The safeguarding policy of the Jesuits in Britain

1. The commitment to safeguarding

1.1 The Society of Jesus in Britain[1] is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk.[2]
1.2 The Jesuits in Britain are committed to promoting a culture of safeguarding in which Jesuits themselves, those who are employed by us or who work with us as volunteers, and members of the communities in which we work, including children and young people, are well informed about safeguarding, know how to respond to concerns or allegations, and know how to protect children and adults at risk.
1.3 The Jesuits in Britain are committed to adopting and implementing best practice in safeguarding and will at least annually review its policy, procedures and practice to achieve this.

2. Support for victims of abuse

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to providing pastoral and professional support to victims of abuse and to endeavour to ensure that this provision is effective and responsive to their individual needs.

3. Procedures where we work

3.1 In England and Wales, the Jesuits in Britain subscribes to the safeguarding policy of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and the procedures for the safeguarding of children and adults at risk set out in the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Authority (CSSA) Procedures Manual, as amended from time to time.[3]
3.2 In Scotland, the Jesuits in Britain subscribes to the safeguarding policy and procedures of the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service (SCSS)[4] as set out in the safeguarding manual In God’s Image–Safeguarding in the Catholic Church in Scotland, as amended from time to time.
3.3 In Guyana, the Jesuits of the Region follow the Safeguarding policy and procedures of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, as adapted by the Regional Superior in the light of the Safeguarding policy of the Antilles Catholic Episcopal Conference.[5]
3.4 If a Jesuit is credibly accused of a safeguarding matter against a minor, in addition to all statutory obligations and CSSA procedures, the Provincial is to inform the Superior General of the Jesuits about the allegation, forwarding to him all relevant paperwork pertaining to the matter.  
3.5 British Jesuits working overseas, or in other jurisdictions, are expected to know and follow local safeguarding policy, expectations, and procedures.

4. Safeguarding checks

4.1 In England and Wales all Jesuits in public ministry will have DBS enhanced disclosure certification.
4.2 In Scotland, all Jesuits in public ministry will have PVG certification.
4.3 All Jesuits in public ministry will sign up to the DBS/PVG update service, and give personal data consent to Province authorities, so that checks can be carried out when moving to a new residence or ministry
4.4 All those working for the Jesuits in Britain or its works[6] and houses[7] will be DBS/PVG checked where their work involves children or adults at risk.

5. Jesuits visiting from other provinces

5.1 Jesuits coming from overseas who will engage in public ministry in Britain for a time period of less than 6 months will be checked with their home provinces in regard to their suitability for public ministry, including safeguarding. This takes the form of a written testimonial from a Jesuit’s Provincial Superior which includes child and adults at risk protection checks carried out with the civil authorities in his home province.
5.2 Jesuits coming to Britain for a longer period of time which would allow DBS/PVG checks to be completed will also undergo DBS/PVG checks.
5.3 The province will keep a single central register of up-to-date safeguarding checks which includes every Jesuit in the province.

6. Jesuits in restricted ministry

Following a risk assessment, a safety management plan (SMP) will be drawn up by the Province Safeguarding Officer, reviewed by the Province Safeguarding Committee and enacted by the Provincial Superior[8], for any Jesuit:
·         who is the subject of a safeguarding allegation that is under investigation;
·         or who, on the balance of probabilities, is considered to have abused a child or adult at risk, even if not convicted of such an offence.
The SMP will outline the conditions under which the man may continue to live as a Jesuit and detail any restrictions to his life and ministry. The Jesuit’s Superior and the local Directors of Work[9] are always to be informed about the SMP and the local Superior is responsible for monitoring its implementation. The SMP will be reviewed annually by the Safeguarding Officer and the Safeguarding Committee. Details of the SMP will be appended to any testimonial of suitability for ministry provided for work in a diocese or other Jesuit province.

