The Church Of The Holy Rood -- Wool, Dorset, U.K.
Safeguarding Representative (Child Protection Issues)
The Vicar (Revd Carol Langford at Wool Vicarage, Vicarage Close, Wool, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 6EB, tel: 01929 462215)
- is the Holy Rood safeguarding representative at present.
Our own Diocese of Salisbury Guidelines 2013 state:
“We will carefully select, support and train all those with any responsibility within the church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration/membership of the relevant vetting and barring schemes”.
This applies to both paid posts and voluntary roles.
Recruitment should conform to best practice, i.e.
Disclosure and Barring Service ("DBS") checks
DBS checks where required, must be completed and clearance given before the applicant can undertake their new role.
The Disclosure and Barring Service replaces the Criminal Records Bureau. For any level of clearance (e.g. for work with children, work with vulnerable adults, work with children and vulnerable adults) an individual need only submit one application, and provided they personally register for the Update Service within 14 days of receiving their certificate should not need to apply again for work with this category. The Update service is free for volunteers. Those who have already been CRB checked for a particular role will be asked to complete an application for DBS when their existing “renewal” date approaches. Any organisation can apply to check the status of those who already hold a DBS certificate on recruitment, with the applicant’s consent, if it is at the level appropriate to the role they will be undertaking, and best practice is to then run a further status check at regular intervals. It is a condition of using the DBS that we comply with their code of practice.
In The Parish Church of The Holy Rood, Wool and East Stoke:
1. New posts/roles must have a suitable job description (paid posts) or role outline (volunteers) drawn up which will include an assessment of whether it requires a DBS check and if so at what level. Each one must be approved and minuted by the PCC. This can be phased in over time, as new posts/roles are created or as new personnel are recruited into existing posts/roles
2. The Parish Safeguarding Representative will run a Status Check for all DBS certificate holders every 3 years.
3. Revd Carol Langford, the current Incumbent, is nominated by the PCC as Status Checker.
4. Revd Carol Langford, the current Incumbent, is nominated as the Main Contact for the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for receipt of information relating to Status Checks. The current Incumbent is the reserve point of contact.
5. The PCC adopts the DBS Code of Practice
6. The PCC approves its own policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders (see below)
7. The PCC approves the updated Safeguarding Policy as below. A notice should be displayed in church and on the church website to indicate where a copy may be found, e.g. Incumbent and Safeguarding Representative.
8. The PCC adopts the document, Safer Recruitment Policy JUNE 2013 for the Church of England and the Methodist Church of Britain and subsequent editions of this policy.
The policy dated 2016 may be found at:
Policy on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders
As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, The Parochial Church of Wool & East Stoke complies fully with the Code of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a DBS check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
The Parochial Church of Wool & East Stoke is committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff, volunteer workers or users of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
We have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
We actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. We select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
A DBS check is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a DBS check is required, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a DBS check will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
Where a DBS check is to form part of the recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of their criminal record at an early stage in the application process. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover, to a designated person within The Parochial Church of Wool & East Stoke and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of the recruitment process.
Unless the nature of the position allows The Parochial Church of Wool & East Stoke to ask questions about your entire criminal record, we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
We ensure that all those in The Parochial Church of Wool & East Stoke who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
We make every subject of a DBS check aware of the existence of the Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.
We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a DBS check with the person seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
Policy adopted by the PCC of Wool & East Stoke 3 August 2013
Safeguarding Policy & Guidelines
This policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council held on 3 August 2013
The Church of England, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this as fulfilled by God’s recreation of us in Christ. Among other things, this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable are paramount.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke recognises that none of us is invulnerable but that there is a particular care for those whose vulnerability is increased by situations, by disabilities or by reduction in capacities. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible, but that it does not diminish our humanity and seeks to affirm the gifts and graces of all God’s people.
This policy addresses the safeguarding of individuals. It is intended to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect. It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and their development including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained. It accepts its responsibility to support, listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders, communities and those who care about them. It takes seriously the issues of promotion of welfare so that each of us can reach our full potential in God’s grace.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke commits itself to respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, whether in the church or in another context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke commits itself to the provision of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people that will ensure people are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke affirms and gives thanks for the work of those who are workers with children and vulnerable adults and acknowledges the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults who are on our premises.
The PCC of Wool and East Stoke appoints Revd Carol Langford, the current Incumbent, as Parish Safeguarding Representative and supports her in her role which is to:
i) support and advise the incumbent and other members of the church in fulfilling their roles
ii) provide a point of reference to advise on safeguarding issues
iii) promote safeguarding best practice within the local church.
