All parishes and diocesan groups will have at least one Safeguarding Representative assigned by the Parish Priest/Administrator or, in the case of Diocesan Groups, the group’s Committee. It is recommended that larger parishes or diocesan organisations have a Safeguarding Committee. The clergy and Safeguarding personnel in some Pastoral Areas may also wish to work together to address the issue of Safeguarding. This partnership approach is supported by the Diocesan Committee for Safeguarding.
The position of Safeguarding Representative is voluntary. All those accepting the role must undergo the Recruitment and Selection Procedure through the Diocesan Office and attend training organised by the Diocesan Training Team. Regular updates and network meetings will be planned by the Diocesan Committee. Safeguarding Representatives are expected to attend these meetings. Updates and advisory leaflets will also be available on the diocesan website.
The responsibilities of the Safeguarding Representative are:
- to promote awareness of the Diocesan Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding;
- to ensure that all parishioners have ready access to contact details of the Diocesan Designated Officers and other relevant agencies;
- to support or facilitate anyone in their parish/diocesan groups working with children and/or vulnerable adults;
- to attend Safeguarding Representative meetings arranged within Pastoral Areas or at diocesan level.
Each parish and diocesan group working with children must have a Safeguarding Representative who takes responsibility for training and a Safeguarding Representative who takes responsibility for the recruitment process. A Safeguarding Representative may fulfill both roles in their parish/diocesan group. The additional responsibilities of these roles are outlined below:
Recruitment and selection
- To ensure the parish carry out the Diocesan Requirements for Recruitment and Selection for all staff, whether paid or unpaid, in their parish/diocesan group. This will include two way communication with the diocesan personnel implementing the Recruitment Procedures.
- To ensure that all those people in the parish working with children and/or vulnerable adults attend an information evening on good practice.
- To liaise with the Diocesan Training Coordinator in the implementation of the Diocesan Strategy for Training.
- To arrange training dates and venues for parish/group volunteers.
- The overall responsibility for safeguarding children in any Church Organisation remains with the relevant church authority, such as the Parish Priest/Administrator.
Any safeguarding concerns raised with a Parish Safeguarding Representative should immediately be passed on to the Diocesan Designated Officer.