7. Care of vulnerable Jesuits

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to the safeguarding and good care of its own sick, elderly and vulnerable members. This it does through the customary cura personalis[10] of Superiors, as well as by the appointment of an Assistant for Healthcare who is a member of the province curial team.

8. Individual responsibility for safeguarding

8.1  Individual Jesuits are required to know and comply with the safeguarding procedures of the bishops’ conference where they reside; and to fully co-operate with the province safeguarding officer.
8.2  Jesuits[11] understand that they are required to report, without delay, safeguarding concerns or allegations to the appropriate authorities.  In the first instance, the report should be made to the Safeguarding Officer of the work or community, and also to the Province or diocesan Safeguarding Officer as specified in local safeguarding procedures.[12]
8.3 When a safeguarding report is made, the Jesuit making the report must satisfy himself that appropriate and timely action is being taken and, if this is not the case, additionally report to other appropriate authorities which may include the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the police, the local Safeguarding Children Board, or the multi-agency partnership.

9. Safeguarding in Jesuit communities

9.1 Each Jesuit community and work will have:
a) codes of practice setting out safeguarding expectations and procedures to respond to and report concerns and which are consistent with this province policy and the arrangements of the bishops’ conferences;
b) safer recruitment procedures for employees and volunteers;
c) information sharing arrangements;
d) and appropriate supervision and support for staff, including safeguarding training.
9.2 In each Jesuit community, one person, usually the local Superior, will be appointed by the Provincial Superior to have lead responsibility for safeguarding. This responsibility includes:
a) promoting an effective culture of safeguarding within the community and its associated works and outreach;
b) ensuring that safeguarding checks are made, and recorded, for each Jesuit joining the community;
c) ensuring that visiting Jesuits exercise their ministry only in so far as this is compatible with the safeguarding arrangements of the community and its associated works and outreach;
d) arranging appropriate safeguarding training for Jesuits and ensuring that all community members are involved, and that a record of attendance is kept;
e) liaising with those responsible for safeguarding in the works associated with the community;
f) working co-operatively with the province Safeguarding Officer and Safeguarding Committee.
g) reporting safeguarding concerns or allegations promptly to the province Safeguarding Officer;
h) acting upon the safeguarding policy and procedures;
i) and ensuring that he himself is informed and up to date about safeguarding law and best practice.
9.3 Jesuit Superiors understand the responsibility, additionally, to report any serious incident (which includes safeguarding allegations) to the Charity Commission.  This is done through the province Safeguarding Officer by the secretary to the Trustees, or by another Trustee who may from time-to-time be designated by the Trustees to have such responsibility.
9.4 Jesuit Superiors and Directors of Work will report to and liaise closely with statutory agencies [13] to ensure that any allegations of abuse are responded to properly and promptly and that survivors are supported and perpetrators are both held to account and supported.

10. The role of the Jesuit Provincial/allegations against the Jesuit Provincial

10.1 The Provincial Superior has responsibility for ensuring the commitment to safeguarding in the communities, works, and individuals of the province, is consistently and effectively applied in practice. He will review annually with each local superior, usually at visitation, the community’s commitment to and progress in developing a culture of safeguarding.
10.2 A safeguarding allegation made against the Provincial Superior will be handled on behalf of the Jesuits in Britain by a person nominated by the Chair of the Safeguarding Commission. This person will refer the matter to the civil and church authorities according to the usual procedures.

11. Province safeguarding committee

To assist the province with safeguarding, the Jesuits in Britain has established an independent Safeguarding Committee, whose remit is:
a) to advise the Provincial Superior on all aspects of Jesuit life and work in the province which relate to the safeguarding of all those with whom they work, including providing appropriate training;
b) to manage, on behalf of the Provincial Superior, any cases of malpractice in these areas which may arise;
c) to do whatever can be done on behalf of the Provincial Superior to help and support victims, especially any who have been abused by anyone who is a member of, or who works in a project under the jurisdiction of, the Jesuits in Britain;
d) and, in cases which come under the jurisdiction of other safeguarding committee or disciplinary systems, to liaise closely with them and work together in securing safety for the public and help and support for victims.

