Parish Safeguarding Committee
Parish Safeguarding Committee Information Leaflets are available at the Church or the Parish Office.
What is the Parish Safeguarding Committee?:
The PSC is a committee of volunteers who either have a background or interest in working with children, young people and vulnerable adults or who are representatives of the different organisations and groups who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the parish. These include: Children’s & Youth Liturgy, Parish Youth Group, Hall Committee, Eucharistic Ministers to the Sick and Housebound.
The PSC does not have an investigative role in the protection of children and vulnerable adults- our role is to develop and promote best practice towards children, young people and vulnerable adults. We do this through a two stage process by ensuring that all volunteers:
- Are vetted by Access NI; and
- Attend an Information Session to ensure they develop their understanding of their responsibilities for promoting safeguarding in all parish activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Through an annual and ongoing audit of all the activities which occur in the church and in the parish hall we maintain a list of all the individuals involved. The Chair of the Committee collates the list and checks all volunteers against the database of those already vetted. We also ensure that at least one or two parish information sessions on Child Protection and the protection of Vulnerable Adults are delivered in the parish each year by the Vicariate Support Team to new and potential volunteers.
Who are the members of our Parish Safeguarding Committee?
Members: Fr Michael (Parish Priest), Sinead Clarke (Chair), Angelina Thomson, Sean O’Neill, Ita Toner, Colette Quinn, Claire Gilligan, Paul King
The Role of the Parish Safeguarding Committee:
Our role is to advise all parish organisation and external groups who use parish facilities of their responsibilities in relation to who they should contact if they have any queries or concerns.
¨ Protection of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults – This is comprehensively explained at the parish information sessions delivered by the Vicarate Support Team and this is why attendance at such sessions is mandatory before anyone can work with children, young people or vulnerable adults in our parish.
¨ Recruitment and selection of new staff/volunteers – Ensuring that all volunteers have been vetted. The vetting process involves the receipt of an application form from a potential volunteer or staff member. The Chair then obtains references from two referees as to the suitability of the applicant for the role within the parish. When the references are in place the applicant then completes three forms which are forwarded to the Diocesan Safeguarding Office – these forms include:
- A confidential declaration of any previous convictions;
- An Access NI Vetting Form; and
- A Declaration form which is completed by the applicant and the Chair or Deputy Chair of the PSC who verifies that they have produced the three pieces of identification required for vetting.
This process is completely confidential and only the Chair or Deputy Chair sees any of the forms relating to the process – (no other committee members see any of the potential applicant’s personal information).
All the information is stored securely and when someone is successfully recruited their application forms are shredded and the only information held on record is their name, the role(s) they have applied for, the date they were vetted and the date they have attended the parish information session on Child Protection. This is kept in a secure filing cabinet in the Parish Office to which only the Chair and the Parish Priest have access
IF YOU WISH TO ATTEND ANY SAFEGUARDING COURSES: PLEASE CONTACT THE DIOCESAN SAFEGUARDING OFFICE ON 028 90492798 or Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR PARISH GROUPS:
General Code of Conduct for all groups to safeguard our children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Altar Server Supervisor
Children’s Liturgy Leader
Children’s Liturgy Volunteer
Folk Choir Leader
Parish GIFT Programme
Diocese of Down and Conor Safeguarding Office Website
Diocese of Down and Connor Child Protection Policy and Procedures: Best Practice in Safeguarding Children and Young People
What to do if you have a concern, suspicion or wish to make an allegation of child abuse: Making contact with the Designated Officer (Revised Version)
Guidance on texting
Social networking guidance
Guidance on Photography
Diocesan Strategy for Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults
Summary Guide to the new Diocesan Policy and Procedures in safeguarding vulnerable adults