It is the responsibility of the PCC to appoint a Parish or Benefice Safeguarding Officer. This is an important role as it is vital in the promoting of a safer church. The Safeguarding Officer, alongside the Parish/Benefice Priest, has the responsibility for implementing Safeguarding policy, practice and guidance in their parish/benefice. As Safeguarding Officer your role will bring you into contact with children and adults who need help and support. You will need to be empathetic, a good communicator and be able to offer a listening ear while also reacting appropriately and following strict procedures and guidelines.
What does a Parish Safeguarding Officer do?
The role is to help make the church a safe place for all. To achieve this, you need to:
- Work with the Incumbent, PCC, and Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor to ensure that all safeguarding policies and procedures are being followed
- Ensure that the PCC has agreed and adopted the House of Bishops’ “Promoting a Safer Church” policy
- Ensure that all those who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults are recruited following the Safer Recruitment procedures and undertake the relevant level of training provided
- Receive, but not to investigate, any suspicions or allegations of abuse involving church officers
- To know who to contact if someone requires help, or there is suspicion that a crime has been committed.
A more detailed list of responsibilities of a Parish/Benefice safeguarding officer can be found on Page 22 of the House of Bishops’ key roles and responsibilities document please click here.
Who can be a Parish Safeguarding Officer?
- You will be someone who is interested in the promotion of social justice, social responsibility and respect for others
- You will be able to keep information confidential when required to do so, but also knows when to share concerns in order to prevent harm to children and vulnerable adults
- You need to be able to communicate well, both verbally and in writing, with a variety of people including- those in distress, lay members in the parish, clergy, those in statutory organisations and other individuals in positions of authority.
For further information and resources
Safeguarding | Weblink
Church of England Safeguarding | Weblink