12. Province Safeguarding officer

12.1 The province Safeguarding Officer is responsible to the Safeguarding Committee, advises the Provincial Superior and province trustees, and is responsible for promoting safeguarding within the Jesuits in Britain in accordance with this policy.
12.2 The responsibilities of the province Safeguarding Officer are:
a) to lead in the implementation and management of safeguarding policy and practice in the prevention of child abuse and adults at risk of abuse;
b) to inform, advise and collaborate with the Safeguarding Committee and the Jesuit Provincial Superior on appropriate practice in managing safeguarding policy and practice;
c) to support the work of the Safeguarding Committee;
d) to collate risk information in order to draw up safety management plans and where necessary to seek independent risk assessments;
e) to work closely with the Jesuits in the development and delivery of introductory training and refresher training for all Jesuits, volunteers and others who work in Jesuit managed projects;
f) to keep up-to-date with safeguarding best practice in both national practice and in the Catholic Church, and to work cooperatively with CSSA (England and Wales) and the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service;
g) to maintain appropriate links with statutory agencies including the local safeguarding children board, adult social care services, the police, and multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) agencies;
h) to maintain up-to-date records of all enquiries, concerns, allegations, decisions and outcomes with respect to safeguarding in the British Jesuit Province and to establish and maintain an appropriate secure, confidential data management and retrieval system.

13. Insurance

The Jesuits in Britain are committed to maintaining appropriate levels of insurance such that the needs and compensation of victims of abuse may be adequately met by the province through its insurances and from its own resources.

14. Record keeping

The Jesuits in Britain keeps personnel records on each member of the province, including records relating to any safeguarding allegations or concerns. These personnel files will be kept for 100 years after the death of the individual to whom they relate and  a summary record of any safeguarding case file will be retained indefinitely.

[1] The Society of Jesus is an international Religious Order of the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1540.  It is divided in 82 more or less territorial Provinces or Regions of which the British Province is one.  The British Province operates in England and Wales, Scotland, and in Guyana.  The British Province is incorporated in English civil law as the Trust for Roman Catholic Purposes 1929.
[2] By ‘adults at risk’ is understood any person over 18 years of age ‘who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.’  Department of Health and Home Office (2000) No secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse
[3] The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) and the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Authority (CSSA) have been established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to handle safeguarding policy and procedure.  The CSSA Procedures Manual contains the national procedures to be followed by those who respond to allegations of abuse or concerns about safeguarding within the Catholic Church and its institutions in England and Wales.
[4] The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service (SCSS) has been established as an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
[5] The Regional Superior is the Jesuit appointed to govern the Jesuits, houses and works of the region.
[6] By ‘works’ is meant the different institutions and ministries in which Jesuit work, usually with others, such as parishes, schools, colleges, retreat houses, etc.  Each work will have a named Director of Work.
[7] By ‘houses’ is meant the residences where Jesuits live in community.  Each house will have a named local Superior.
[8] The Provincial Superior (the Provincial) is the Jesuit appointed to govern the Jesuits, houses and works of the province.
[9] The Director of Work is the person, Jesuit or lay, who has been appointed to lead and direct a work of the Jesuits in Britain such as a parish, school, college, retreat house, etc.
[10] Cura personalis is the traditional latin phrase used to describe the individual care that Superiors have for those under their authority.
[11] By ‘Jesuit’ is understood any member of the Society of Jesus, including novices (but not candidates who should be treated as volunteers) and those in formation, as well as priests and brothers; including both members of the British Province and Jesuits assigned to, working in, or visiting the UK.
[12] In Scotland, all safeguarding concerns are to be reported to the diocesan safeguarding officer and to the police.
[13] Statutory agencies include the local authority designated officer (LADO), the police, and the local safeguarding children board (LSCB).