SAFEGUARDING POLICY AND GUIDANCE

Vicar & Chairman of the PCC: Revd David Busk (436400)

Churchwardens: Mrs Jean Morgan (417502) & Mr Robert Hurd (458700)

Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO): Dr Simon Prince (413157)

1.  INTRODUCTION

The protection and nurture of vulnerable people in our community is a commitment that needs no introduction or explanation. We strive together to follow the example of Christ in reaching out to all people, in all circumstances, with a special compassion for those who have nobody else to speak for them.

This document is based on The Diocese of Ely Safeguarding Policy and Procedures, which provide an everyday tool for those who work with vulnerable people, including children and adults. Much of the material is summarised or adapted from the House of Bishops document.

2.  AIMS & OBJECTIVES

a.  To welcome and support all members of our church community.

b.   To provide assurance to the church community that the Parochial Church Council (PCC) takes appropriate measures to ensure the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the community.

c.  To ensure that all ordained and lay ministers, employees and volunteers who are involved regularly in the church community activities that include children or vulnerable adults, are appropriately vetted by Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks/Confidential Declarations in order to identify those who have a history of offences against children or vulnerable adults.

d.   To have in place guidelines and procedures to identify and report actions by individuals involved in church activities that may be evidence of abuse against children or vulnerable adults.

e.   To support members of the community who have a history of offences against children or vulnerable adults through pastoral support and setting boundaries to enable them to participate in the life of the community.

3.  IMPLEMENTATION

a.   The Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO), appointed by the PCC, will:

(1) maintain an up-to-date Safeguarding List of all individuals in the church community who are involved in activities for which DBS checks/Confidential Declarations are required;

(2) liaise as necessary with Diocesan Safeguarding and Child Protection agencies;

(3) report to the PCC meetings in March, July and November;

(4) ensure that all reports of possible abuse are investigated promptly and passed on to higher authority promptly if necessary.

b.   All groups and activities will have adequate levels of leadership and supervision.

c.   All those specified in the Safeguarding List will be offered and, when not mandatory, encouraged to attend Diocesan training in Safeguarding issues.

d.   Group and Activity Leaders will:

(1) collaborate with the PSO to ensure that all group/activity members complete DBS Checks/Confidential Declarations BEFORE they commence their duties, and whenever these need to be renewed;

(2) provide group/activity members with clear guidelines on areas of work, and supervise their activities;

(3) ensure all group/activity members know what to do if they suspect actions by individuals may be evidence of abuse;

(3) inform the PSO or, if he is not available, the Vicar or a churchwarden, as soon as possible of any incidents which may involve abuse;

(4) keep an up-to-date register of all children under the age of 18 attending a group/activity which should include:

  • names of parents/carers,
  • home address, and
  • telephone number.

The register will be be taken for each session, and the record of attendance will be kept on file for a minimum of three years.

(5) obtain completed Parental Consent Forms (available from the PSO) for all U18s when they join a group or activity.

d.  The ratio of adults to children must be sufficient to ensure safety and comply with the requirements of Government policy and legislation. These requirements are particularly relevant to work with children under the age of 8. For latest guidance and registration requirements, call Ofsted’s helpline on 0845 601 4771, or speak to the Diocesan Children & Families Adviser.

e.   This Policy was agreed by the PCC on 18th November 2014 and will be reviewed annually on the anniversary of that date, and amended as necessary.

              David Morgan

Signed:  D.G. MORGAN, PCC Secretary
Guidelines for Work with Children and Vulnerable Adults

  1. Avoid working in one-to-one situations with children or vulnerable adults wherever possible. Make sure there is a colleague within earshot. Try to have a man and a woman at each mixed-age activity. Leaders of activities should not use alcohol while on duty.
  2. Those undertaking one-to-one counselling or pastoral work must adhere to the highest standards of conduct, and should have received appropriate training. Know your own level of competence, and do not step beyond it; if a situation becomes difficult, seek advice straight away. Be clear at the start what you and the person you are working with are planning to achieve by meeting, and the limits of what you can offer. Meet at an agreed time, in a place that affords an ability to talk confidentially without being secretively ‘tucked away’, and let a colleague know that you are meeting, and why. If you are working with a child, make sure that the parent/carer is aware of the meeting
  3. At the first meeting, explain that the conversation will be confidential unless there are exceptional circumstances. If the person is being harmed, if they are harming others or if they know that a child or vulnerable adult is being harmed, the information will have to be passed on. If this level of confidentiality is not acceptable, try to arrange access to an appropriate anonymous telephone helpline; don’t be tempted to promise absolute confidentiality.
  4. When working in sensitive situations or 1:1, keep a written record of the session, properly dated (including year). Where there are potential safeguarding issues, make a written record (include date, time and signature), and seek advice.
  5. Socially acceptable physical contact in a public place is quite proper and appropriate where it can be readily seen by others and not hidden away. Physical contact should be:
  6. Minimal
  7. Intended to meet the needs of the receiver rather than the giver
  8. Understood and welcomed by the receiver
  9. Open to the scrutiny of others
  10. It is important to respect each individual’s sense of personal space. Avoid playing rough games or making provocative or ‘teasing’ comments, even in fun. It is equally important not to be paranoid about responding to someone who is clearly in need of physical contact, eg when injured or distressed. Use cautious common sense, keep contact minimal, and create an ethos of shared scrutiny and support in the workplace.
  11. Children may attend worship or other activities unaccompanied by an adult. Where this is the case, try to establish if parents know where the child is and what time s/he is expected home. If necessary, encourage the child to leave at the appropriate time to get home for this deadline. If a child is joining a regular activity, record his/her name, age, and address on a registration form and ask the child to bring it back signed next time. Make every effort to establish contact with the parents, particularly of a younger child, by sending information home or providing a church telephone number or email address for them to call. No child can be taken on a trip away from the church site without a parental consent form.
  12. With adults who are vulnerable, try to establish a line of communication with the carer or key worker, if there is one: keep a note of those who have responsibility for the vulnerable adult and who can give advice where necessary about how to include the adult’s individual needs in church activities.
  13. The premises used should be safe and well maintained. Seek advice if necessary on the latest Health and Safety regulations, including appropriate risk assessments for activities and outings. Keep a suitably stocked First Aid kit always accessible; where children’s activities are offered, also obtain a special children’s First Aid kit in addition to the standard adult one. Ideally, one or more of the workers on the helpers should be trained in First Aid (for children and adults).  Make sure that all planned activities, on or off site, are covered by an adequate insurance policy.
  14. Helpers must be prepared to listen attentively and supportively to those for whom they have a duty of care. If someone makes a complaint or an allegation about the behaviour of someone within the church or the community, listen carefully without making a judgement on how plausible what you are hearing might be. If a complaint is made about someone in the church, this must ALWAYS be referred outside the church for advice about how to proceed. Contact the Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser or the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer for help.