safeguarding structure

Structures in place to support the Diocesan

safeguarding mission

The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) 

In October 2019, an independent review of the safeguarding structures and arrangements within the Catholic Church in England and Wales was commenced. The need for change was fuelled by the awareness of those who had suffered due to the failings in existent structures and the desire to prevent future hurt. The review led by Ian Elliott, sought in particular to listen and learn from those who had experienced abuse leading to a series of proposals and recommendations to address these failings and to reshape the safeguarding provision in the Catholic Church going forward. The recommendations of this report, along with those made by the separate Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) were wholly accepted by the Bishops conference in November of 2020.

Central to these recommendations was the replacement of the then existent national safeguarding bodies: the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) with three newly constituted entities:

  1. The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency: A new professional standards body with regulatory powers.
  2. A dedicated entity regarding safeguarding for Religious Life Groups, which are more formally defined as Religious Life Safeguarding Services (RLSS) covering religious orders and congregations.
  3. A National Tribunal to address the canonical matters connected to clergy discipline and canonical offences.

The new model is built on a ‘One Church’ strategy to safeguarding – a commitment across all the dioceses and Religious Life Groups to be One Church when it comes to safeguarding, with all organisations working to a common standards-based approach and transparency and accountability in the fulfilment and upholding of these standards. Further information relating to the new 8 safeguarding standards can be found here Further information relating to the Church’s national safeguarding policies, to which this diocese adheres, can be found here 

The CSSA seek to work with survivors of Catholic Church related abuse, through both formal and informal ways. If you would like to find out more about the CSSA’s. work in this area please click here 

Northampton Safeguarding Subcommittee

Safeguarding Subcommittee was established in 2021, as part of the revised safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church. The purpose of this 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. The Subcommittee will make a regular report to be shared at each meeting of Trustees. Appointment of members is made by Bishop and the Subcommittee meet, as a minimum, on a quarterly basis. Terms of reference for the Subcommittee are available.

Committee members

  • Chair: Fr. Brendan Killeen
  • Deacon Crispin Walkling-Lea
  • Margaret Cripps

Attendees include

  • Diocesan COO
  • Safeguarding Coordinator
  • Chair of the Northampton Safeguarding Advisory Board
Northampton Safeguarding Advisory Board

The Safeguarding Advisory Board (SAB) was also established in 2021, as part of the revised safeguarding structures within the Catholic Church and provides independent and professional advice and expertise to the Diocesan safeguarding department and the Safeguarding Subcommittee. Membership includes the Safeguarding Coordinator and professionals who have relevant knowledge and expertise, such as from the police, social care and health, to enable the board to fulfil its purpose, demonstrating competency, equality, justice and transparency. The primary role of the SAB 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. The SAB is accountable to the Safeguarding Subcommittee and meets, as a minimum, on a quarterly basis.

Board members

  • Chair: Hugh Williams
  • Vice Chair: Kathy Franklin (Parish Safeguarding Representative)
  • Andrew Smith (Local Authority Designated Officer representative)
  • Charlotte Gunn (Voice Northants – victim and survivor representative)
  • Victoria Willet  (Bedfordshire Police representative)
  • Neil Roseman (Diocesan Director of Communications)
  • Glen Bowen
  • Fr Andrew Behrens (Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding)
  • Fr Brendan Killeen (Chair of the Safeguarding Subcommittee and Canon Law advisor)
  • Sr Anne Morris (Religious representative)
  • Deacon Peter Collins (Clergy representative and Chair of the Healing and Reconciliation group)
  • Danielle Dixon (Safeguarding Coordinator)
  •  Louise Tolley (named professional for safeguarding adults at Kettering General hospital)

Recruitment of members

If you have current expertise of working in a safeguarding capacity relating to children and/or adults, or in a professional capacity supporting people who have lived experience of abuse, then you would be an ideal candidate to join our Board. We are particularly keen to recruit a new member with experience working within the criminal justice system. Members are appointed by the Bishop for a term of 3 years and are eligible for re-appointment for up to three terms. If you are interested in learning more about joining the board, please contact Danielle Dixon, the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator. Terms of reference for the SAB are available.

Future Safeguarding Advisory Board meetings

  • September 2023
  • December 2023 (attended by the Bishop)


Northampton Healing and Reconciliation group

The Healing and Reconciliation group is a sub-group of the Safeguarding Advisory Board and was formed in early 2019 as part of the Diocese’s aspiration to improve the way that we respond to and engage with those who have been hurt by abuse. The essence of the group has included a desire to raise greater awareness of abuse, increase understanding of its impact upon those affected and to work towards creating a safer and more compassionate environment for anyone seeking comfort and healing from spiritual, emotional, sexual and other forms of abuse. The group meets, as a minimum, on a quarterly basis. For further information please refer to the Resources for Victims and Survivors page.

Current membership

  • Deacon Peter Collins (Chair)
  • Kathy Franklin
  • Glen Bowen
  • Danielle Dixon (Safeguarding Coordinator)
  • Two survivor representatives

Recruitment of members

Membership of the group is made up of appointed members of the Safeguarding Advisory Board and individuals who have lived experience of abuse, which may include, direct experience, as a parent, family member or partner of a person who has been abused, or a person with experience of working with victims and survivors of abuse.  We are particularly keen to welcome people with lived experience of abuse to consider joining the group, we value your insight and would like to be able to listen, hear and then act upon your advice to help improve our response to those who have been hurt by abuse. If you think that you might want to consider helping us in our work, whether as a group member or less formally as an advisor, then please contact Danielle Dixon, the Diocesan Safeguarding find out more details. Terms of reference for the group are available.