What is Safeguarding in the Diocese of Parramatta
The Bishop and Trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring the Diocese is a safe environment for children and adults at risk.
The Bishop of the Diocese is the head of the agency, and as such all Diocesan services fall within the mandate of the Bishop.
The Bishop has delegated the authority for handling child protection matters to the heads of agencies in the pastoral, education, and welfare divisions of the Diocese. Cross-diocese cooperation and information sharing is encouraged for consistent promotion and standardisation of best practice approaches to safeguarding and child protection.
All agencies and ministries are still directly accountable to the Bishop for their implementation of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian Standards.
The Bishop has appointed a ‘Safeguarding Champion’ for the Parramatta Diocese, former NSW Children’s Guardian, Ms. Kerryn Boland. The Safeguarding Champion is responsible for guiding the Bishop on:
- the implementation of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS) for children and adults at risk
- the implementation of the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian Standards
- safeguarding practices for safe cultures, including communication and engagement with stakeholders, and
- best practice accountability and governance structures for safeguarding children and at-risk adults.
The Bishop has established a ‘Support and Networking Framework’ to underpin partnerships and collaboration across the whole Diocese in implementing the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, the Office of the Children’s Guardian Standards, along with an independent Safeguarding Council.
The day-to-day safeguarding work of the Diocese is led and managed by the Head of the Office for Safeguarding, Parramatta Diocese (OSDOP) and her team. The Head of the OSDOP performs the ‘Safeguarding Coordinator’ role as required by the Standards.