Appointed by the bishop and acting on his behalf, the Commission has advisory and supportive functions. The Commission consists of professionals from across the diocese representing Child and Adult Social Care, Police, and Probation. There are also members representing the clergy and religious and the laity. The Commission receives all national policies and through the Coordinator and Administrator implements and updates them across the diocese in a timely fashion. The Commission also acts upon new reports of allegations and concerns of abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults that have occurred within a Church environment and works with the statutory agencies accordingly. Existing cases are reviewed regularly. The Commission also regularly updates the bishop on all safeguarding matters and advises him accordingly. This is often delegated to the Safeguarding Coordinator. Annual reports are made to the bishop and Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Services.
The Co-coordinator is appointed by the bishop on the advice of the Commission and develops and launches the policies across the diocese, bringing the Commission up to date at the same time. On behalf of the Commission the Co-coordinator ensures that the bishop is kept up to date with all safeguarding matters. The Co-coordinator is not a member of the Commission. The Co-coordinator is the line manager of the Safeguarding Administrator.
The Administrator has responsibility for processing the paperwork that is linked with the Disclosure & Barring Services Certificate (DBS) applications and maintaining databases and filing systems. The Administrator offers advice on clerical matters and provides support to both the parishes and the Parish Safeguarding Representatives. The Administrator delivers training to Parish Safeguarding Representatives. The Administrator supports and minutes the Commission’s meetings.
Parish Safeguarding Representative
The Parish Safeguarding Representative has special responsibility for promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults within the parish. The Parish Safeguarding Representative is the link between the parish and the diocese and as such is in regular contact with the Co-ordinator and the Administrator. The Representative attends various safeguarding training sessions and has a sound knowledge of the policies and procedures and also who to contact. The Representative is involved in the recruitment of volunteers to roles within the parish and has the responsibility for co-ordinating the DBS procedure at parish level and ensuring that everybody who is required to go through the procedure does so.