Safeguarding Policy - Promoting a Safer Church
The following policy was agreed at the Parochial Church Council (PCC) meeting held on 21st November 2018
This policy applies to all Church officers, and they and the PCC are responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of all vulnerable groups and individuals involved with the Church.
In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy our church is committed to:
- Promoting a safer environment and culture.
- Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.
- Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.
- Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.
- Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
- Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.
The Parish will through the actions outlined in the annexe to this policy:
- Create a safe and caring place for all.
- Have a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.
- Safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
- Ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.
- Display in church premises and on the Parish website the details of who to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
- Listen to and take seriously all those who disclose abuse.
- Take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance, including notifying the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) and statutory agencies immediately.
- Offer support to victims/survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.
- Care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.
- Ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
- Review the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Practices at least annually.
Each person who works within this church community will agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.
This church appoints Margaret Styles (Deboys) as the Parish Safeguarding Officer
Incumbent - David Deboys
Churchwardens - Pam Hand and Stephen Whittaker
Date - 22 May 2019
1. Promoting a safer environment and culture
We will ensure that all reasonable steps have been taken to safeguard vulnerable groups and those who work in the church in order that they can participate fully in any pastoral, social and other PCC endorsed or approved activities and events, safe from harm and abuse.
For all activities and events we will:
- Designate a Group Leader
- Ensure an appropriate staffing/supervision ratio of adults to children, taking into account the nature of the activity, the venue and the age, gender and needs of participants.
- Ensure adults do not work alone with children and young people
- Ensure unaccompanied children are taken care of by a suitably appointed adult and endeavour to establish contact with the parent or carers to gain their consent to their child’s attendance
- Ensure no child or young person is invited into the home of a church officer unless the reason for this has been approved and agreed with parents and the PCC.
- Ensure pastoral carers do not misuse or abuse the trust that is bestowed upon them
- Ensure risk assessments are carried out before any activity/event takes place, and these are reviewed regularly
- Provide appropriate insurance cover for all activities undertaken in the name of the PCC
- Ensure that all activities and events which are not run directly by the church but which take place in church buildings or grounds comply with the relevant safeguarding guidance
- Implement guidance on working alone in the church building so as to ensure safety.
2. Safer Recruitment
We will select, vet and train all church officers working or volunteering with vulnerable groups in accordance with the House of Bishop’s and Diocesan safeguarding policy and practice guidance.
- Ensure we have clear role descriptions and/or person specifications for all posts working or volunteering with children and/or adults
- Ensure all church workers and volunteers with children and adults complete and sign an application form and confidential declaration before appointment
- Ensure we take up written references and carefully check the applicant’s right to work in the UK before appointment
- Seek an enhanced DBS check for anyone eligible before appointment
- Ensure that all applicants with children and adults are interviewed
- Offer support and training after appointment
- Provide a written behaviour code for all workers with children and/or adults
- Ensure all church leaders and those who work with children and/or adults complete appropriate safeguarding training at least every three years.
3. Responding to safeguarding concerns
We will ensure that anyone who brings any safeguarding suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or non-current abuse to the notice of the church will be responded to respectfully and in a timely manner, in line with legislation, statutory and national safeguarding policy and procedures.
- Appoint a lay Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) for children and adults
- Ensure there are arrangements in place to cover if the PSO is not available
- Develop a written procedure for dealing with abuse and allegations and make this available to all church officers
- Clearly display contact details of the PSO and the Diocesan Safeguarding team, as well as local and national services available to get help with safeguarding issues
- Store personal information and safeguarding records securely and ensure information needed in an emergency is readily available
- Ensure all church officers are aware of their responsibilities in regard to the recording, storage and sharing of information
4. Care of Survivors of abuse
We will ensure that those who have suffered abuse will receive a compassionate response, be listened to and taken seriously.
5. Managing risk
When it is known that a member of the church community may pose a risk to children and/or adults, we will consult without delay with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser so that a safe course of action in accordance with national and local safeguarding policy and procedures is followed, in conjunction with the relevant statutory agencies.
Monitoring and Review
This safeguarding policy and the following underpinning procedures outlined in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook will be available to all church officers, parents and participants
• Procedure for dealing with safeguarding concerns and allegations
• Health and Safety Policy including lone working
• E-Safety Policy
• Guidance for those who exercise pastoral care
This policy will be reviewed annually by the PCC and amended as appropriate.
- EMERGENCIES - 999
- PARISH SAFEGUARDING OFFICER – Margaret Deboys – 07786017894 or 02381 943684
- DIOCESAN SAFEGUARDING OFFICER – Jackie Rowlands 01962 737317 or out of hours 0300 5551373
- Children’s Services Southampton – emergency and out of hours number - 02380 233344
- Adult Social Care – Southampton - 02380 833033
- Samaritans - 02380 632888
- Crisis Team (mental health) - 07736 953423
- Housing Team Southampton - 02380 833006
- Society of St James (homelessness service) - 02380 216000
- Refugees – SWVG – 0750 317 6350
- Childline - 08001111
- NSPCC (worried about a child) - 0808 800 5000
- Action Against Elder Abuse - 0808 8088141 (the national careline)