Safeguarding Policy Statement
“The Catholic Church in Scotland is concerned with the lives, safety, wholeness and well-being of each individual person within God’s purpose for everyone. It seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. As a Church community, we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us, ordained, professed, paid and voluntary members, to work together to prevent physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect of children, young people and vulnerable adults.”
What is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding is the shared responsibility of everyone to ensure the safety and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is also about ensuring the professional and safe behaviour of everyone who has a duty of care within our Catholic communities whether ordained or lay and whether in a paid or volunteer position. Safeguarding is not only a way to respond to harm but must be proactive in the prevention of any form of abuse or harm.
Ref: In God's Image page 3: Our Commitment to Safeguarding.
What forms of abuse?
Abuse can take many forms and usually when someone is subjected to abuse more than one form is being used.
Types or forms of abuse include:
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Child Sex Exploitation
How to respond to allegations
The Bishop’s Conference of Scotland has a mandatory Reporting Policy. All allegations of a criminal nature are reported to Police Scotland. This applies whether the accused is alive or deceased. Allegations must in the first instance be reported to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. If the Adviser is not available please ask to speak to a member of Safeguarding Team.
If anyone discloses an allegation to you always remember to follow the nationally agree process:
Listen – Respond – Record – Refer
Please also refer to the following resources:
In 2013 the Bishops of Scotland published an audit of all the allegations of abuse which had been disclosed to any Diocese or Religious Congregation in the period 2006 - 2012. They committed to published such data annually thereafter. In 2018 they published a statistical review of all historical abuse cases for the period 1943 to 2005.
On behalf of the British Jesuits, a mental health charity based in Edinburgh, Health in Mind, have created an independent & confidential service for survivors of abuse by any member of the Society of Jesus in Scotland. The service is called Bridge to Support and offers specialist counselling & psychological assistance for those who might have been traumatised in such a way. More details can be found in this leaflet or on the dedicated website www.bridgetosupport.org.uk