St Mark’s Parish Community Safeguarding Support Officer (PSSO)

What is a PSSO? A PSSO supports and assists the Parish Priest in fulfilling his role and responsibilities set out in the Archdiocese’s safeguarding and child protection policies and protocols. Sharon has taken on this role as a volunteer and will assist with making our parish compliant and working with our volunteers and parishioners in providing a greater understanding of safeguarding and what that means for all in our parish community.

What is Safeguarding and its role? The role of the Safeguarding is to raise awareness regarding our collective responsibility to protect the safety, well-being and dignity of children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Archdiocese of Sydney. The Safeguarding & Ministerial Integrity Office works with PSSO so parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney (CAS) become aware & compliant with NSW legislation. The Child Protection Legislation Amendment Act 2014, which was passed in NSW Parliament on 26 March 2014, changes the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998. This changes are in effect and parishes need to comply.

Why does the Parish need a PSSO? The Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) will be auditing parishes and church entities throughout Australia. Audits can incur fines for the parish and CPSL will release public reports on each of the dioceses, religious institutes and other Catholic organisations it audits. These reports will indicate whether the leadership of that Church body has ensured that the Catholic Professionals Standards Limited are being met. CPSL can and will publish audit reports on their website which will indicate whether a particular Church Authority has failed an audit.

 Do you volunteer at St Mark’s Parish? 
The Safeguarding & Ministerial Integrity Office, in conjunction with the Parish has identified our volunteers for ministries require to meet with the Parish priest for a volunteer interview, provide references and we also require
1: Working With Children Check: (Selected ministries)
2: Signed Code of Conduct form (contact the parish office)
3: Safeguarding Induction Training is require for all parish volunteers
To complete the Online Induction Training you will need to register by following this link   Click Here
Every 3 years volunteers are required complete a Safeguarding Online Refresher Course Click here
 Working With Children Check Legislation Changes
Important legal requirements to Working With Children Check (WWCC) include:
* Personal details must be updated: everyone who holds a WWCC is now legally required to update their contact details, including any name or address changes within three months of changing and notify the Parish office of changes for verification.
For further information on legislation changes or to apply for a WWCC go to the Office of Children’s Guardian.
Selected ministries wanting to work/ volunteer in the Archdiocese of Sydney will need to have a verified WWCC number before commencing work.

Linguistic Translations: The Safeguarding Office has arranged for the following translated documents:
* Policy on the care, well-being and protection of children and young people,
* Code of Conduct for working with Children
* Listening to You card
Italian – Arabic – Filipino – Vietnamese 
If you require these translated documents please contact the Parish office

Children’s Online Safeguarding Policy: The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Safeguarding Office have issued Information for Archdiocesan volunteers engaging in face-to-face communication with children and young people. Click here to read
Children and Young People’s Participation in Catholic Communities. Read the Guide to supporting and engaging, listening and communicating with Children and Young people.

Complaint Handling: The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Safeguarding Office protocol for Managing Safeguarding Complaints. Click here to read

Contact St Mark’s Parish PSSO through the Parish office email: [email protected]
The Archdiocese has a Safeguarding & Ministerial Integrity Office & the Professional Standards Office oversee our parish compliance and training.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Safeguarding Office
If you or a person close to you has been abused by someone working or ministering within the Archdiocese of Sydney we invite you to contact us. We will listen to you respectfully, offer support and discuss the options you have available to you. 
Please contact the Safeguarding & Ministerial Integrity Office phone (02) 9390 5812.