As the successor of the Apostles the Archbishop 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 Commission which does this in his name. He seeks the advice of the Commission on all safeguarding issues in particular when allegations have been made against a person who exercises a ministry within the church.
Roles and Responsibilities
Appointed by the Diocesan Archbishop and acting on his and the diocesan Trustees’ behalf, the Commission has advisory and supportive functions. The Commission receives all national policies and through the Coordinator and Advisor 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. The Chair of the Commission also meets with the Archbishop on a regular basis. Annual reports are made to the Trustees and Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Services.
The Co-ordinator is appointed by the Diocesan Archbishop 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-ordinator ensures that the Archbishop is kept up to date with all safeguarding matters. It is the remit of the Co-ordinator to organize the Commission meetings. The Co-ordinator is not a member of the Commission. The Co-ordinator is the line manager of the Safeguarding Advisor and Administrators.
The Safeguarding Advisor is appointed by the Diocesan Archbishop on the advice of the Commission. The Advisor works under the guidance of the Coordinator. The Advisor co-ordinates, plans and monitors all safeguarding work within the diocese to standards set and monitored by the Commission. The Advisor is not a member of the Commission.
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. Some Administrators are counter-signatories and deliver training to Parish Safeguarding Representatives. The Administrator may minute 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 Administrators. 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.