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Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service (CSAS)Procedures Manual

Review Panels

Contents

  1. Responsibilities and Standards
  2. Standards

1. Responsibilities and Standards

Responsibilities of the Safeguarding Coordinator

The Safeguarding Co-ordinator facilitates setting up the Review Panel meeting.  This includes:

  1. Receiving notification of a request for a review from the Bishop/Congregation Leader, accused person or victim/complainant;
  2. Sending a copy of the request for a Review from the accused person or victim/complainant immediately to the Bishop/Religious Congregation Leader;
  3. Acting as the main point of contact for and liaison between the Bishop/Congregational Leader, Review Panel members, the Safeguarding Commission and CSAS;
  4. Agreeing a panel meeting date, venue (this should usually be within the Diocese) and any accommodation or administrative requirements, with the Review Panel Chair at the outset;
  5. Providing the Panel members with all information presented to the Commission prior to their making the recommendation and any information received subsequent to the Commission’s recommendation;
  6. Ensuring the accused person receives a copy of all information being considered by the Review Panel. Decisions about disclosure must have regard to Data Protection and where there is any doubt about whether information should be disclosed, legal advice must be sought;
  7. Keeping people informed if there is delay in convening a panel;
  8. Providing Review Panel members with expense claim forms and details of how to claim at the outset;
  9. Arranging legal advice for the panel where requested;
  10. Receiving the Review Panel’s report outlining its recommendation and reasons and circulate to all parties (the victim/complainant, person accused, Bishop/Congregation Leader, Safeguarding Commission, CSAS CSAS).

Responsibilities of the Bishop/Congregation Leader

It is the responsibility of the Bishop/Congregation Leader to:

  1. Within 10 working days of receiving the Commission’s recommendations, advise the Safeguarding Coordinator in writing of the intention to seek a Review;
  2. Advise the Safeguarding Coordinator within one working day if a request for a Review is received from the accused person of victim/complainant;
  3. On receiving notification of the request for a Review from the accused person or the victim/complainant, the Bishop/Religious Congregation Leader has 10 working days within which to decide whether or not to hold a Review;
  4. If a victim/complainant withdraws their request for a Review, decided whether to accede to the request;
  5. Notify CSAS within 3 working days of deciding to proceed with a review and then liaise with CSAS to confirm Panel membership and nominate a Review Panel Chair;
  6. Liaise with the Safeguarding Coordinator who will act as the main point of contact for and liaison between the Bishop/Congregational Leader, Review Panel members, the Safeguarding Commission and CSAS;
  7. Liaise with the Chair of the Review Panel and agree a response to individual requests from victims/complainants for disclosure of documentation;
  8. Receive the Panel report;
  9. Providing the Panel members with all information presented to the Commission prior to their making the recommendation and any information received subsequent to the Commission’s recommendation;
  10. Ensuring the accused person receives a copy of all information being considered by the Review Panel. Decisions about disclosure must have regard to Data Protection and where there is any doubt about whether information should be disclosed, legal advice must be sought;
  11. Keeping people informed if there is delay in convening a panel;
  12. Providing Review Panel members with expense claim forms and details of how to claim at the outset;
  13. Arranging legal advice for the panel where requested;
  14. Receiving the Review Panel’s report outlining its recommendation and reasons and circulate to all parties (the person accused, Bishop/Congregation Leader, Safeguarding Commission, CSAS);
  15. Meet the costs associated with convening a Review Panel including Panel member fees and expenses. 

