EITHER they have their own safeguarding policy OR they will follow the National Procedures of the Catholic Church. Form CASE 7 Declaration on Safeguarding Procedures
If church premises are used on a casual basis or one-off basis for non-parish groups or events that involve children, young people or vulnerable elderly (e.g. parties) a written agreement is required that states:
It is a private booking;
The adults/parents organising the event will exercise a supervisory function and are responsible for safeguarding those who attend. Written Safeguarding agreement for a Hirer of Church Property
If you have any questions about Safeguarding or are concerned about a child or adult at risk then please contact the Safeguarding Team at the Diocese or your local Representative.
The local Safeguarding Representatives for the Catholic Parish of Bishop’s Stortford are:
Holy Cross at St Andrews, Much Hadham – Tracey Duhig
Most Holy Redeemer, Sawbridgeworth – Eugene Keddy
St Joseph and the English Martyrs, Bishop’s Stortford – Debbie Jackson ( St Joseph’s Parish Office Mon – Fri 9am to 3pm 01279 654063 or email http://firstname.lastname@example.org
If you believe a child or adult at risk is in immediate danger then please contact the emergency services on 999