Creating Safer Environments​:

Safeguarding and the practice of love, honesty, respect, support and accountability are essential parts of the Catholic ministry and mission.

The Catholic Church and its individual members will undertake appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all, by practising fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and adults and responding sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.

This is demonstrated by the provision of carefully planned activities for children, young people and adults, caring for those hurt by abuse and robustly managing and ministering to those who have caused harm.

In Clifton Diocese, we aim to create a safe environment in parishes which involves the following:

  • Ensure every person, on paid and voluntary role, involved in regulated activities with children, young people, and vulnerable adults have been  interviewed, DBS checked or have an up to date DBS and references are taken.
  • Parish Safeguarding Representatives (PSRs) to routinely receive/request Parish DBS reports to review the DBS status of all volunteers and update the 3-year check on volunteers.
  • Parishes to provide information on how to refer concerns and allegations to Parishioners and public members using church premises. Parishes and parish centres should have Safeguarding posters displayed on the Parish notice board with the PSR name and the safeguarding diocesan email account.
  • The details of the national safeguarding policy should be available and understood by everybody to encourage anyone with serious concern to raise them without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage (download the document on whistleblowing).

The CSSA have produced a practice guidance on creating a safer environment, covering the following topics (stored in safeguarding training, news and documents):

  • Risk Assessment – when planning a new activity or reviewing one that either takes place on or away from church premises, the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and adults at risk.
  • Supervision and Adult: Child Ratios – a general guide for minimum supervision ratios and factors to take into consideration.
  •  Photography and Filming – use of photography and filming must be followed, considering data protection requirements.
  •  Use of Social Media – guidance on the appropriate use of personal social media accounts, phone numbers or email addresses to contact children and young people.