Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew RC church
Safeguarding policy statement
Every human being has a value which we acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. We believe therefore that all people should be valued, supported and protected from harm. We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable people towards whom the Church has a special responsibility.
The church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew will undertake appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all, by practising fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and adults and responding sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm. This is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults, caring for those hurt by abuse and ministering to and robustly managing those who have caused harm.
The church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew as part of the Catholic Church of England and Wales, is committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church and affirm a ‘One Church’ approach to safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk through the promotion of a sustained culture of constant vigilance. The ‘best interests’ or ‘paramount chief principle’, which underpins and is enshrined in child and adult protection legislation, shall be the primary consideration in all matters of safeguarding. This ‘One Church’ approach will also be adopted by lay associations of the faithful ministering to children and adults at risk in the name of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has in place a National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC), which is an independent body working within the framework of the Church in England and Wales. It is mandated by the Conference of Bishops and Conference of Religious Congregations and has accountability across Dioceses and Religious Congregations to ensure that standards are met and policies are implemented. Established in 2008, the NCSC sets the strategic direction of the Church’s safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults at risk. It is also responsible for developing quality assurance processes which includes monitoring and auditing the compliance of our church with safeguarding procedures. The NCSC is leading on the development of pastoral support services on a national basis and is informed by the Survivor Advisory Panel which it has established to ensure that the voices of survivors and victims of abuse informs the work of the NCSC.
The church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew will always report allegations of abuse to our Diocesan Safeguarding team in accordance with national procedures to ensure that they are dealt with promptly and properly, and where appropriate, perpetrators are held to account.
If a person working or volunteering in the Parish becomes aware that a child or adult has been harmed or is at immediate risk of harm, they should inform the emergency services by calling 999 and, if safe to do so, take steps to prevent harm or further harm to that child or adult.
The Diocesan Safeguarding team on behalf of our church will act in an open, transparent and accountable way in working in partnership with social care services, the Police, health agencies, probation services and other relevant agencies to safeguard children and adults at risk and assist in bringing to justice anyone who has committed an offence against a child or adult.
The church of Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew seeks to ensure that anyone acting on behalf of our church have the confidence to enable vulnerable people to have peace of mind, knowing they will be cared for and loved by our Christian community.
We have arrangements in place through our Diocesan Safeguarding Team which include:
- Procedures to respond to and report concerns and allegations
- Codes of conduct
- Safer recruitment procedures
- Creation of a safe environment procedures (including activity risk assessments)
- Information sharing arrangements
- Support and supervision of staff and volunteers
- Training on safeguarding
- Promoting a “Culture of Safeguarding” through online training (EduCare) and safeguarding brochures and leaflets
Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service https://www.csas.uk.net/
National Catholic Safeguarding Commission www.catholicsafeguarding.org.uk
The Parish safeguarding representatives are:
Trish Bonnett email@example.com and
Maria Greene firstname.lastname@example.org
 The One Church approach refers to the commitment by the Church in England and Wales to using the same policies, procedures, standards and systems in relation to safeguarding.
EduCare (now part of Tes) leaflets can also be downloaded from our website at https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/hitchin/diocese/safeguarding-in-our-parishes/
5/8/2021 Safeguarding Summer Newsletter
The “Elliott Report” an independent review of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements https://www.cbcew.org.uk/independent-safeguarding-review-published/ has advised about the establishment of the “Independent Catholic Project”, a group of professionals who are working for the implementation of structural changes required to enhance the safeguarding services across the catholic church in England and Wales.
The group is publishing a bi-weekly newsletter to inform about the progresses and achievements of the work carried out and you can now find all newsletters uploaded on the RCDOW website by clicking on this link https://rcdow.org.uk/safeguarding/safeguarding-newsletter/
Please find below
Statements from the Bishops’ Conference and the Cardinal on Safeguarding
Elliott Report published – an independent review of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements
PRAYERS FOR THE VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE
(Prayers promoted by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors)
Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for all of your children, especially the smallest and most vulnerable, we entrust to you the lives of the many children and vulnerable adults, who have been sexually abused, and whose trust and innocence have been destroyed. Help us to hear their cries of pain and to take responsibility for so many broken lives.