Responsibilities of CSAS

CSAS facilitates access to Independent people who can be appointed as Review Panel members, advises on the use of national policy and procedure and holds a central record of the outcome of the Review Panel and decision of the Bishop/Congregation Leader. CSAS will:

  1. Respond to requests from a Bishop/Congregational Leader for members of a Review Panel to be identified;
  2. Liaise with the Bishop/Congregational leader to confirm Panel membership and nominate a Review Panel Chair;
  3. Finalise Panel composition, including the Chair within 10 working days of the Bishop/Congregation Leader making contact;
  4. Appoint a replacement panel Chair and members, in liaison with the Bishop/Congregation Leader, in the event a conflict of interest is discovered or in the event the Chair or member withdraws for other reasons;
  5. Provide Panel members with contact details for all members of the Panel within 3 working days of the panel composition being finalised;
  6. Ensure the Panel Chair is provided with details of any replacement Panel members;
  7. Ensure the Review Panel Chair has contact details for the Safeguarding Coordinator;
  8. Provide the Safeguarding Coordinator with contact details for Panel members;
  9. Receive a copy of the panel’s report from the Review Panel Chair;
  10. After 28 days of the report being circulated, request from Bishop/Congregation Leader details of decision;
  11. Notify all Review Panel members of outcome;
  12. Provide the Review Panel Chair with templates for monitoring the review process and recording the panel recommendations and reasons for them;

Responsibilities of the Panel Chair

It is the Review Panel Chair’s responsibility to:

  1. Coordinate the work of the Panel and communicate with the parties involved throughout the process;
  2. Receive documentation from the Safeguarding Co-ordinator;
  3. Determine whether the case falls within the scope of the Protocol;
  4. Request that further enquiries are made by the Commission before reaching a decision, making explicit the nature of the enquiries to be undertaken and the timetable for completing the enquiries;
  5. Agree a panel meeting date with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator in consultation with the other panel members;
  6. Ensure the accused and the victim/complainant are notified of the appointment of the Review Panel, the date of its meeting and how they can make written representations and contact the Review Panel. This will be via the Safeguarding Coordinator;
  7. Ensure delays in the process are communicated to the person requesting the Review;
  8. Ensure that the accused person has the same information that is being considered by the Panel at least 20 days prior to the Review Panel meeting. Decisions about disclosure must have regard to Data Protection and where there is any doubt about whether information should be disclosed, legal advice must be sought;
  9. Liaise with the Bishop/Congregation Leader and agree a response to individual requests from victims/complainants for disclosure of documentation;
  10. Ensure that if the Panel is in receipt of information that should have been available to the Commission but wasn’t, and had it been it might have affected their recommendations, refer the case back to the Commission;
  11. Ensure that the Panel meets at least once before reaching a decision about the Commission’s recommendations;
  12. Reach a conclusion within 4 months of establishment of the Panel;
  13. Ensure that the Review Panel’s recommendation and reasons for them are recorded and that this is signed by all panel members and sent to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator for circulation, copied to CSAS;
  14. Maintain a record of the process of the Review and ensure that the template monitoring form is completed and returned to CSAS.

Responsibilities of panel members

It is the responsibility of panel members to:

  1. Notify CSAS immediately if they know the accused person or victim/complainant;
  2. Receive documentation from the Safeguarding Co-ordinator;
  3. Attend panel meetings and participate in related discussions as determined by the panel Chair;
  4. Sign agreement to the Review Panel recommendations;
  5. Receive the decision of the Bishop/Congregation Leader from CSAS.

2. Standards

Panel documentation will:

  1. Be bound and paginated;
  2. Include a front sheet listing the content of the documents;
  3. Include a chronology and information will be presented in chronological order;
  4. Include all papers presented to the Safeguarding Commission when they made their recommendations as well as all documents utilised by the Safeguarding Co-ordinator in formulating his/her report to the Safeguarding Commission;
  5. Include any relevant material received subsequent to the Safeguarding commission reaching its decision;
  6. Be sent by recorded delivery or where information is sent electronically it will be encrypted and anonymised by either redaction or replacing names with initials or case number;
  7. Stored in a secure place for the duration of the review with restricted access;
  8. On completion of the review,  be either returned to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or destroyed through shredding or burning and an email acknowledging that this has been done must be sent by each member of the Review Panel to the SC.