What is the Parish Safeguarding Committee?
The PSC is a committee of volunteers who either have a background working with children, young people and vulnerable adults or who are representatives of the different organisations and groups who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the parish. These include: Children’s & Youth Liturgy, Parish Youth Group, Hall Committee, Eucharistic Ministers to the Sick and Housebound, SPRED.
The PSC does not have an investigative role in the protection of children and vulnerable adults- our role is to develop and promote best practice towards children, young people and vulnerable adults. We do this through a two stage process by ensuring that all volunteers:
1. Are vetted by Access NI; and
2. Attend an Information Session to ensure they develop their understanding of their responsibilities for promoting safeguarding in all parish activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Through an annual and ongoing audit of all the activities which occur in the church and in the parish hall we maintain a list of all the individuals involved. The Chair of the Committee collates the list and checks all volunteers against the database of those already vetted. We also ensure that at least one or two parish information sessions on Child Protection are delivered in the parish each year by the Vicariate Support Team to new and potential volunteers.
The Role of the Parish Safeguarding Committee
Our role is to advise all parish organisation and external groups who use parish facilities of their responsibilities in relation to who they should contact if they have any queries or concerns. These are listed overleaf.
¨ Child Protection – This is comprehensively explained at the parish information sessions delivered by the Vicarate Support Team and this is why attendance at such sessions is mandatory before anyone can work with children, young people or vulnerable adults in our parish.
¨ Recruitment and selection of new staff/volunteers – Ensuring that all volunteers have been vetted. The vetting process involves the receipt of an application form from a potential volunteer or staff member. The Chair then obtains references from two referees as to the suitability of the applicant for the role within the parish. When the references are in place the applicant then completes three forms which are forwarded to the Diocesan Safeguarding Office – these forms include:
1. A confidential declaration of any previous convictions;
2. An Access NI Vetting Form; and
3. A Declaration form which is completed by the applicant and the Chair or Deputy Chair of the CCC who verifies that they have produced the three pieces of identification required for vetting.
This process is completely confidential and only the Chair or Deputy Chair sees any of the forms relating to the process – (no other committee members see any of the potential applicant’s personal information).
All the information is stored securely and when someone is successfully recruited their application forms are shredded and the only information held on record is their name, the role(s) they have applied for, the date they were vetted and the date they have attended the parish information session on Child Protection. This is kept in a secure filing cabinet in the Parish Office to which only the Chair and Father Feeney have keys.
Saint Colmcille’s Parish Safeguarding Committee
Chairperson: Karen Diamond
- Fr. Feeney
- Geraldine McCorry
- Artie O’Neill
- Noeleen Dunn
- Teresa Geragthy
Good Shepherd Centre
511 Ormeau Road
Tel. No. 028 90492783
- P.S.N.I: 0845 600 8000
- N.S.P.C.C.: 0808 800 5000
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust: 028 9096 0000 Belfast
- HSC Children’s Services Gateway Team: 028 9050 7000
- Childline: 0800 1111