Safeguarding policy for children and vulnerable adults
Details of the place of worship / organisation
Way Church The Edge, Riveredge, Wigan WN3 5AB
Tel No: 01942 244460
Email address: email@example.com
Membership of Evangelical Alliance
Charity Number: 1133425
Public liability Ansvar insurance company underwritten be Ecclesiastical insurers
The following is a brief description of our place of worship / organisation and the type of work / activities we undertake with children and adults who have care and support needs:
Twinkle tots, Kids Church, Live free, corporate church worship events, community pods,
As a Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.” As a Leadership we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The policy and practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS)
The Leadership undertakes to:
- endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.
- provide on-going safeguarding training for all its workers and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.
- ensure that the premises meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and all other relevant legislation, and that it is welcoming and inclusive.
- support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults with care and support needs.
- the Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.
Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse
Understanding abuse and neglect
Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.
In order to safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19 which states:
- States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
- Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5 which states:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Detailed definitions, and signs and indicators of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included here in our policy.
Definitions of abuse (Children)
Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Children)
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm.
Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children.
Child protection legislation throughout the UK is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Each nation within the UK has incorporated the convention within its legislation and guidance.
The four definitions of abuse below operate in England based on the government guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)’.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger for example, via the internet. They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
InFocus: Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Children) – © CCPAS December 2016
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
• provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
• protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
• ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
• ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Signs of Possible Abuse (children & young people)
The following signs could be indicators that abuse has taken place but should be considered in context of the child’s whole life.
• Injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
• Injuries that occur in places not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc
• Injuries that have not received medical attention
• Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
• Repeated urinary infections or unexplained tummy pains
• Bruises on babies, bites, burns, fractures etc which do not have an accidental explanation*
• Cuts/scratches/substance abuse*
• Any allegations made concerning sexual abuse
• Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour
• Age-inappropriate sexual activity through words, play or drawing
• Child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults
• Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
• Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares, sometimes with overt or veiled sexual connotations
• Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia*
• Changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clinging.
• Depression, aggression, extreme anxiety.
• Nervousness, frozen watchfulness
• Obsessions or phobias
• Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentration
• Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults
• Attention-seeking behaviour
• Persistent tiredness
• Running away/stealing/lying
• Under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, Untreated illnesses,
• Inadequate care, etc
InFocus: Signs of Possible Abuse (children and young people) – © CCPAS December 2016
These indicate the possibility that a child or young person is self-harming.
Approximately 20,000 are treated in accident and emergency departments
in the UK each year.
Definitions of Abuse - Adults
The following information relates to the Safeguarding of Adults as defined in the Care Act 2014, Chapter 14. Safeguarding, this replaces the previous guidelines produced in ‘No Secrets’ (Department of Health 2000)
The legislation is relevant across England and Wales but on occasions applies only to local authorities in England.
The Safeguarding duties apply to an adult who;
• has need for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
• is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
• as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
Organisations should always promote the adult’s wellbeing in their safeguarding arrangements. People have complex lives and being safe is only one of the things they want for themselves. Professionals should work with the adult to establish what being safe means to them and how that can be best achieved. Professional and other staff should not be advocating ‘safety’ measures that do not take account of individual well-being, as defined in Section 1 of the Care Act.
Link: The Care Act 2014
Link: Care and Support Statutory Guidance under the Care Act 2014
This section considers the different types and patterns of abuse and neglect and the different circumstances in which they may take place. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list but an illustrative guide as to the sort of behaviour which could give rise to a safeguarding concern.
Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic violence – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.
Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or
abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation,
coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and
unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in
relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with
wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or
misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and
domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at
their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude
and inhumane treatment.
Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment;
because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or
Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an
Institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in
relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents
to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a
result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical
care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or
educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication,
adequate nutrition and heating.
Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s
personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more.
Signs of Possible Abuse in Adults
History of unexplained falls, fractures, bruises, burns, minor injuries.
Signs of under or over use of medication and/or medical problems left unattended.
Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them
Bruising and discolouration - particularly if there is a lot of bruising of different ages and in places not normally exposed to falls, rough games etc.
Recurring injuries without plausible explanation
Loss of hair, loss of weight and change of appetite
Person flinches at physical contact &/or keeps fully covered, even in hot weather;
Person appears frightened or subdued in the presence of a particular person or people
Unexplained injuries or ‘excuses’ for marks or scars
Controlling and/or threatening relationship including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence and Female Genital Mutilation.
