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Throughout the last 12 months, the Safeguarding Community in the Diocese Galloway has continued to embrace the Safeguarding Standards outlined within ‘In Gods Image v2,’ and through the activities and commitment of individuals and groups, have played an active part in ensuring that we continue to “protect the vulnerable … support survivors and to respond appropriately to all concerns and allegations of abuse. “

The Annual Safeguarding Audit has highlighted a number of mechanisms that allow us to bring developed ideas and processes into play in, and these include regular meetings and subsequent action planning from our Diocesan Risk Assessment Management Team (DRAMT), our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group (DSAG) and our Diocesan Operational Team (OMT). The contributions from the delegates of all three management support strands are a fundamental and crucial part of enabling us to achieve what we do.

Within our Diocese, we are in a healthy position with regard to numbers of experienced Parish Safeguarding Coordinators (PSC’s) who support the Parish Priests and all of the parish volunteers with their day to day ministries. We have also put a call out to those who wish to join our Safeguarding Community, and we know you will welcome those who will be joining us soon, and say thank you to those who may have moved on from their previous safeguarding ministries.

The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (SCSSA) is now well established and is working in Sub Groups with Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers (DSA’s) and Parish Safeguarding Coordinators (PSC’s) across Scotland to find robust and developed ways of ensuring that the 8 Safeguarding Standards, as outlined in ‘In Gods Image v2,’ continue to be recognised, understood and respected as a framework for improvement.

Training continues to be a priority, and has been targeting key themes that were highlighted in the completion and submission of the Audit Returns for 2022. We will benefit greatly from this modernisation in training being rolled out nationally, and our volunteers will interact both in person and online with our Diocesan Safeguarding Trainers in the coming months.

On 18 November 2023, members of the Safeguarding Community from across Scotland will be meeting at Strathclyde University for the Annual Safeguarding Conference. The Conference presents an opportunity for all of the Safeguarding Community to meet up and discuss common themes, ambitions and developments to be shared by the Catholic community across Scotland. This year the theme of the Conference is ‘Trauma Informed responses to the disclosure of abuse – One chance to change a life,’ and at the event we will hear how Pope Francis asks us to ‘become experts in the art of encounter’.

In the Diocese of Galloway we will continue to ensure that we respond when needed, and that people who need support can easily find it within each of our Parish communities.  We are fortunate to have clergy who continue to value the role of Safeguarding, and we thank them for their ongoing involvement. As a diocese we must continue to grow and develop this culture of care which is an essential aspect of our Safeguarding vision.

A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who value Safeguarding and who give it priority in our parish communities.

William McFadden                                                                                     Tony Fisher

Diocesan Administrator                                                                               Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor