Safeguarding: if you have concerns
The parish of Our Lady of the Crays takes safeguarding very seriously.
- you have concerns about the way a child or vulnerable adult is being treated, or
- you are a child who needs someone to talk to, or
- you need advice on child or vulnerable adult safe-guarding issues.
We also have guidelines on working with children and young people within the parish which we would like those who work in this area to adhere to.
What should you do in cases of suspected or alleged abuse?
As a general rule, always contact those in authority.
- do not investigate
- do not inform, question or confront the alleged abuser.
If you think that a child is in immediate danger or the matter is urgent, you should report your suspicion without delay to Social Services, the Police, or the NSPCC.
Please then contact Helen Sheppard, the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator:
- Phone: 020 7803 4933
If the matter relates to past events but carries no immediate danger, contact the Southwark Archdiocese Safeguarding Coordinator, who will advise you further and pursue the matter appropriately.
When a child or vulnerable adult tells you about abuse
Listen carefully and reassuringly. Listen only to what the child wishes to share. Be encouraging – it will be difficult for the child to disclose a painful or disturbing experience – but refrain from asking probing questions and go at the child’s pace.
Accept what is said to you.
Make it clear to the child that you cannot keep what they tell you a secret, but will share it only with people who can help them.
Never, never approach or inform the alleged abuser. This does not help and may harm the child.
Remember the child’s well-being comes first. Your contact will be treated confidentially and you will be advised on how to proceed.
When an adult expresses concern about someone else?
Listen carefully without making any judgement or asking leading questions. The personal cost to someone making a complaint or expressing concern may be high.
They may be upset, angry or confused. Give them as much time and encouragement as necessary and put them in immediate contact with one of the appropriate authorities. Offer to accompany them if possible. If neither is feasible, then tell them that you will pass on the necessary information yourself.
If an adult confides in you that they were abused as a child?
The same guidelines are appropriate here also. Remember the alleged abuser could still be in a position to harm others. In any case, the abused person will need careful help.
Our Lady's Pre-School
All teachers have been through a safer recruitment process which includes a DBS Disclosure (formerly CRB).
Conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP)
Members of our SVP Conference visit families in their homes, and all are cleared by the Disclosure & Barring Service.