|St Mary's Safeguarding Policy
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults
In 2001 the National Conference of Bishops in England and Wales launched national policies and procedures for the protection of our children and vulnerable adults. Since this time the Diocese of Westminster has these national polices, the primary intention of which is to help parishes become more effective and safer environments for children and vulnerable adults.
St Mary’s is committed to the safeguarding policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to take all reasonable steps to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any form of abuse or maltreatment and to promote a safe environment for them.
This commitment flows from the fact that we are all made in the image of God and the Church's common belief in the dignity and uniqueness of every human life. We start from the principle that each person has a right to expect the highest level of care and protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give.
We want to promote good and safe practice and make sure that our volunteers know the resources and support available to them and so set out below are links to important information on good practice and volunteering that we would ask you to note and take the time to read.
See the link below for the Diocese’s adult/child ratio information sheet which sets out the acceptable minimum ratios for adults to children, but ideally they should be higher. On no account should you work alone with a group or individual child/young person.
It is a requirement for all volunteers with roles involving contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults to be registered and have secured a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. When volunteers are commissioned they enter into the checking process and have to have secured a DBS check before taking up their new responsibilities.
If you do not have a DBS check then you are not permitted to work alone with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service has produced a number of National Policies relating to the general arrangements for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Please read the Policies, which are available in electronic format and can be accessed via the following website:
Code of conduct
The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service has developed a Code of Conduct and guidance for adults which can be found at the link below. It is not exhaustive and cannot cover every eventuality. It is intended to provide a minimum framework for good practice when providing activities and events specifically for children and young people.
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all our children and young people so they can develop in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable in our parish. If bullying does occur, all children and young people should be able to tell and be confident that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the group leaders.
How to respond to concerns
The Catholic Church in England and Wales is committed to responding to allegations of abuse in respect of children, young people and vulnerable adults properly and promptly. This means that allegations will be reported to the statutory authorities.
All office holders, employees and volunteers must follow the procedures for dealing with reports of allegations or suspicions of abuse. 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. Never discuss this with the person who you think is the abuser.
Please review further details regarding the procedures for responding to concerns at the following links:
The Catholic Trust for England and Wales has a package of e-learning programmes available to all members of the Catholic community free of charge. This is part of the Church’s on-going commitment to safeguarding – to this end you may wish to note the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission E-learning brochure in the link below, which gives details on the training available and how to access online training with EduCare (volunteers are encouraged to do the Child Protection module in particular):
Diocese contacts for Safeguarding
Fr Jeremy Trood,
The Episcopal Vicar for Safeguarding, Westminster Diocese
Tel: 0207 529 8631 or 07889 805284
Tel: 020 7798 9350 or 07803 634236
All DBS queries contact Jackie Krobo in Safeguarding Office
Tel: 020 7798 9352
Parish Safeguarding Representative
Mrs S Wilson 0793 9572909
It is a diocesan requirement that each parish have a designated Safeguarding Representative and also a Safeguarding Policy. Any parishioner wishing to speak in confidence about the protection of children is advised to contact Eva Edohen at the Diocesan Safeguarding Office: 020 7798 9356 or by phoning the Parish Safeguarding Representative, Mrs S Wilson 0793952909.
If you have any difficulty accessing the information referred to in the links or attachments please let Mrs S Wilson or the St Mary’s Parish Office know so that a hard copy can be made for you.