|St Mary's Safeguarding Policy
Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults
In 2001 the National Conference of Bishops in England and Wales launched national policies and procedures for the protection of our children and vulnerable adults. Since this time the Diocese of Westminster has these national polices, the primary intention of which is to help parishes become more effective and safer environments for children and vulnerable adults.
St Mary’s is committed to the safeguarding policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to take all reasonable steps to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any form of abuse or maltreatment and to promote a safe environment for them.
This commitment flows from the fact that we are all made in the image of God and the Church's common belief in the dignity and uniqueness of every human life. We start from the principle that each person has a right to expect the highest level of care and protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give.
We want to promote good and safe practice and make sure that our volunteers know the resources and support available to them and so set out below are links to important information on good practice and volunteering that we would ask you to note and take the time to read.
Please find attached the Diocese’s adult/child ratio information sheet which sets out the acceptable minimum ratios for adults to children, but ideally they should be higher. The Diocese is of the view that the minimum number of adults should always be two and preferably three, one of whom should be female. On no account should you work alone with a group or individual child/young person.
It is a requirement for all volunteers with roles involving contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults to be registered and have secured a DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check. When volunteers are commissioned by Canon Stuart, they enter into the checking process and have to have secured a DBS check before taking up their new responsibilities.
For copies of documents required to be completed as part of the DBS process go to
If you do not have a DBS check then you are not permitted to work alone with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Upon volunteering your services to the parish and, after having spoken with Canon Stuart, if you haven’t already done so please contact Mrs Sheelagh Wilson, the Parish Safeguarding Representative, to arrange your DBS check.
The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service has produced a number of National Policies relating to the general arrangements for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Please read the Policies, which are available in electronic format and can be accessed via the following website:
Code of conduct
The Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service has developed a Code of Conduct for adults which can be found at the link below. It is not exhaustive and cannot cover every eventuality. It is intended to provide a minimum framework for good practice when providing activities and events specifically for children and young people.
All groups should have a system for recording any physical contact with a child that may be different in some way from the normal or may be considered to be open to criticism, and adults involved will ensure that they record any such physical contact. At St Mary’s we aim to record any ‘incidents’, defined as an undesirable consequence, be it physical impact or near miss, in an incident report (template attached). If an incident occurs, the attached report should be completed and handed to the parish priest or safeguarding representative.
For further information, click here to see the
Guidance on Physical Contact between Children and Adults.
Register of meetings
The Parish groups should ensure that they keep a register of meetings, listing the children/young people and adults present and a brief record of the activities undertaken.
See the attached template session recording sheet which can be used for this purpose. The session recording sheet can also be located by following the link below:
Session Recording Sheet
With a view to the prevention of bullying, St Mary’s has adopted an anti-bullying policy see:
How to respond to concerns
The Catholic Church in England and Wales is committed to responding to allegations of abuse in respect of children, young people and vulnerable adults properly and promptly. This means that allegations will be reported to the statutory authorities.
All office holders, employees and volunteers must follow the procedures for dealing with reports of allegations or suspicions of abuse. If you have witnessed abuse or received an allegation of abuse where a child is in immediate danger you must inform the Statutory Authorities (Police/Social Services). You should then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator/Officer that you have done this. If you think there is no immediate danger you must report the allegation to the Co-ordinator/Officer immediately, who will then inform the Statutory Authorities. Never discuss this with the person who you think is the abuser.
Please review further details regarding the procedures for responding to concerns at the following links:
The Safeguarding Office run various training sessions throughout the year. If you have not been able to attend one of these sessions then please take extra care to note of all the information in this document and in particular the National Polices referred to herein.
Diocese contacts for Safeguarding
Mgr Canon Harry Turner,
Safeguarding Coordinator, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Harpenden
Tel: 01582 712245 Mobile: 07814 879 129
Safeguarding Advisor, Vaughan House
Tel: 020 7798 9350 Mobile: 07803 634 236
All CRB queries contact Avril Foley in Safeguarding Office
Tel: 020 7798 9359
Parish Safeguarding Representative
Mrs S Wilson 07939572909
It is a diocesan requirement that each parish have a designated Safeguarding Representative and also a Safeguarding Policy. Any parishioner wishing to speak in confidence about the protection of children is advised to contact Peter Turner at the Diocesan Safeguarding Office: 07803 634 236 or by phoning the Parish Safeguarding Representative, Mrs S Wilson 0793952909.
If you have any difficulty accessing the information referred to in the links or attachments please let Mrs S Wilson or the St Mary’s Parish Office know so that a hard copy can be made for you.