diocesan roles and responsibilities
As the successor of the Apostles the Bishop has overall pastoral responsibility for his Diocese and all the faithful within it. Through the Trustees he delegates the implementation of national safeguarding polices to the Safeguarding Subcommittee which does this in his name. He seeks the advice of the Subcommittee and from the Safeguarding Advisory Board on all safeguarding issues in particular when allegations have been made against a person who exercises a ministry within the Church.
The purpose of the Subcommittee of Trustees is to support, assist and advise the Diocesan Trustees in discharging their duties in safeguarding, in accordance with the trustees legal and regulatory duties, Trust Deed, Canon Law of the Catholic Church, Charity Commission guidance, and operating within the standards, policies and procedures of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards agency.
Safeguarding Advisory Board
The Safeguarding Advisory Board provides independent and professional advice and expertise to the Diocesan safeguarding department and the Safeguarding Subcommittee, to which it is accountable. The primary role of the Board is to offer advice and guidance in relation to the management of safeguarding concerns, safeguarding plans and the management of risk, and safeguarding training and development.
Parish Priest and Priest in charge
A Priest has responsibility for the pastoral care of the community with special regard for those most vulnerable. The Priest is assisted in this responsibility by nominating a Parish Safeguarding Representative(s) whose recruitment and support is overseen by the safeguarding office.
Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding
In order for safeguarding to be successfully implemented and promoted within the Catholic Church a contextual awareness and understanding is vital. The Advisor for Safeguarding, as a member of the Clergy or Religious, is able to provide the Safeguarding Coordinator and the Safeguarding Advisory Board with this experience and contextual understanding. They also promote safeguarding amongst their fellow Clergy and Religious.
The Safeguarding Coordinator is appointed by the Diocesan Bishop and has the delegated responsibility of creating examples of best practice in safeguarding. The Coordinator has involvement in the development and promotion of policies across the Diocese and coordinates, plans and monitors all safeguarding work within the Diocese, in accordance with national standards. The Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the Bishop and Trustees are kept up to date with all safeguarding matters through regular reports to the Safeguarding Subcommittee and Safeguarding Advisory Board. The Safeguarding Coordinator also acts as a point of contact for anyone hurt by church related abuse.
Safeguarding Support Officer
The Safeguarding Support Officer has responsibility for managing the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) process, recruiting and supporting Parish Safeguarding Representatives and overseeing registration for safeguarding training courses. The Safeguarding Support Officer is also available to provide support to clergy and religious and acts as the clerk to the Safeguarding Subcommittee and Safeguarding Advisory Board.
Parish Safeguarding Representatives
The Safeguarding Representative is a volunteer position and support their Parish Priest or Priest in Charge to promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults within the parish. The Safeguarding Representative is an important link between the parish, they are expected to attend regular training sessions and have a good understanding of the a national policies and procedures and safeguarding standards. The Safeguarding Representative has involvement in the recruitment of people to roles within the parish and has the responsibility for facilitating the DBS Disclosure procedure at parish level and ensuring that everybody who is required to go through the procedure does so. Further information regarding the PSR role description can be read here