The functions of the Parish Safeguarding Committee are:
• To circulate the Child Protection Policies and Procedures within their local Parish. All parishioners need to know of the existence of the Down and Connor Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy and Procedures.
• To have a general overview of all parish activities which involves children, young people and vulnerable adults. It will be the responsibility of the PSC to be aware of what activities are taking place on parish property which involves children, young people and vulnerable adults, where volunteers do not work to any other Child Protection Policy.
• To Vet Volunteers. The PSC will be involved in the recruitment and selection of volunteers.
Volunteers and the tradition of volunteering are well known in the Catholic Church. The Parishes to which we belong would not be the thriving communities they are today without parishioners getting involved in parish activities.
There are many volunteers in the parishes of our Diocese, parishioners who give of their time, talents and experience. Volunteering is a practical way to show that we care and that we want to be involved in the development of the Parish community.
For these reasons it is essential that parish groups give careful consideration to recruitment and selection procedures that will promote volunteering and ensure the safety and well-being of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Some may view thorough selection procedures as an unnecessary burden, particularly if the person is part-time, a volunteer and already known to the parish community. However, the more routine the procedure becomes, the less intimidating it will be to genuine and well motivated applicants. By having good standards of practice in our organisations, people are more likely to want to join.
Additionally, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Groups Order 2007, there is a legal requirement to vet anyone who is in a ‘regulated’ activity in their role with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
An Information Session for the Parish will be arranged at a later date.
The members of the Parish Safeguarding Committee are currently:
Fr Anthony Alexander PP, Madeleine Bell, and Laura Kelly.