What is The Safeguarding Commission?
Within each Diocese, there is a Safeguarding Commission with an Independent
lay chair who has extensive safeguarding experience in working with children
and/or adults. Exact numbers and experience on the Commission is determined
locally but there are sufficient members to ensure appropriate expertise is
The Safeguarding Commission is accountable to
the Bishop and Trustees of the Diocese. In respect of Religious Orders aligned
to a particular Safeguarding Commission, that Commission is accountable to the
Congregational Leader and Trustees of the Order in respect of matters related
to that Order.
The Commission has regulatory, advisory and supportive
functions. It exists to discharge these functions at a strategic level in
all matters relating to safeguarding in Dioceses/Religious Congregations and
As a Commission, and through its sub groups, it will:
*Secure a strategy for the
promotion of good and safe child-care environments in all parishes in line
with agreed national policies and procedures
*Agree clear and unambiguous
arrangements for liaison, consultation and working together regarding
allegations against members of the Church
*Ensure that the
Bishop/Congregation Leader receives full information relevant to
safeguarding incidents together with recommendations
*Receive all information
relating to safeguarding matters from their Diocese/Religious
*Ensure effective liaison with
all relevant Statutory Agencies
*Contribute to the development
and review of national policies, principles and practice
*Advise the Bishop/Congregation
Leader on welfare matters in respect of parishes, and individuals and
families within parishes, who have been victims of abuse
*Ensure arrangements are in
place for the pastoral care of individuals and communities affected by
*Support and advise on matters
relating to long term arrangements for members of the Church who are known
abusers of children, including the commissioning of risk assessments
*Ensure that there is a strategy
to raise awareness of and promote training in safeguarding matters
*Monitor implementation of all
safeguarding strategies and work plans and report regularly to the
*Produce an Annual Report to
contribute to the CSAS public Annual Report for presentation to Bishops'
Conference and Conference of Religious of England and Wales
*Establish a small panel of
individuals to whom confidential reference may be made when there are
disclosures from the DBS in order that an informed decision may be made to
the Bishop/Religious Leader
*Ensure the availability of
training and appropriate supervision for the Safeguarding Coordinator
Safeguarding Commission Members
Below are details of the current members who make up the Northampton Diocesan Safeguarding Commission:
|Rev Andrew Behrens
Commission Member - Clergy Representative
Fr Andrew has been priest-in-charge of St Gregory's, Northampton since
2002 and previously served in Bedford in the parish of St Joseph and as
chaplain to HMP Bedford.
Previously he had served in the ministry of the Church
of England for 20 years in Kent and Yorkshire before moving to
He is married with grown-up children and has been a member of
the safeguarding commission since 2011
Appointed to the Neurology team at Northampton General Hospital Trust in 2004, Kathy is a part time nurse specialist for people with multiple sclerosis.
Previously, she was employed as a Health visitor/ Practice educator in Primary care. In Kathy's current role, she provides nurse led clinics at Northampton General Hospital out patient department and supports colleagues who provide clinics in Daventry and Brackley.
Kathy has been a Parish safeguarding rep for many years. She feels very fortunate to have been involved with the MS Society for many years as a volunteer and also with the HC Pilgrimage Trust over the last four years to assist with the care of VIPs with complex needs whilst in Lourdes.
Furthermore, Kathy was selected to be a Games Maker for the 2012 Paralympic games.
Rev Terry McGrath (MSFS)
Commission Member - Religious Representative
Terry McGrath is a priest and member of a religious institute, Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales. Since 1994 he has been the Administrator of the Dympna Centre, which offers pastoral and spiritual counselling for priests and people in the Church.
After theological studies at Fribourg in Switzerland and Allen Hall, he was involved in parish work both in England and the United States. He has worked more directly with priests and religious since 1983 and continues to do that very happily today.
He believes that safeguarding is not new but an application of good pastoral care and concern for others, which is fundamental to good practice in the Church.
Neil is the Director of Diocesan Youth Ministry in Northampton Diocese and his responsibilities include the vision, strategy and development of the NYMO office as well as managing the team. He also represents youth ministry at diocesan meetings and nationally. Neil heads up lux.weekends, which happen twice a year and attract almost 100 young people.
Neil fully appreciates the vital importance of Safeguarding through his close working with youth leaders and young people.
Hugh has been a school teacher for many years. Although semi-retired, he is currently working part-time at the local university as an associate lecturer. He has been a school governor for many years, having served at various times (twice as Chair) on the governing bodies of four schools. Hugh also has been involved with school admission appeals for many years.
Hugh has become fully aware of safeguarding issues and legislation because of his professional background. A short career in the local Crown Courts has also helped to understand more about the working of the criminal justice system.
He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and his home parish is in Northampton
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org
DCI Paul McGregor
Recruitment of Safeguarding Commission Members
If you have experience or expertise of working in a safeguarding capacity relating to children and/or adults, then you would be an ideal candidate to join our Commission as a member. The local Commission are looking for new members to join and be part of the safeguarding structure of the Catholic Church in this very important work. As a member, your role will include attendance at Commission meetings which take place approximately four times each year.Here is a statement from one of our current Commission members on what the role means to him. "Being part of the diocesan safeguarding commission offers me the opportunity to shape the way we as a church respond to the needs of young people and vulnerable adults. Supporting strategies that affect people during some of the most challenging times of life. Realising the positive effects our decisions have on the lives of individuals; protecting, caring and promoting safer environments for all".If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Commission member, please either contact Danielle Dixon, the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator.