The Catholic parish of St Mary’s Bridgend is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of the children within our church communities, and also to encouraging an environment where all people and especially those who may be vulnerable are able to worship and pursue their faith with encouragement and in safety. As such, the policies and procedures related to Safeguarding promulgated by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and adopted by the Archdiocese of Cardiff have been put into practice in the parish.
It is the policy of this parish to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from physical, emotional or sexual abuse and to provide a safe environment for them.
This commitment flows from our common belief in the dignity and uniqueness of every human life. It is our policy to respect that dignity and uniqueness.
We start from the principle that each child, young person or vulnerable adult has a right to expect the highest level of care and protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give.
It is our aim to provide an environment that supports and nurtures children, young people and vulnerable adults so that they may develop and mature as safe from harm as possible.
We abhor the abuse which some children are subjected to, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual or through neglect. We are committed to protect children and will liaise closely with statutory agencies to ensure that any allegations of abuse that may occur are promptly and properly dealt with, victims supported and perpetrators held to account.
We are aware that not all risk to children can be removed but together it is our intention to minimise such risks and create a safe environment that supports and nurtures children so that they may develop and mature physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually so as to reach their full potential.
These Safeguarding Procedures are also intended to assist clergy, parish workers and volunteers in identifying ways in which they can safeguard the best interests of children, young people and vulnerable adults in their care, and their own best interests as well.
Each child, young person and vulnerable adult has the right to the highest level of care, protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give. (A “vulnerable adult” is a person aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself against “significant harm” or “exploitation”).
The Archdiocese of Cardiff Safeguarding Advisory Commission
The Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding (Canon Peter Collins) and the Safeguarding Coordinator (Martin Mahoney) are responsible for the planning and monitoring of all safeguarding aspects for children and vulnerable groups within the Diocese with the exception of schools. This involves promoting and implementing the National Policies of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC). They are answerable to the Safeguarding Commission (See Catholic Yearbook for details) and meet the Commission quarterly to update the members on progress.
Everyone who works with children or adults who are vulnerable is required to undergo a DBS check (previously known as CRB).
Each Parish in the Diocese has additionally a Parish Safeguarding Representative (PSR).Our safeguarding representative works with the parish priest and the Safeguarding officer of the Archdiocese of Cardiff to ensure that the parishes are aware of the importance of protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults; and what is involved in promoting good and safe practice.
The safeguarding representative for St Mary’s is Mr Granville Pearson.
From time to time details of the safeguarding training that is offered to parishioners can be viewed in the ‘Catholic People’ newspaper and parish bulletins.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Officer is Mr Martin Mahoney and he can be contacted at the Pastoral Centre, tel 029 20 365961 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Archdiocese of Cardiff Safeguarding Advisory Commission co-ordinates, plans and monitors all aspects of safeguarding work within the Diocese.
See the Safeguarding Advisory Commission page of the Diocesan website for more information.
Safeguarding in the parishes
In accordance with National Safeguarding policies, all Parish Volunteers who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults must comply with formal recruitment procedures involving interview, references, self declarations and clearance by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), before being appointed to any relevant position within the parishes. All completed paperwork is sent to the Diocesan Safeguarding Office in Cardiff where they are processed and stored. All information is treated as confidential.
Our aim is to ensure that all Archdiocesan properties and the activities conducted within them are safe and without risks, so far as is reasonably practicable.
All reasonably practicable steps shall be taken to comply with Health and Safety legislation, Fire Precautions regulation, and recommended safe working practices, notwithstanding any arguments over their legal relevancy to church activities.
We require that clergy and other staff take reasonable care of the safety of themselves and others and display a positive attitude towards health and safety.
Any unsafe condition, within the boundaries of church property, must be reported immediately in order that remedial action can be taken.
Any accident to a person, within the boundaries of church property, must be reported immediately, so that it can be recorded and fully investigated in order to prevent a recurrence.
We also require that clergy and other staff take all reasonable steps to ensure that people with disabilities are provided with the resources and access necessary to participate in all aspects of the church’s life and ministry.