The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about their roles and responsibilities regarding children and vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. To be read in conjunction with ‘The Diocese of Salisbury Safeguarding and Good Practice Guidelines (November 2012)’
b) Good Practice
We believe good practice means that:
i) All people are treated with respect and dignity.
ii) Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or vulnerable adult where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral reasons, in which case a written note of this will be made and kept noting date, time and place of visit.
iii) The church premises will be assessed for safety for children and vulnerable adults and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Parochial Church Council in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Parochial Church Council will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made more suitable.
iv) Any driver using their own vehicle for the transportation of children or vulnerable adults is responsible for ensuring the vehicle is roadworthy and comprehensively insured. (Drivers to check with their Insurance Company re the requirement for business cover)
v) Promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all God’s people to reach their full potential.
c) Appointment and training of workers
Workers will be appointed after a satisfactory DBS disclosure and completion of Confidential Declaration Form. Each worker will be expected to undergo basic safeguarding training, within the first year of appointment. The other training needs of each worker will be considered (e.g. food hygiene, first aid, lifting and handling, etc.) and each worker will have an annual review conducted by their Supervisor.
d) Pastoral visitors
In terms of safeguarding, Pastoral Visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment.
e) Guidelines for working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
The Guidelines exist and are reviewed annually. These are accessible to each worker with children, young people and vulnerable adults outlining good practice.
f) Events with church groups off the premises
Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events. Notification of the event will be given to the PCC in advance.
The Guidelines exist and are reviewed annually. These are accessible to each worker with children, young people and vulnerable adults outlining good practice.
h) Other groups on church premises
Where the building is hired for outside use the person will be required to sign a letting agreement. If the group includes young people or vulnerable adults they will be required to have up to date Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines in operation.
i) Complaints procedure
It is hoped that complaints can be dealt with internally by individual group leaders. However, a complaint may be made to the Parish Safeguarding Representative. If a complaint is made to another person, it should be passed on to the Parish Safeguarding Representative who will arrange to meet with the complainant and attempt to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved, consideration will be given to invoking the complaints procedure of the Church of England.
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Parochial Church Council.
k) Key concepts and definitions:
i) Vulnerable Adults: any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or other situation is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of him or herself, or to protect him or herself from significant harm or exploitation.
ii) Safeguarding and protecting children or vulnerable adults: preventing maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
iii) Adult/child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm, including neglect.
iv) Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, in a community and in an institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.
Priest in Charge - on behalf of the Parochial Church Council
Adapted from the Policy and Handbook of Christ Church, Creekmoor.
The Parish of Wool & East Stoke
Guidelines for work with children, young people and vulnerable adults
Adopt a policy on safeguarding the welfare of children, young people & vulnerable
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis
Plan your work so as to minimise situations where abuse may occur.
Guidelines for all workers
• treat everyone with respect and dignity;
• ensure that your own language, tone of voice and body language is respectful;
• always aim to work within sight of another adult;
• toilet breaks should be organised where applicable;
• ensure another adult is informed if a person needs to be taken to the toilet;
• ensure that young people and vulnerable adults know who they can talk to if
they need to speak to someone about a personal concern;
• respond appropriately to people’s needs and concerns ensuring there are other
• if any activity requires physical contact, ensure that the child, young person,
vulnerable adult and their parents/carers are aware of this and its nature
• administer any necessary First Aid with others around;
• obtain consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown or displayed;
• record any concerning incidents and give the information to your group Leader. Sign and date the record;
• always share concerns about a child, young person or vulnerable adult or the behaviour of another worker with your group leader and/or Parish Safeguarding Representative.
You should not:
• initiate physical contact. Any necessary contact should be initiated by the individual;
• invade the individual’s privacy while washing or toileting;
• play rough physical or sexually provocative games;
• use any form of physical punishment;
• be sexually suggestive about or to an individual even in fun;
• touch an individual inappropriately or obtrusively;
• scapegoat, ridicule or reject an individual or group;
• permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying;
• show favouritism to any individual or group;
• allow an individual to involve you in excessive attention seeking that is overtly physical or sexual in nature;
• give lifts to an individual on their own or on your own;
• drink alcohol when responsible for children, young people or vulnerable adults;
• share sleeping accommodation inappropriately;
• invite a child, young person or vulnerable adult to your home alone;
• arrange social occasions with children, young people or vulnerable adults (other than family members) outside organised group occasions;
• allow unknown adults access to children, young people or vulnerable adults.
