RC Diocese of Aberdeen

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser

Mrs Marjory Booth
St Mary’s House
14 The Chanonry 
AB24 1RP

Tel: 01224 319154
Fax: 01224 325 570

Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group

  • Mrs Marjory Booth
  • Mr Tom Cairns (Chair)
  • Fr Mark Impson (Episcopal Vicar for Safeguarding)
  • Mrs Anne M Rae
  • Mrs Kathleen Hoy
  • Mrs Margaret Farrell
  • Mrs Jackie Loder
  • Mr John Murray
  • Mrs Andrea Fernandes
  • Mr Roger McDermott

National Safeguarding  Coordinator for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland

Mrs Tina Campbell

SCSS: Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service

274 Bath Street
G2 4JR

Tel: 0141 332 7177
E-mail: tcampbell@scottishcatholicsafeguarding.org.uk
Website: www.scottishcatholicsafeguarding.org.uk


The Catholic Church in Scotland is concerned with the lives, safety, wholeness and well-being of each individual person within God’s purpose for everyone.

It seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations.

As a Church community, we accept that it is the responsibility of all of us, ordained, professed, paid and voluntary members, to work together to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect of children, young people and adults at risk.


The Policy Statement must be brought to the attention of all existing and new workers with children, young people and adults at risk, and they should be informed of any guidance or compulsory training available to help them to implement the Policy Statement.

The Policy Statement should be clearly displayed in Parishes, Activities and Organisations. Doing so will give a clear message to the local community that the Church in Scotland cares deeply about all people.

Contact details of individuals with specific responsibility for safeguarding, e.g. Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator, National Safeguarding Co-ordinator, will also be on the visible statement of care.


The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service has produced a manual Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities in collaboration with key personnel across the Dioceses, to inform and support those individuals who have been tasked with the responsibility to minimise the risk of abuse; respond appropriately when children, young people or a adult at risk have been harmed or may be at risk of being harmed; and promote their welfare and well-being.

These policies and procedures are evidence of the enduring commitment of the Bishops in Scotland to develop and maintain high quality safeguarding practice for all those who are involved in the life of the Church. The importance of support, guidance, procedures and training and development opportunities for people working with children and those who are vulnerable is recognised and this document should be used to provide a comprehensive and unified approach to the safeguarding programme.


The purpose of the Diocesan Adviser is to assist the Bishop with private and confidential advice and information in relation to case-specific circumstances.

The Adviser has a central role in providing support and may also chair the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group Team meetings (and any subgroups thereof) in implementing policies in order to:

  • help develop alongside the National Safeguarding Coordinator and others effective protection policies and procedures;
  • support the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group in informing and advising the Bishop on good practice in managing all matters relating to allegations of abuse.


The purpose of this group is to ensure that each Bishop has available to him the necessary advice, support and expertise in relation to child protection and adult at risk issues.

The core membership of the group should include among its membership relevant experts, diocesan and parish representatives, and representatives from appropriate agencies, e.g. child/adult care, law, youth office, police, health, education.

The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group has the following responsibilities:

  • to advise the Bishop on matters relating to the protection of children, young people and adults at risk in the Diocese;
  • to ensure that national policies and procedures in relation to the protection of children, young people and adults at risk are implemented;
  • to act as a resource and support to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;
  • to liaise with the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service on arrangements and procedures;
  • to assist the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser to conduct an annual audit in collaboration with SCSS on safeguarding issues;
  • to arrange information and training opportunities for all those engaged directly or indirectly in work with children, young people and adults at risk within the Diocese.

The group meets quarterly.


