Safeguarding Policy For The Protection Of Children & Vulnerable Adults

This page contains a summary of the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service Child Protection Policy. The full live policy can be viewed here.

St. Francis’ Parish Maidstone is committed to the child protection policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to protect children and young people from neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse and to promote a safe environment for them.

The parish has a growing children’s and young peoples ministry. The parish takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the church’s care. Through the work of the parish child protection team, the parish works to ensure the safety of children and young people in our community.

Information for Children and Young People

Every child or young person who comes to St Francis’ Church is important.
All adults must make sure that:

  • You are treated well and with respect
  • You are listened to
  • You are safe

If you are unhappy, muddled, confused, worried, hurt or frightened about anything that happens at St Francis’, where you live or anywhere else you go we want to help.
The people you can tell are:

  • Someone in your family or where you live.
  • A leader who you feel listens to you in the church.
  • Parish Safeguarding Representative:
    Mary Ryan: Tel: 07495 624384
  • Diocesan Child Protection Officer:
    Helen Sheppard: Tel: 020 7261 1606 or 020 7803 4933
  • Somebody at school.
  • Childline: 0800 1111
  • NSPCC number: 0808 8005000


If you are concerned about the welfare of a child or adult at risk, do not delay in contacting the police, using 999 if a child or adult is believed to be in immediate danger.

It is the policy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to report all allegations of abuse to statutory authorities, regardless of whether the abuse occurred recently or in the past, or whether the accused person is living or deceased.

If you are in any role within the Catholic Church in England and Wales, you must refer allegations directly to the safeguarding office for your diocese or religious congregation, or directly to the Police.

If you are a member of the public, please refer allegations directly to the police and also to the safeguarding office in your diocese. You can contact the Archdiocese of Southwark Safeguarding Office by telephoning:
0207 261 1606
or via email at:

Code of Conduct for Adults Involved in Contact with Children and Young People

You must:

  • Operate within the Church’s principles and guidance and any particular procedures of the Diocese, Religious Congregation, Parish or Club.
  • Treat all children equally and with respect.
  • Engage and interact appropriately with children and young people.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow- an environment, which allows bullying, inappropriate shouting, or any form of discrimination is unacceptable.
  • Respect a child or young persons right to personal privacy.
  • Recognise that particular care is required in moments when you are discussing sensitive issues with children and young people e.g. maintain appropriate boundaries.
  • Avoid situations that compromise your relationship with children and young people, and are unacceptable in a position of trust. This rule should apply to all such behaviours including those, which would not constitute an illegal act.

You must not:

  • Discuss topics or use vocabulary with children and young people, which could not be used comfortably in the presence of parents or another adult.
  • Arrange an overnight trip with a child or young person without ensuring that another approved person will be present.
  • Take a chance when common sense suggests a more prudent approach.
  • Physically, emotionally or sexually abuse or exploit any child.