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 available.
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 Seminaries.
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 Congregation
*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 child abuse
*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 Trustees
*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 Northamptonshire.
He is married with grown-up children and has been a member of the safeguarding commission since 2011.
Commission Vice Chair
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.
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
Glen is a retired head nurse after spending 40 years in
health care. During his working life he was involved in Safeguarding cases,
complaints, mentoring and coaching. Glen was also the lead nurse for mental health
and older peoples health care. Glen served as school governor and at present
is a member of the hospital chaplaincy team. Glen is the chair of the Cathedral Parish
Council, a member of the finance committee and pastoral area group. Glen is a representative for Church’s together in Northampton.
Commission Vice Chair
Tina is a qualified nurse leadership coach and ISO 9001:2015 certified auditor, she has significant experience of working in both the private and public sector in a variety of roles including operational and latterly strategic director level posts. She set up her own Company 6 years ago- ECLM Ltd - providing coaching, leadership and management development and safeguarding training for leaders and managers as well as health and social care CQC and regulatory compliance, training and development services for organisations. Tina also provides independent investigatory services into safeguarding, complaints, whistleblowing and harassment and grievance cases to the public, local government, education and the private
sector. Tina acts as an Expert witness for health and social care services. Tina has been a Trustee/director for a charity, a school governor with over 10 years’ service as well as panel member for school appeals. Tina runs a uniform and workwear company too, in her spare time!
In 2007 Paul was appointed to the role of Safeguarding Children in Education Officer for Luton Borough Council having previously worked as an Education Welfare Officer for the borough. In this role Paul was responsibility for developing safeguarding and child protection procedures and practices across the town and also delivering training to schools. In 2009 Paul was appointed to the role of Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for Luton. This role involves managing allegations or concerns about adults who work or volunteer with children. In 2016 Paul became a member of the National LADO network which aims to develop allegations management procedures across the UK.
In his spare time Paul is a school Governor and is currently working towards a degree in social work.
Cathy has been a Lead Ofsted inspector for the last 16 years and has inspected safeguarding in a variety of schools, children's centres and pre-school settings. She also worked until she recently retired as a senior operational manager for Buckinghamshire Children's Services leading safeguarding training for senior school staff and carrying out school safeguarding reviews as one of her roles. Cathy currently acts as a safeguarding consultant to schools. She is chair of governors to two Catholic federated primary schools in Bletchley and is also the safeguarding governor.
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.