Visitors should always be accompanied by a known person;
• allow strangers to give lifts to children, young people or vulnerable adults.
Additional guidelines for group leaders
In addition to the above the group leader should:
• ensure any health and safety requirements are adhered to;
• undertake risk assessments with appropriate action taken and record kept;
• keep register and consent forms up to date;
• have an awareness, at all times, of what is taking place and who is present;
• create space for children to talk – either formally or informally;
• liaise with Parish Safeguarding Representative over good practice for safeguarding;
• always inform the Parish Safeguarding Representative of any specific safeguarding concerns that arise. The Parish Safeguarding Representative will liaise with the diocesan safeguarding adviser;
• liaise with the PCC.
If you see another Leader or Worker acting in a way, which might be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to your supervisor about your concerns. Leaders should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behaviour
Taken from ‘The Diocese of Salisbury Safeguarding and Good Practice Guidelines (November 2011)’
“Church-sponsored groups and activities should provide a warm, nurturing environment for children and young people, while avoiding any inappropriate behaviour or the risk of allegations being made. Child abuse is harm of a very serious nature so that it is unlikely that any type of physical contact in the course of children and youth work could be misconstrued as abuse. All volunteers must work with or within sight of another adult.
Touching/hugging: with adults, young people or children you should always ask whether they wish to be touched or hugged. Some may, but many do not (at least not on first acquaintance). Shaking hands is courteous and often appreciated by older people. If you do touch or hug, hands should always be outside the person’s clothing and never on any part of the body which might be considered inappropriate (knees, bottom, breasts). It is important that people with learning disabilities learn what form of body contact is appropriate in different social situations; this helps to keep them safe and helps them to become aware when people are behaving inappropriately and possibly exploiting them.
Very occasionally it may be necessary to restrain a child or young person who is harming her/himself or others. Use the least possible force and inform the parents as soon as possible. All such incidents should be recorded and the information given to the church safeguarding representative.
All physical contact should be an appropriate response to the child’s needs not the needs of the adult. Colleagues must be prepared to support each other and act or speak out if they think any adult is behaving inappropriately.
If you are given money or gifts for any reason, ensure the donation is acknowledged (by receipt and/or thank you letter) as soon as possible. This both preserves the audit trail for the donation and protects you against any complaint that money has been taken without the knowledge or consent of the vulnerable adult, young person or child.
Safer Recruitment Practices to be observed.
The Data Protection Act gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly; it is not a barrier to sharing information. Please refer to the incumbent for further guidance.
GENERAL SAFETY CHECK LIST.
• Premises, including the lighting, and equipment used with children, young people or vulnerable adults are safe, well maintained and suitable for the purpose.
• A system of regular checks before use needs to be established.
• Undertake a risk assessment for each activity and in greater detail for an unusual activity or when away from the usual location.
• An up to date First Aid kit is available and a nominated person should be responsible for maintaining the kit and all adults should know where to find it.
• Encourage staff and volunteer workers to have some First Aid knowledge and provide access to First Aid training.
• The First Aid kit can travel with you.
• All workers know what to do in an emergency.
• No medication is given to a child under 18 years without the written consent of a guardian / parent.
• All accidents/incidents are recorded in the accident book (which is kept in the Vestry)
• Procedures are in place for dealing with sick or injured children, and for accompanying young children to the toilet. Remember that ratios still need to be correct if an adult goes out of the room.
• A parental consent form and a health form have been completed for each child/young person.
• Consent forms, completed by a parent/guardian, should always be used for anyone under 18 when undertaking activities outside the normal meeting place.
• A register should be kept, and regularly updated, of all children or young people attending the group with details of home addresses, telephone number and a parent/Carer or guardian’s name. In the event of a fire the leader should take the register to check that everyone is out of the building.
• Fire notices are displayed informing people what to do in case of fire.
• Leaders and children/young people know what to do in the event of an emergency.
• Fire drills are carried out regularly.
• Fire appliances and smoke detectors are suitable, serviced regularly and that leaders know where they can be found and how to use them.
• It is clear who is responsible for children after the activity is over, and who they are going home with.
• The rooms are secure from unwelcome people.
• Young people cannot go outside without leaders’ agreement.
• Ensure that a telephone is available for all emergencies.
• The local authority Social Services Department should be informed, in advance, of intention to provide facilities which involve the care of under 8’s for more than two hours even though registration is not required. (An up to date list of Under 8’s Advisers is available from the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education Officers based Diocesan Office at Crane St, Salisbury.)
• Ensure that car insurances are appropriate for transporting members.
• Ensure that house insurances are appropriate for group meetings.
• Adult/ Children ratios are right for the group and occasion.
RECOMMENDED RATIOS: (NB an adult is someone over 18)
Under 8 years.
The standard ratios required under the Children Act are as follows;
• 0 – 2 years = 1 member of staff to 3 children.
• 2 – 3 years = 1 member of staff to 4 children.
• 3 – 8 years = 1 member of staff to 8 children.
• It should be noted that these are ratios of adults to children. On no account should a worker be by themselves with this age-group. The minimum number of adults should always be two, and preferably three. It is recommended that there be one male and one female.
• If small groups are in the same room or adjoining rooms with open access between them it is possible to have only 1 adult per group, dependent on the nature of the activity.
• Young people who are being encouraged to develop their leadership skills through helping should always be overseen by an appointed worker who will be responsible for ensuring that good practice and safeguarding procedures are followed and that the work they are doing is appropriate to both their age and understanding.
• Adults who assist on one or two occasions must be responsible to an appointed worker. Thereafter, they should become part of the team and be properly appointed through the normal recruitment process.
The Children Act only specifies the ratios for under 8’s. The recommended ratios for children and young people over 8 are as follows;
• 1 person for the first 8 children and then 1 extra person for every 12 children.
More help may be required.
Transporting children on behalf of the church
• All those who drive children on church-organised activities should have held a full and clean driving licence for over two years.
• Drivers who are not children’s workers should be recruited for the task through the normal recruitment process.
• Any driver who has an endorsement of 6 points or more on their licence should inform the group leader and the church/parish safeguarding representative.
• Any driver who has an unspent conviction for any serious road traffic offence should not transport children for the church.
• Drivers must always be in a fit state i.e. not over-tired; not under the influence of alcohol; not taking illegal substances; not under the influence of medicine which may induce drowsiness.
• Children and young people should not be transported in a private car without the prior consent of their parents or carers. This also applies to formally arranged lifts to and from a church activity.
• Any driver using their own vehicle for the transportation of children or vulnerable adults is responsible for ensuring the vehicle is roadworthy and comprehensively insured. (Drivers to check with their Insurance Company re the requirement for business cover). All cars that carry children should be in a roadworthy condition.
• All children must wear suitable seat belts and use appropriate booster seats. If there are insufficient seat belts, additional children should not be carried.
• At no time should the number of children in a car exceed the usual passenger number.
• There should be a non-driving adult escort as well as the driver. If in an emergency a driver has to transport one child on his or her own, the child must sit in the back of the car.
Minibus or coach
• Workers and helpers should sit among the group and not together.
• If noise or behaviour appears to be getting out of control, stop the vehicle until calm is restored.
• Before using a minibus, ensure you know the up-to-date regulations for its use and have had a trial drive.
A ‘young person’ is defined as anyone under the age of 18. However Facebook’s own rules only allow those aged 13+ to join it. Please always follow the terms set out by Facebook.
Within our own work at The Parish of Wool & East Stoke the following policy regarding contacting young people via email and mobile phones will be from the school year 8 and above. Therefore young people below year 8 will not receive electronic communication. ‘Adults’ also use Facebook, emails and texts so the following principles should also be applied to communication with adults as well.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING
“Social media includes web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organisations, communities and individuals”
Social networks, when used effectively, are a great way of communicating what’s going on in our ministry. Because of their reach however, care must be taken in how they are established and used. Below are some guidelines on how social networks should be used within the ministry of The Parish of Wool & East Stoke.
PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS
It’s important to realise that your personal use of social networks is really a portrayal of your position and the ministry of The Parish of Wool & East Stoke. People who follow you won’t see the distinction of your personal life and your role in the church. Therefore it’s important to think through the message you are sending through these networks. A good guideline to use is “if you won’t send it from the Parish of Wool & East Stoke email address don’t post it to a social network”.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS POLICY
When electronic communication (Communication via Mobile Phone, Social Networking (if aged 13 or over) and Email) takes place between adults and young people the following practices must be followed:
• It is important that parents are aware of and give consent to Youth Leaders communicating electronically with their son or daughter. Parent’s consent will be gained at the beginning of each academic year for their son or daughter to be contacted directly by appropriate adults via; Mobile Phone, Social Networking (if aged 13 or over) and Email.
• Appropriate Adults are people who are working directly with young people or who have a pastoral responsibility for a young person. Appropriate Adults will also sign a form and have permission from the incumbent.
• Appropriate Adults need to avoid contacting young people before 8:00am and after 10:00pm. This is unless the young person contacts you first in an emergency.
• When communicating with a group of young people, the appropriate adult should send exactly the same email/text message to all recipients, as individually written ones with the same subject could be misinterpreted as favouritism.
• When in discussion with a young person, topics, which are of a sensitive nature or could be easily misinterpreted, should not be discussed electronically and a face-to-face meeting should be arranged.
• Conversations are best written/typed in full and the use of abbreviations avoided. This is due to the risk of a misinterpretation, for example, “LOL” traditionally means “Laugh out Loud” as a response to a joke or funny situation; however this can also be interpreted as “Lots of Love”.
• Some social networking websites and programs offer the option for one or both users in a conversation to display a live image of themselves via a webcam. Due to the increased risks of abuse with webcams, adults must not use webcams with young people; neither displaying themselves nor viewing young people.
• Adults who minister to children and young people are strongly encouraged to set very stringent privacy settings on any social networking profile.
• Adults should not submit “friend” requests to young people. Young people may not be able to decline such requests due to the disparity of power between young people and adults. Young people may ask to be “friends”, and adults should discern the level of contact they want to maintain with young people prior to responding to these requests.
Introduce a system whereby vulnerable people may talk to an independent person
In consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Children and Young People Advisor we have agreed that in our opinion children and young people are unlikely to talk to an appointed person, but rather that they would probably talk to their group leader or another adult they know well. Therefore we will provide training to all people who work with children and young people to ensure that everybody knows what to do if issues are raised.
Use supervision as a means of protecting children.
Each worker, however experienced, should have someone who oversees their work, for their own support as well as to protect the children.
Good practice in supervision.
The supervisor should:
a) Meet with workers regularly (once a term), to review and plan the work.
b) Ask about working and personal relationships with the children.
c) Create regular (at least once a term) opportunities for observing the worker with the children. Watch in particular for any child receiving exceptional treatment, being highly favoured or treated unduly harshly.
d) Be aware that workers using Church computers have access to chat rooms, child pornography etc.
e) Keep a written record of the facts of each meeting, and anything of note, which is observed. These records should be stored in the workers Personal Record File. If the Supervisor has any concerns regarding the worker the Incumbent should be informed as soon as possible. It is important to keep accurate records of any child protection concerns, disclosure or allegations. Facts observed or disclosed should be accurately recorded, signed and dated. Opinions should not be included. If any records are to be kept without the subject of the record’s knowledge, it should be made clear why this is so, for instance if there appears to be a worrying pattern of behaviour which needs to be monitored. Try to be consistent about what is kept so that it can be justified if necessary. Actions taken and decisions made should all be noted. It should be recorded who knows about the information, for example the subject of the record, the child’s parents etc. Either the PSR or the Incumbent will keep all records securely. All confidential material will be placed with the Rural Dean during an interregnum or equally safe arrangements made. Confidential Declaration Forms, and any other confidential matters will be kept for as long as the person is in the post. Any information regarding a child protection concern etc. will not be kept once the situation has been resolved. The Human Rights Act 1988 includes both the right to privacy of family life and also the right to life and the right not to be tortured. It is expected that the courts will uphold the need to pass on information for the purposes of protecting a child. The highest degree of confidentiality consistent with this should be maintained and only information necessary for the safeguarding of children passed on.
e) All Supervisors will receive training to assist them and will also receive supervision themselves.
f) Any concerns are passed on if the person concerned moves to another Church.
Agree and issue guidelines for procedure if abuse is suspected or disclosed.
In all cases, we must follow an
agreed procedure of consultation and referral. It is not the task of an
individual or the church to investigate. For the protection of both children and
workers, sensible steps should be taken on the road to referral.
PROCEDURES IF ABUSE IS DISCLOSED OR DISCOVERED.
If a child discloses abuse by someone outside the church the person to whom it is disclosed should tell the child what steps they are taking, make handwritten notes as soon as possible after the disclosure, and report it to the Incumbent, who will then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.
If abuse is suspected, the concern should be passed onto the Incumbent as soon as possible, who will then assess the situation for the need for further referral.
If abuse by someone in the church is disclosed or suspected, it must be reported immediately to the Incumbent who will then inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.
If the complaint is against the Incumbent the details must be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, Diocesan Office, Crane Street, Salisbury. SP1 2QB. Telephone Number 01722 411922.
The Church and all its appointed children’s and youth workers are committed to the protection of children from all kinds of abuse. (Refer to ‘Protecting all God’s Children 2011’ Pages 11-16, for more detail). A copy is held by the Incumbent.
Physical Where children’s bodies are hurt or injured.
Emotional Where children don’t receive love and affection, may be frightened by threats or taunts, or are given responsibilities beyond their years.
Sexual Where adults (and sometimes other children), use children to satisfy sexual desires.
Neglect Where adults fail to care for children and protect them from danger, seriously impairing health and development.
The following may indicate abuse, but do not jump to conclusions. There could be other explanations.
PHYSICAL Unexplained or hidden injuries, lack of medical attention.
EMOTIONAL Reverting to younger behaviour, nervousness, sudden under-achievement, attention seeking, turning away, stealing, lying.
SEXUAL Preoccupation with sexual matters evident in words, play, drawings;
Being sexually provocative with adults;
Nightmares, bed wetting;
Secretive relationship with adults or children;
Tummy pains with no apparent cause.
NEGLECT Looking ill-cared for and unhappy, being withdrawn or aggressive.
Having lingering injuries or health problems.
Do not delay.
Do not act alone.
Do not start to investigate.
Consult with the Incumbent immediately.
WHAT TO DO IF A PERSON DISCLOSES THAT THEY ARE HARMING A CHILD
Look at them directly.
Accept what they say.
Do not press for information.
Explain that the Incumbent will be informed, as the Church cannot keep abuse confidential.
Inform them that support will be offered by a suitable person.
As soon as possible make handwritten notes of exactly what was said, record the time, date and action to be taken.
Inform the Incumbent as soon as possible.
Do not discuss the matter with anyone, unless requested by the Incumbent.
Ensure that you receive support.
WHAT TO DO IF A CHILD TELLS ABOUT ABUSE
The following is a summary, only for reference. It is no substitute for training.
WHAT TO DO IF A PARENT OR OTHER PERSON REPORTS ABUSE
Parents, other adults or a teenager may report abuse but be reluctant to inform the relevant authorities in such circumstances. They should be encouraged to discuss the matter with Social Services or with another trusted professional with Safeguarding Children and Young People training. In any case it is the responsibility of the Church to inform the Social Services Department of the allegation so that the child or young person and other children are protected.
Occasionally an untrue allegation may be made. It is important not to make judgements and to allow an allegation to be carefully investigated to try to ascertain the truth. Untrue allegations can be the result of some other concern or unhappiness in the child’s life. It is very important that people working with children do not put themselves in vulnerable situations.
In the event of an incident communications both within and outside the Diocese of Salisbury will be handled by the Diocesan Communications Co-ordinator who will consult with the Bishop, the parish and the Diocesan Safeguarding Children and Young People Adviser. Particular care should be taken regarding any public statement or public prayer.
The Church is a place for all who fall short and sin, for the vulnerable and for those in need. We will offer help and support to an ex-offender but the protection of the children in the Church will come first. Abusers of children are usually people who get on well with children and who children like. Present research suggests that sexual offending can be a kind of addiction that is very hard to control and can only be managed. This will be borne in mind when welcoming an ex-offender into the church community. Many ex-offenders will seek God’s forgiveness for their crimes. Genuine repentance implies that the person concerned will accept that future help is required to prevent a reoccurrence of the offence and to deal with the human and social effects of the sin. As well as professional therapy, this may require continuing supervision and discipline within the Church as part of the ministry to the ex-offender. An ex-offender will need to accept that no further contact or work with children or young people can be permitted and that a continuing pastoral role may be impossible. Sensitive care of the offender is needed in these circumstances. If a person convicted of sexual abuse against a child is discovered within the congregation an assessment of risk must be carried out, which should be done together with the police, probation services and children’s social care, and with the diocesan safeguarding children adviser. The statutory agencies will provide appropriate information and guidance in this.
If a known offender joins the church we will be extend love and friendship to the individual but at the same time the Incumbent will ensure that a frank discussion takes place with the person concerned and that efforts are made to sustain open communications.
It will be necessary to establish clear boundaries for both the protection of the young people and to lessen the possibility of the adult being wrongly accused of abuse or put into a High Risk Situation.
Further details of how this can be achieved can be obtained from the Diocesan Safeguarding Children and Young People Advisor, if required.
Please refer to ‘Protecting All God’s Children’ pages 50-52. A copy is held by the Incumbent.
Priest in Charge - on behalf of the Parochial Church Council
References (updated March 2017)
Diocesan Safeguarding local policies
Diocesan safeguarding topics
Church of England Safeguarding nationally
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