We pray that within their communities and families they may find understanding and support so that with the help of your grace their wounds may be healed, and they may again know peace.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who shared our weakness in all things but sin, and lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.
Video from Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Statement on the Publication of the IICSA Report
The Catholic Church in England and Wales welcomes the Report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse relating to the institutional response of the Church in its duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
We thank the IICSA Panel for their work. The Report will now inform the ongoing reform and improvement of safeguarding in all aspects of the Church’s life.
An important aspect of the Inquiry’s work was the voice given to victims and survivors of abuse, including the accounts which they gave of their subsequent engagement with the Church. Listening attentively to their witness testimony has brought into sharp relief the extent of the damage this sexual abuse has had on their lives.
We apologise to all victims and survivors who have not been properly listened to, or properly supported by us. By listening with humility to those who have suffered, we can contribute to the healing of the wounds of abuse, as well as learn from those most directly affected how we must improve the Church’s safeguarding standards, policies and procedures.
This is an ongoing task and one to which we are wholly committed. Child sexual abuse is a crime. It is a crime that requires committed vigilance and strict procedures to ensure reporting to the statutory authorities. This is the Church’s policy. It is also why our safeguarding work needs to be continually reviewed and improved. Where there have been failings and inconsistency in the application of our safeguarding procedures, we acknowledge these and commit to actions which will bring about improvement.
Abuse is an evil act against the most vulnerable; it must never be excused or covered up. Abuse committed against children and the consequent damage to people’s lives cannot be undone. For this, we apologise without reservation, and we are committed to listen attentively to the voices of those who have been abused.
This report is an important moment in our safeguarding journey in the Catholic Church in our countries. It will now be considered in detail by us, the Bishops, at our Plenary Assembly beginning next week so we can explore how to integrate the findings of this important Inquiry into the life and work of the Church in order to consistently safeguard children and the vulnerable.
Vincent Cardinal Nichols
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP
For details of the leaflet below click on NCSC Abuse leaflet 2019 Co-Ordinator MASTER
For details of the leaflet below click on NCSC Respond Listen Support MASTER
Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England or the Catholic Church in England and Wales. For full details go to https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/our-work/safeguarding/safe-spaces-project/
Telephone, Live Chat, Email and Website
From Tuesday 29 September 2020, a telephone helpline and live chat facility is available from Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm, apart from Thursdays when the service is open 12 – 8pm.
0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times)
Thames Valley Partnership with Hestia and the Vodafone Foundation to launch Bright Sky, the first mobile phone app to provide a UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services. You can find the details and the app here. You may find it useful
11/6/2020 Safeguarding news
Charity, Victim Support, to run Church support service for survivors of abuse
Victim Support has been awarded the contract to manage Safe Spaces, a joint Anglican and Catholic project to provide a vital support service for survivors of church-related abuse.
Free safeguarding training available to all members of the Catholic Community!
The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) has worked with Educare to provide an online, interactive E-Learning safeguarding course which is now available to all in the Catholic Church. If you have a role (voluntary or paid) working with children/adults at risk or have an interest in safeguarding, the online training is a great opportunity to learn how to better protect children/ adults at risk in your care and community.
How can we ensure that everyone working with the young and adults who may be at risk have a basic awareness of safeguarding matters?
By providing an opportunity for individuals to access online training on a variety of topics at a time and place that suits them. EduCare’s training programmes can help individuals familiarise themselves with safeguarding matters, helping to create a nurturing and safer environment. The course includes The Child Exploitation & Online Safety programme which helps us to better understand how children and young people use technology and the associated risks.
How are the programmes made up?
Each programme is modular and divided up into a bite-sized format. You will need internet access to launch the programme and save your progress.
What do I need to do to access this training resource?
1. Email email@example.com
2. Your email should contain your name, email address, the name of your parish/order/congregation, and your role. For example: Priest, Member of the Religious, Safeguarding Representative, Youth Worker, Teacher, SVP or Other Volunteers, Parent/Grandparent/Guardian, or Other.
3. On receipt of your email the safeguarding administrator will register your email address with EduCare / Tes Develop.
4. You will receive a Welcome email from EduCare where you will set your password.
For more information please ask for a brochure from your safeguarding rep Trish Bonnett