Welcome to the page of Parish Safeguarding Representatives - PSRs
WHO ARE PSRs AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
Parish Safeguarding Representatives (PSRs) are volunteers who provide assistance and support to their parish in safeguarding matters.
PSRs can come from a variety of professional backgrounds and amongst the diocesan PSR's workforce we have enrolled teachers, police officers - in service or retired - barristers, pediatric and other nurses, social workers, various hospital staff, department of work and pension staff, private companies individuals, GDPR experts and anyone with a minimum knowledge about how to use computers and a bit of time available to dedicate to this role.
Currently, the diocese counts about 320 PSRs across its 215 parishes and 30 ethnic chaplaincies.
The PSR's role is a very important one because it helps try keep our parish communities safe from harm and abuse by creating safe environments where everyone can flourish and participate in parish activities happily and safely, especially those considered vulnerable like children, young people and/or adults at risk.
The safeguarding work of a PSR revolves around 4 main identified areas and they are:
- 4 Rs: recognising, responding, recording and referring on concerns/allegations
- Safe recruitment of volunteers (including the initial stages of DBS procedures)
- Creating a safe environment
- Advancing/Promoting a "Culture of Safeguarding"
HOW MUCH TIME DO PSRs DEDICATE TO THIS ROLE?
It really depends on the size of your parish and other circumstances. However, usually PSRs dedicate a couple hours a week to this role for a small/medium parish and for larger parishes we encourage the development of teams of multiple PSRs that can divide the workload accordingly and help each other's overcome some of the challenges they may encounter because of the size of their communities and subsequent large numbers of activities.
PSRs very generously give some of their precious time to help their parish communities. Knowing that they also often are busy family members with equally demanding professions, we provide suggestions to facilitate the way in which PSRs go about the tasks of the role. For example, we advise about setting up 'DBS surgeries' where the PSR meets groups of parish applicants (volunteers) at given days/times that are suitable to them to do bulk work and set some useful structure to their PSR's work.
HOW TO BECOME A PSR
If you are interested to help your parish priest and parish community, believe you may be suitable for this role and wish to become a PSR, please do contact your parish priest and let them know that you are available. Anyone that has been initially assessed as a suitable candidate for this role will be referred by their parish priest to the central services diocesan safeguarding team - email@example.com - to start a safe recruitment process. This process consists of four main requirements:
- Completion of an interview process
- Clearance of DBS check
- Completion of 5 EduCare online safeguarding courses
- Completion of a full day induction training
Here below you can find path to becoming a PSR (flowchart) and PSR's role description to familiarise with the requirements/expectations of the role.
HOW LONG ARE PSRs EXPECTED TO BE IN THIS ROLE?
There really is no minimum expectation although an ideal situation would be the one where a PSR can fulfil the role at least over one or two years. However, since we know that life circumstances can change at any time our PSRs stay for as long as they wish or can. Any length of time is truly appreciated and helpful.
Once a PSR wishes or needs to step down from the role, we ask that they inform their parish priest and us as soon as possible so that we can search for a suitable replacement. Often, despite having informed us about their departure, PSRs are able to cover in this role until a suitable new candidate has been fully appointed and this helps avoiding any possible gaps at the parish. When this is not possible, we can put in place interim arrangements.
PSRs receive regular re-training and are constantly supported in their role by two safeguarding support officers who can be contacted Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm by writing an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More ways to contact the central services diocesan safeguarding team can be found on the 'Contact Us' box of this RCDOW website, safeguarding section.
The central services diocesan safeguarding team aim at organising an annual PSRs' conference to thank the PSRs for the fantastic work they do in their parish communities, to provide safeguarding updates and also an opportunity to networking with other PSRs of the diocese.
If you are interested to become a PSR in your parish please do speak to your parish priest or write directly to us at the email address above. Thank you.