“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:10)

Care for the little ones, a concern that encompasses a wide variety of sympathetic attitudes is at the heart of the Gospel message. It is enshrined in the very mission proclamation of Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry (Lk 4:18-19). The Church that is called to continue the mission of Jesus today, understands that upholding the inalienable dignity of every human person, is an important task of her ministry. The Church, as she lives out her call and mission, takes into consideration the positive developments in the ethical and legal disciplines towards providing a just, caring, and responsible environment for all. Divine Retreat Centre (DRC) is committed to ensure that all, especially the children and the vulnerable adults feel safe in our communities. The DRC Safeguarding Lead is assigned to coordinate and promote our safeguarding practices in accordance with the policy and directives of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC). The DRC safeguarding lead is an expert from the fields related to safeguarding and also he will liaise with the National Safeguarding Advisory Service (NSAS) and will update us on the developments in this field.

The safeguarding lead and the director board are  to develop the safeguarding policy for the DRC, based on the policy of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC). T

Yours in our Lord and our God,

Fr. Joseph Edattu VC

Director, Divine Retreat Centre Ramsgate

 

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding applies to both adults and children.

Children’s safeguarding is shaped by the Children Act 1989, but the key statutory guidance for faith groups is ‘Working together to safeguard children’

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment;
  • Preventing impairment of children's health or development;
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

 

The Care Act 2014 provides the legal basis for adult safeguarding. Under it, adults with care and support needs at risk of or experiencing abuse and unable to prevent it themselves must be supported.

‘Vulnerable adult’ means a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect himself or herself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is to being temporarily or indefinitely impaired.

There are many different types of abuse which the Church have a huge potential to identify and prevent. These include:

 

Safeguarding in Church and Faith Organisations

Working together to safeguard children 2018 makes the following reference to the roles and responsibility of the Church in safeguarding

Voluntary, charity, social enterprise (VCSE) and private sector organisations and agencies play an important role in safeguarding children through the services they deliver. Some of these will work with particular communities, with different races and faith communities and delivering in health, adult social care, housing, prisons and probation services. They may as part of their work provide a wide range of activities for children and have an important role in safeguarding children and supporting families and communities.

Like other organisations and agencies who work with children, they should have appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. Many of these organisations and agencies as well as many schools, children’s centres, early years and childcare organisations, will be subject to charity law and regulated either by the Charity Commission or other “principal” regulators. Charity trustees are responsible for ensuring that those benefiting from, or working with, their charity, are not harmed in any way through contact with it. The Charity Commission for England and Wales provides guidance on charity compliance which should be followed. Further information on the Charity Commission’s role in safeguarding can be found on: the Charity Commission's page on Gov.uk.

Some of these organisations and agencies are large national charities whilst others will have a much smaller local reach. Some will be delivering statutory services and may be run by volunteers, such as library services. This important group of organisations includes youth services not delivered by local authorities or district councils.

All practitioners working in these organisations and agencies who are working with children and their families are subject to the same safeguarding responsibilities, whether paid or a volunteer.

The DTC agencies are listed in section 325(6) of the CJA 2003. They are required to co-operate as far as they can do so, consistent with the exercise of their other statutory functions.

Every VCSE, faith-based organisation and private sector organisation or agency should have policies in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. These should be followed and systems should be in place to ensure compliance in this. Individual practitioners, whether paid or volunteer, should be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children from harm, how they should respond to child protection concerns and how to make a referral to local authority children’s social care or the police if necessary.

Every VCSE, faith-based organisation and private sector organisation or agency should have in place the arrangements described in this chapter. They should be aware of how they need to work with the safeguarding partners in a local area. Charities (within the meaning of section 1 Charities Act 2011), religious organisations (regulation 34 and schedule 3 to School Admissions) and any person involved in the provision, supervision or oversight of sport or leisure are included within the relevant agency regulations. This means if the safeguarding partners name them as a relevant partner they must cooperate. Other VCSE, faith-based and private sector organisations not on the list of relevant agencies can also be asked to cooperate as part of the local arrangements and should do so.

 

About our safeguarding

Local Safeguarding Structure

 

Including the roles and responsibilities

Superior

As the Superior the Director of the DRC has overall pastoral responsibility for DRC ministry all over UK and those who are associated with it. Through the Trustees he delegates the implementation of national safeguarding polices to the Safeguarding Commission which does this in his name. He seeks the advice of the Commission on all safeguarding issues in particular when allegations have been made against a person who exercises a ministry within the church.

 

Safeguarding Representative

The Safeguarding Representative was formed in November 2017 and has been a driving force to implement the national policies and procedures.

The Safeguarding Representative receives all national policies updates in a timely fashion.

The Safeguarding Representative also acts upon new reports of allegations/concerns of abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults that have occurred within a Church environment and works with the statutory agencies accordingly. Existing cases are reviewed regularly. The Safeguarding Representative also regularly updates the Superior on all safeguarding matters and advises him accordingly. Annual reports are made to the Trustees and Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Services.

 

Procedures to respond to and report concerns and allegations

All concerns must be brought to the Safeguarding Representative, who in turn will contact the Lead. Never delay taking action. If you are unable to contact the Safeguarding Representative, you can contact the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS) if you require advice.

Is there any immediate risk or danger? – Yes

  • Immediately contact the Police, Social Services or Local Authority Designated Officer
  • Contact the Safeguarding Lead
  • Take notes and pass on within 1 day (Form in policy)
  • A record will be kept
  • Safeguarding representative will provide feedback

 

Is there any immediate risk or danger? – No

  • Contact the Safeguarding representative
  • If the Safeguarding Representative is not available contact the Police, Social Services or Local Authority Designated Officer
  • Take notes and pass on within 1 day (Form in policy)
  • A record will be kept
  • Allegations of past abuse should be reported to the police, even if the alleged perpetrator is no longer alive or not perceived to be a current risk to children / adults at risk
  • Safeguarding representative will provide feedback

 

Contact safeguarding

If you live in England, Wales or abroad, or would like to receive direct support from the Vincentians you can email the Vincentian safeguarding coordinator and she will be happy to help you access psychological and well-being support, including other practical support. She can also out you in touch with someone independent: [email protected].

If you have information of a safeguarding nature where a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention call the emergency services on 999. If you wish to report any safeguarding concerns, past or present, please email the safeguarding coordinator on [email protected]. She will ensure that any concerns are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.