Age range extended to 16 yrs.
Pregnancy in a woman who lacks mental capacity or is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
Unexplained change in behaviour or sexually explicit behaviour
Torn, stained or bloody underwear and/or unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
Infections or sexually transmitted diseases
Full or partial disclosures or hints of sexual abuse
Disturbed sleep patterns
Alteration in psychological state e.g. withdrawn, agitated, anxious, tearful
Intimidated or subdued in the presence of a carer
Fearful, flinching or frightened of making choices or expressing wishes
Changes in mood, attitude and behaviour, excessive fear or anxiety
Changes in sleep pattern or persistent tiredness
Loss of appetite
Helplessness or passivity
Confusion or disorientation
Implausible stories and attention seeking behaviour
Financial or material abuse
Disparity between assets and living conditions
Unexplained withdrawals from accounts or disappearance of financial documents or loss of money
Sudden inability to pay bills, getting into debt
Carers or professionals fail to account for expenses incurred on a person’s behalf
Recent changes of deeds or title to property
Missing personal belongings
Inappropriate granting and / or use of Power of Attorney InFocus: Signs of Possible Abuse in Adults – © CCPAS December 2016
Physical appearance; unkempt, inappropriate clothing, malnourished
Movement monitored, rarely alone, travel early or late at night to facilitate working hours.
Few personal possessions or ID documents.
Fear of seeking help or trusting people.
Inappropriate remarks, comments or lack of respect
Poor quality or avoidance care
Person puts themselves down in terms of their gender or sexuality
Abuse may be observed in conversations or reports by the person of how they perceive themselves
Person puts themselves down in terms of their gender or sexuality
Abuse may be observed in conversations or reports by the person of how they perceive themselves
No confidence in complaints procedures for staff or service users.
Neglectful or poor professional practice. InFocus: Signs of Possible Abuse in Adults – © CCPAS December 2016
Neglect and acts of omission
Deteriorating despite apparent care
Poor home conditions, clothing or care and support.
Lack of medication or medical intervention
Hoarding inside or outside a property
Neglecting personal hygiene or medical needs
Person looking unkempt or dirty and has poor personal hygiene
Person is malnourished, has sudden or continuous weight loss and is dehydrated – constant hunger, stealing or gorging on food
Person is dressed inappropriately for the weather conditions
Dirt, urine or faecal smells in a person’s environment
Home environment does not meet basic needs (for example not heating or lighting)
How to respond to a child or vulnerable adult wishing to disclose abuse
Ensure the physical environment is welcoming, giving opportunity for the child or vulnerable adult to talk in private but making sure others are aware the conversation is taking place.
•It is especially important to allow time and space for the person to talk
•Above everything else listen without interrupting
•Be attentive and look at them whilst they are speaking
•Show acceptance of what they say (however unlikely the story may sound) by reflecting back words or short phrases they have used
•Try to remain calm, even if on the inside you are feeling something different
•Be honest and don’t make promises you can’t keep regarding confidentiality
•If they decide not to tell you after all, accept their decision but let them know that you are always ready to listen.
•Use language that is age appropriate and, for those with disabilities, ensure there is someone available who understands sign language, Braille etc.
•You have done the right thing in telling
•I am glad you have told me
•I will try to help you
•Why didn't you tell anyone before?
•I can't believe it!
•Are you sure this is true?
•Why? How? When? Who? Where?
•I am shocked, don't tell anyone else
The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All our workers will be offered induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis via the CCPAS online training portal. https://services.ccpas.co.uk/course/CourseIndex/0/1
The Leadership will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.
Wigan Borough safeguarding training is also available at https://www.wigan.gov.uk/WSCB/Training-for-safeguarding-children.aspx
RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE
Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Following procedures as below:
- The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to Ben Tarbuck / Chevon Taylor (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator") tel no: 01942 244460 who is nominated by the Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.
- In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to Ben Tarbuck / Chevon Taylor (hereafter the "Deputy ") tel no: 01942 244460. If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0845 120 4550. Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.
- Where the concern is about a child the Safeguarding Co-ordinator should contact Children’s Social Services. Where the concern is regarding an adult in need of protection contact Adult Social Services or take advice from CCPAS as above.
The local Children’s Social Services office telephone number (office hours) Monday to Sunday 24hours is 01942 828300
The local Adult Social Services office telephone number is 01942 828777.
The Police Protection Team telephone number is 0161 8567954.
