If you need to contact our Safeguarding Representative, Jan Hughes
If it is urgent then call Jan on her mobile, 07719 012955
All Parish Groups involving young people should have this number to hand
In an emergency/if a child or vulnerable person is at immediate risk always call 999
Why is Safeguarding Important to the Church?
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 Catholic Church, this is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults; supporting families under stress; caring for those hurt by abuse in the past; 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 well being. This will include carefully selecting and appointing those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults and responding robustly where concerns arise.
What Should You Do if You think a Vulnerable Person is at Risk or is Being Abused?
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.
If you think that someone is being groomed, discuss the issue with the St Joseph's Safeguarding Representative or the Diocesan Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Officer who will agree with you what action to take. “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.
Your Local Safeguarding Representative and Diocesan Co-ordinator
Each Parish has a Safeguarding representative who is responsible for:
1. making sure the Parish is aware of the importance of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults;
2. promoting good and safe practice, including what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour;
3. deciding how to administer the National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures within the Parish (alongside their Parish Priest and the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Officer).
What Should You Do If You Want to Become a Volunteer?
There is a wide range of “volunteer” roles within the parish, including Parish Safeguarding Representative, Extraordinary Minister of Communion, Youth Group Leader, Catechist, Drama Group Leader, Altar Server, Driver etc. You should speak to your Parish Safeguarding Representative and Parish Priest. You will have to complete a number of forms and discuss the reasons for wanting to be a volunteer. You will not be able to commence voluntary work until you have completed the application procedures and received a letter of appointment.
There is free training to immerse yourself in Safeguarding purposes and best practise. HERE
Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees registered
At the Diocesan Safeguarding home page you find much more information including how Safeguarding works in the Diocese, who is responsible for what, becoming a volunteer and what to do if you think a vulnerable person is at risk or is being abused. It also has links to many other related external websites. Examples of roles which require volunteers to be DBS checked and trained are Children’s Liturgy, Catechist, Adult Altar Server, Sacristan, Care Group Member, Transport Provider, Visiting Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, Youth Worker. There are many others.