6.1 In each of the eight Dioceses in Scotland the prime pastoral and canonical responsibility for meeting these Safeguarding commitments lies with the Bishop. He is responsible for leading efforts to keep people safe, for dealing with all allegations against Church personnel within his Diocese and for acting in compliance with civila and canonical legislation.10With due regard, in particular, to the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005
6.2 In this responsibility, the Bishop must be supported by those he has appointed to advise him and to manage Safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese – the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) and the Diocesan Risk Assessment Management Team (DRAMT)11It should be understood that, given the context of each Diocese, the employment patterns of Safeguarding personnel may vary; however, with appropriate guidance and training, the commitment of Safeguarding personnel to complying with these Safeguarding arrangements must be consistent.
6.3 The role of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) is to advise and assist the Bishop in meeting his Safeguarding responsibilities. This must involve all matters that relate to ensuring the protection of children and vulnerable adults in their contact with Church personnel and/or on Church property in the Diocese. The DSA must co-ordinate efforts to raise awareness of Safeguarding within parish communities, including the recruiting and training of Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators, the recruiting of Diocesan Safeguarding Trainers and the training of Diocesan clergy. The DSA must also advise the Bishop on good practice in responding to allegations of abuse. It is recommended that, in each Diocese, the DSA role should be undertaken by a layperson.
6.4 The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) must consist of people with relevant experience and skills, appointed by the Bishop to support the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser in his/her Safeguarding duties and to ensure Diocesan-wide adherence to the Safeguarding standards to which the Bishop is co-signatory. This should include the organisation of PVG applications and monitoring of on-going membership of the scheme across the Diocese. The DSAG should invite the National Safeguarding Co-ordinator to provide information on national Safeguarding developments at their meetings.
6.5 The Diocesan Risk Assessment Management Team(DRAMT) is appointed by the Bishop to assist him, within the strict limits of the law, in the management of individual cases where allegations have been made against a Diocesan cleric, employee or volunteer. They should consider: convictions on PVGs, those being considered for Listing and Barring and references which indicate that a volunteer should not be allowed to start or continue in post. This team’s advice and recommendations should assist the Bishop to come to decisions about how to proceed, in accordance with both civil and canon law, in response to allegations and concerns.
6.6 The Parish can be seen as the ‘frontline’ of Safeguarding, where many children, young people and adults participate in religious services and community activities. The Parish Priest carries prime responsibility for ensuring that the parish provides a safe environment and protection from harm, in line with these policies, procedures and with legislation. He must appoint a Parish Safeguarding Coordinator (PSC) who will support him with the management of Safeguarding in the parish. The PSC must ensure that any person working with vulnerable groups has been ‘safely’ recruited, according to vetting procedures outlined in this document. He/she must also take the lead role in promoting the participation of all volunteers in Safeguarding training provided by Diocesan Trainers. Any allegation made to a parish volunteer, employee or cleric must be reported immediately to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser who will manage the process thereafter.
6.7 In a Religious Institute the Major Superior, like a Bishop in his Diocese, carries the prime responsibility for meeting Safeguarding commitments and ensuring the co-operation of religious clergy, consecrated brothers and sisters who work with vulnerable groups. All Major Superiors of Religious Institutes working in Scotland have been asked to commit to working to the Safeguarding standards set out in this document.
6.8 Each Religious Institute has appointed a Safeguarding Link Co-ordinator who is responsible for assisting the Major Superior with Safeguarding responsibilities. This person has the lead role in ensuring that all religious personnel complete PVG applications at the local Diocesan office and that Safeguarding training is provided to all within their Religious Institute who work with vulnerable groups.
6.9 In some situations, such as the operation of a care home by a Religious Institute, the Safeguarding arrangements are regulated by the Care Commission which requires its own procedures to be followed for vetting and training staff.
6.10 Allegations against a member of a Religious Institute are managed by the Major Superior who is responsible for any decision about how to proceed in response to allegations, in accordance with both civil and canon law. The Major Superior will be assisted in making such decisions by advice from a group of colleagues with relevant expertise who fulfil a role similar to that of the DRAMT in a Diocese. The Conference of Religious in Scotland Safeguarding Commission (CRSSC) fulfils this function for some Religious Institutes in Scotland.
6.11 The main function of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland (BCOS) is to support the Bishops as they work together to undertake nationwide initiatives through various commissions and agencies. One such initiative has been the establishment of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service with the remit to assist Dioceses to meet their Safeguarding responsibilities.
6.12 SCSS, led by the National Safeguarding Co-ordinator (NSC), does not manage or investigate specific cases of Safeguarding allegations. The expertise of the NSC is available to Dioceses and Religious Institutes that wish to seek advice on Safeguarding policies, procedures and protocols. The NSC mainly provides support through:
- advising the Bishops’ Conference of any required updating of Safeguarding policies, protocols and standards
- co-ordinating the development and provision of relevant training opportunities and materials which enable Dioceses and Religious Institutes to support clergy, religious, employees and volunteers in the application of Safeguarding policies, protocols and standards
- researching, promoting and offering advice on best practice in Safeguarding
- processing, monitoring and advising on applications for membership of the PVG scheme
- being the Church’s point of contact for national bodies, other churches and voluntary organisations dealing with Safeguarding
- co-operating with the Independent Review Group with regard to the annual Safeguarding Audit.
6.13 The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has established an Independent Review Group (IRG) to provide independent monitoring and review of the Church’s Safeguarding arrangements, starting in 2018. Each year, the IRG will review the data that has emerged from the annual Safeguarding Audit of all Dioceses, Parishes, Religious Institutes and Catholic organisations in Scotland. While not responsible for dealing with individual allegations, the IRG will undertake a detailed examination of all the Safeguarding data provided by two different Dioceses each year and make recommendations to the Dioceses and to the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland about how Safeguarding practice might be improved. The IRG will publish an annual report on its findings and recommendations.