A MESSAGE FROM THE SAFEGUARDING TEAM

Unfortunately, even during the lockdown, there are still safeguarding issues as individuals find new ways to target the vulnerable. We received an email from the Safeguarding department this week and would like to share it with as many of our parishioners as possible, and especially if you can share with neighbours, family and friends who do not receive the bulletin online.

By now, sadly, you will have also seen a number of news reports that some groups that have been using videoconferencing, social media etc to support their work have sadly also experienced some quite nasty and distressing incidents. There have been a number of reports of Zoom calls being Zoombombed (an individual intrudes uninvited into a Zoom call) and distributing distressing material or comments, live streams being hacked, and people joining online groups with the intention of grooming children and young people.

CSAS have put together the attached guidance document in respect of using videoconferencing for ministry, which will hopefully support you and give you confidence in using technology during ministry safely. Please do use the guidance in considering any form of online ministry, and review your procedures in light of the guidance. 

Guidance_on_safeguarding_in_the_use_of_videoconferencing_for_ministry.pdf

I would also suggest that enclosed in this document is a section of ‘Useful links and resources for internet safety’ within this document. CSAS have hyperlinked a number of really informative charities that I use regularly to inform my practice, and I find really helpful as a parent. It may be helpful to share those links with your parish communities, as parents and carers try to guide children and young people through our accelerated use of an online world.

I would also draw your attention to sections 8 & 9 of the CSAS Creating a Safer Environment document which also has guidance on the use of technology, and photography and filming including live streaming church services.  https://www.csas.uk.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Creating-a-Safer-Environment-1.docx"

Any questions on either document should be sent to 

REPORTING ABUSE

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger. It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police. If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to the safeguarding office in your diocese; (the relevant Diocesan safeguarding office can be located using the interactive map on the links page of the CSAS website www.csas.uk.net - contact details will be shown when you click on the relevant area of the map). You can also contact CSAS by telephoning 0207 901 1920 or via email at