The Catholic Church in Scotland is establishing the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (SCSSA) to improve the Church’s safeguarding approach and to rebuild trust and confidence in the ways in which children and vulnerable adults are kept safe in all Church premises and activities, and with all Church personnel.
Working independently of the Catholic Church, the SCSSA will oversee how Catholic dioceses, parishes, religious congregations and Catholic organisations safeguard all who have contact with Catholic faith communities across Scotland. Taking account of the perspectives of survivors of abuse, the agency will monitor compliance with national safeguarding standards, as set out in the core document ‘In God’s Image’. Working collaboratively, it will lead in the development of a safeguarding learning network and of training opportunities for all responsible for safeguarding in the Church.
The main functions of the SCSSA Board will be:
- to lead the development of the culture, values and strategic direction of SCSSA in order to provide effective scrutiny of the Church’s safeguarding provision
- to ensure the provision of sound advice to the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland on the implementation of its national safeguarding policy (‘In God’s Image’)
- to ensure the provision of sound advice and recommendations to dioceses, religious institutes and Catholic organisations on their safeguarding practice
- to monitor SCSSA’s operations, ensuring prudent management, sound planning and compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations
- to provide effective controls on SCSSA business strategy and financial management
- to act in accordance with the SCSSA Articles of Association.