Safeguarding is the protection of children and vulnerable adults, who are suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm, ill treatment, the impairment of health or development, abuse or neglect. It involves proactively creating cultures of safeguarding to prevent abuse occurring in the first place and reacting to those who have been hurt by abuse to reduce any future harm.
Why is Safeguarding so important to the Church?
The wider concept of safeguarding is “nurturing wellbeing as well as protecting the young and the vulnerable from harm and abuse.”
• is essential to the Church’s fulfillment of its calling and mission given by Christ
• is implicit in what Jesus intended when he said ’feed my lambs, feed my sheep’
• is essential if we are to introduce people effectively to a relationship with God
• is a sign of the Kingdom – Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation”
Safeguarding is an exercise of charity and justice:
• helps the Church to stay one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic
• reflects the loving nature of God
• is an essential context for people to receive the sacraments and grow in discipleship
• is part of becoming a Church that people will want to join!”
– CSAS ‘SAFEGUARDING AS MINISTRY’
The Catholic Church in England and Wales aims to become an example of best practice in safeguarding children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable.
The Catholic Church of England and Wales, the Bishops and Congregational Leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. We affirm the One Church approach to safeguarding children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable through the promotion of a sustained and sustainable culture of constant vigilance.
The Church recognises the personal dignity and rights of all Vulnerable People towards whom it has a special responsibility. The Church and individual members of it undertake to take all the appropriate steps to maintain a safe environment for all and to practice fully and positively Christ’s Ministry towards children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable, and to respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.
The Church authorities will liaise closely with statutory agencies to ensure that any allegations of abuse are promptly and properly investigated and where appropriate, survivors supported and perpetrators held to account.
The Church wishes to ensure that its parishes and Religious Congregations have the confidence to enable children, young people and vulnerable adults to have peace of mind, knowing they will be cared for and loved by their Christian community.
The Safeguarding Rep has special responsibilities for promoting good and safe practices in all activities involving children, young people and adults at risk.