The Parish Safeguarding Officer is the key link between the diocese and the parish concerning safeguarding matters. Alongside the parish Priest, they will have an overview of all church activities involving children, young people and vulnerable adults and will seek to ensure the implementation of the safeguarding policy, practice and guidance in their parish. The role helps make the church a safer place for all.
The role can be taken on by one person or shared, for example with one person covering children and the other covering vulnerable adults. 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.
- Have an overview of all church activities involving children and vulnerable adults and keep a record of these activities.
- Be familiar with Diocesan safeguarding guidance and ensure that leaders of activities are fully aware of, and are implementing, this guidance.
- Liaise with the incumbent over safeguarding issues.
- Keep in touch with the leaders of all activities and offer them advice and support over safeguarding matters.
- Liaise as necessary with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisors.
- Report all concerns or allegations to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.
- Attend Diocesan safeguarding training offered for PSOs.
- Assist with safeguarding training in the parish as appropriate.
- Attend a meeting of the church leadership (PCC) at least annually to ensure safeguarding issues are discussed and that the church leadership adopt the annual Church Safeguarding Policy.
- Ensure that the Church Safeguarding Policy and contact details are displayed in all Church premises.
- Keep good records of any safeguarding concerns that may arise, and ensure that others do the same.
- Promote inclusiveness in places of worship and within church activities.
- Keep the church leadership informed of good safeguarding practice.
- Undertake a regular parish safeguarding self-assessment in the format offered by the Diocese.
- Ensure 'Safer Recruitment' procedures are undertaken and training provided for all those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
Who can be a Parish Safeguarding Officer?
- You will be 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 know when it is appropriate to share concerns in order to prevent harm to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- Good communication, both verbal and written, is necessary with a variety of people.
For further information and resources
Safeguarding | Weblink
Church of England Safeguarding | Weblink