Parish Safeguarding Committee
Creation of the PSC
The Diocese of Down and Connor is making great efforts to improve the standards of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. In order to ensure improvements were made a safeguarding office was set up for the Diocese of Down and Connor and was initially developed in 2003, from this the Diocese requested that each parish should have a Parish Safeguarding Committee (formerly known as Child Care Committees) and therefore a Safeguarding Committee was established in the Parish of Saul and Ballee. The ethos behind the establishment of Safeguarding Committees was to ensure that parishes were engaged in the promotion of safe child care practices and protection of vulnerable adults in all parish related activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults with a shared responsibility between priests and laity.
Membership of Saul and Ballee Parish Safeguarding Committee
The committee at present is made up of 6 members who are Fr Paul Alexander, Fionnuala Murray (chair), Rachel Hamill, Sonia Kinsella, Nuala Powderly and Joanne Burns. All committee members have attended the training required.
Role of the Parish Safeguarding Committee
Our mission is to protect and safeguard the welfare of young children and vulnerable adults within our Parish and ensure that the correct procedures are in place to deal with any concerns about possible abuse. Our aim is to:
- Provide clear guidance and instruction on how to report any suspicions of abuse.
- Ensure appropriate training is provided (in accordance with the guidelines of the Diocese of Down and Connor) to all members of our parish who have contact with young children and vulnerable adults through their parish work.
- Ensure correct vetting arrangements have been carried out and identify those who need to be vetted and help with forms etc.
- Promote an ethos which will at all times gives paramount consideration to the safety and welfare of the children and vulnerable adults of our parish.
- Ensure the parish is kept up to date will all guidance and practices from The Safeguarding Office and in line with Diocese procedures.
- Ensure all groups using parish property meet with the guidance set out by the Safeguarding Office.
The Parish of Saul and Ballee, as part of the Diocese of Down and Connor takes seriously all allegations, suspicions and concerns of child abuse made against any member of clergy, staff or volunteer.
The Diocese has a Designated Officer whose role is to provide a service which processes all allegations of child abuse brought to the attention of the Diocese.
More information can be found on the parish guidance leaflet “what to do if you have a concern”
NOTE: LINK OF SAFEGUARDING LEAFLET TO BE ADDED HERE
Points of contact if you have a concern:
0845 600 800
0808 800 5000
firstname.lastname@example.org | 028 9049 2798
National Board for Safeguarding Children for the Catholic Church in Ireland:
00353 1505 3018
Regional Out of Hours Social Work Service: 5pm – 9am weekdays and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays
028 9504 9999
Gateway to Children’s Social Work Service (Office hours)
Belfast HSC Trust:
028 9050 7000
Northern HSC Trust:
0300 1234 333
South Eastern HSC Trust:
0300 1000 300
Southern HSC Trust:
0800 7837 745
Western HSC Trust:
028 7131 4090
The Parish Safeguarding Committee does not investigate allegations and has no access to any confidential information. The role of the Safeguarding Office is to ensure that the Diocese’s procedures for safeguarding children and young adults are carried out within our Parish and that those working with children and vulnerable adults are given appropriate training and the correct vetting procedures are carried out. This is strictly conducted by the Safeguarding Office. The Safeguarding Committee can be contacted through the parish office.