Every Parish Priest has a duty to be fully conversant with the Policies approved by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. Together with the Parish Safeguarding Coordinator, the Parish Priest will have responsibility for ensuring good standards of practice. However, the ultimate responsibility lies with the Parish Priest, who shall:

  • implement the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland’s Safeguarding Policies;
  • appoint at least one Parish Safeguarding Coordinator and make sure that all the volunteers who work with children, young people and adults at risk know that there is a named person;
  • register the name and address of their Parish Safeguarding Coordinator with the Diocesan Safeguarding Office;
  • ensure that the Parish Safeguarding Coordinator attends appropriate training when appointed to the position, and further training as required;
  • ensure that the Parish Safeguarding Coordinator attends training and complies with the Church’s policies and systems in relation to recruitment and selection (including application to gain membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme);
  • create and maintain an accurate record of all persons serving as children, young people and adults at risk workers;
  • ensure that all voluntary and paid persons working with children, young people and adults at risk comply with Church policy on recruitment and selection and undertake appropriate Church safeguarding training as required.


All Parishes are required to have a Parish Safeguarding Coordinator who has been appointed in accordance with the Church’s selection and recruitment process. This must include membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

The main purpose of the post is to support the Parish Priest to ensure that all policies approved by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland are effectively and appropriately implemented in the Parish.

The Parish Safeguarding Coordinator is appointed by and is responsible to the Parish Priest. The Parish Priest has the responsibility for all child protection and adult at risk issues within the Parish. Appointing a Parish Safeguarding Coordinator for a Parish enables a ‘two heads are better than one’ approach to sharing of information, collective thinking and collaborative action.

The Parish Safeguarding Coordinator should be identified as appropriate to local needs. This may mean that a Parish may identify more than one individual to undertake the role or share aspects of it. Alternatively some Parishes may decide to share a Parish Safeguarding Coordinator between them.

The names of all Parish Safeguarding Coordinators and the Parishes they represent should be forwarded to the appropriate designated person within the Diocese. This person should also be notified of any alterations, when made.

The duties associated with the Parish Safeguarding Coordinator’s role will take account of the circumstances of each Parish and will be undertaken or delegated once the Parish Priest has assessed the particular circumstances of the Parish.


To demonstrate that the work of volunteers with children is valued highly, the Catholic Church operates a robust selection and recruitment procedure, which includes receiving information from two independent referees and PVG Scheme Check.

In working with children and/or Adults at Risk every Parish Priest and Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator must follow national policies and procedures laid down in the document “Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities”.(Revised July 2014)


The following is a summary of the recruitment process which must be carried out for all appointments as ‘Child Care’ and ‘Protected Adults’ workers.

Parishes must ensure that these recruitment procedures are adhered to:-

Step 1
Role Descriptions are developed for everyone.

Step 2
Prospective workers are asked to complete an Application Form. Existing workers transferring to another Parish and to a new post are asked to complete an Application Form.

Step 3
Two references are requested for prospective Workers. Where a worker is transferring between Parishes references can be obtained from the respective parish.

Step 4
Prospective Worker is interviewed. Where a Worker is transferring between Parishes he/she should be interviewed prior to being appointed to the new post.

Step 5
A PVG Scheme Record is requested for the worker before he/she is appointed. The Applicant is also asked to complete a Declaration Form. Where a worker is transferring between Parishes and to a new post, the applicant has to apply for an Update to their PVG Membership and completes an ‘Existing PVG Membership’ application.

Step 6
The appropriate representative of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group should ensure that each Parish Priest/Parish Safeguarding Coordinator is notified of clearance of an appointment.


The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service conduct an annual audit of the implementation of the policies and procedures contained in the document “Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities “including the response of the Church nationally and of each Diocese to allegations and concerns of abuse.


If you see behaviour that is of concern, or if an individual tells you something, you need to take them seriously, and speak to someone (the person to whom you are responsible or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser).

In an emergency situation, where you have immediate concerns for the safety of an individual you must contact the Police/Social Work Services/Medical Services direct.

Responding To Concerns/Allegations of Abuse in Emergency Situations

When a child, young person or adult at risk is at risk of immediate harm, contact the Police and/or Social Work Services giving full information and follow advice given. Statutory Agencies are staffed 24 hours a day every day of the year.

Seek medical help where necessary, giving medical staff relevant information about the allegation/concern.

Following these steps ensures immediate avoidance of further abuse, immediate pursuit of an alleged abuser, avoidance or destruction of evidence.

The Sections of the ‘Awareness and Safety in our Catholic Communities’ manual that were revised in 2014: