Survey launched: The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) want to hear from as many people as possible to help shape the future of safeguarding within the Catholic Church.

It wants to hear from people across all areas and levels within dioceses, parishes, religious life groups (RLGs), the Religious Life Safeguarding Service (RLSS), and victims and survivors.

News from the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA)
8 August 2023

“A series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner”. That’s an official dictionary definition of the word ‘procedure’. I know this because I looked it up. ‘Policy’ is an even bigger mouthful, namely: “a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by organisation”.

Not the most compelling terminology! But for those of us concerned with keeping people safe, policy and procedures are our bread and butter.

Daily safeguarding practice needs to be ever curious. It needs to be transparent. And it needs to be consistent. At CSSA, we need to make sure that we promote excellent practice in safeguarding.

That’s why we have teamed up with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) who are reviewing our safeguarding policies and procedures – making sure they are accurate, up-to-date and represent ongoing best practice. We make no apology for working with external experts – we’re proud of this collaboration.

We don’t do this alone. If you work in safeguarding, or use the guidance (whether you use them or have been subject to them), please get involved. We, and the SCIE team, want to make sure that our policies and procedures are right for you. You may well know how this stuff works in practice, daily, where you are. Are there any gaps? Are they accessible enough? When it comes to keeping people safe in your church body, are they the best they can be?

The team would like as many people as possible to fill in the survey. You’ve got until Thursday 31 August. Please share it widely with colleagues.

We’re all in the business of continual improvement, so tell us how it is for you. We want to know what safeguarding policies and procedures look like, for people, in real life, where you are. There’s more from Mick and our team on our Practice Guidance page.

We’ll be back in touch once this project is complete. Whether you work directly in safeguarding or not, you can be assured that our policies and procedures will offer the best, most up-to-date, practice guidance possible.

The dictionary definition is one thing, but this is an opportunity to help shape the future of safeguarding within the Catholic Church. That’s my definition.

Thanks so much for your ongoing support.

Nazir Afzal OBE, Chair, CSSA

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