- The Safeguarding Co-ordinator may need to inform others i.e. Ben Tarbuck depending on the circumstances and/or nature of the concern (for example the Chair of Trustees to log that a safeguarding concern is being dealt with, Insurance company to log that there is a possibility of a serious incident concerning safeguarding or a Designated Officer (formerly LADO) if allegations have been made about a person who has a role with under 18’s elsewhere or another denominational officer e.g. Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or similar).
- Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.
- Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from CCPAS.
- The Leadership will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.
- It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from CCPAS, although the Leadership hope that members of the place of worship / organisation will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.
The role of the safeguarding co-ordinator/ deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:
Allegations of physical injury, neglect or emotional abuse.
If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
- Contact Children’s Social Services (or CCPAS) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child's safety or if a child is afraid to return home.
- Not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so, having contacted Children’s Social Services.
- Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions.
- For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of significant harm.
- Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them. In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services direct for advice.
- Seek and follow advice given by CCPAS (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Children’s Social Services.
Allegations of sexual abuse
In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
- Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.
- Seek and follow the advice given by CCPAS if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. CCPAS will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:
Suspicions or allegations of abuse or harm including; physical, sexual, organisational, financial, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, forced marriage, modern slavery, domestic abuse
If there is concern about any of the above, Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
- contact the Adult Social Care Team who have responsibility under the Care Act 2014 to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively CCPAS can be contacted for advice.
- If the adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.
If there is a concern regarding spiritual abuse, Safeguarding Co-ordinator will:
- Identify support services for the victim i.e. counselling or other pastoral support
- Contact CCPAS and in discussion with them will consider appropriate action with regards to the scale of the concern.
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people
If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker, also making a referral to a designated officer formerly called a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015 no longer refers to them as LADOs only ‘designated officers’. However the function remains the same which is to handle all allegations against adults who work with children and young people whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.
In addition to this, whether or not there are such mechanisms in operation, consideration should be given to whether a referral should be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service which manages the list of those people deemed unsuitable for working with children or adults with care and support needs. Where you are liaising with a designated officer discuss with them about the need to refer to the DBS. If a designated officer is not involved, you need to contact the DBS if the situation is that the nature of concern leads you to end the employment of the worker or volunteer or would have made this decision in circumstances where they have left voluntarily.
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with adults with care and support needs.
The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide not the church.
Safer recruitment is vital because it minimises the likelihood of those who may be vulnerable
being harmed by those in positions of trust. It follows therefore that leaders, workers and
those holding a variety of other positions should undergo a thorough recruitment process.
This includes the completion of a standardised application form and self-declaration form, a
face-to-face interview, supply of at least two references (plus a criminal records check for all
eligible posts), all of which have a part to play in the assessment of a candidate’s suitability
for a position.
Way Church process all DBS checks through the umbrella organisation Thirtyone:eight
The Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
- There is a written job description / person specification for the post
- Those applying have completed an application form and a self declaration form
- Those short listed have been interviewed
- Safeguarding has been discussed at interview
- Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate
- A disclosure and barring check has been completed where necessary (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)
- Qualifications where relevant have been verified
- A suitable training programme is provided for the successful applicant
- The applicant has completed a probationary period
- The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.
Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct
As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. Below is a code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs.
Introduction - Why do we need this standard?
Within any organisation which deals with safeguarding issues (this will include churches and
faith groups), it is important that there are clear lines of accountability so that any person in
the organisation knows how to discuss and refer matters of concern. For those who work
directly with children, young people and adults at risk of harm, these lines of accountability
need to be evident and communicated to all those who work with those groups. Those
managing and supervising workers need to demonstrate the highest standards of conduct
and demonstrate the practices that they want others to adhere to. This will include a
willingness to attend training.
Code of conduct
Every church/place of worship/organisation that works with children and adults should have a
very clear code of conduct outlining the behaviour expected of everyone working for them.
Having such a code can assist in promoting a culture of dignity and respect towards
everyone. This can be achieved by workers:
- understanding the organisation’s safeguarding policy and good working practice
- listening to children, young people and adults.
- respecting boundaries and privacy of those being cared for
- knowing how to deal with issues of discipline in line within the organisation’s code of
- developing an awareness of disability issues as well as issues of equality and
Supervision of Workers
The organisation should ensure all workers are supervised by a named individual who
arranges regular meetings where concerns or issues can be raised, work related or personal.
The supervisor should also ensure all training needs are met.
Team meetings should be convened on a regular basis and should vary in personnel. A
leader might organise smaller meetings for workers in certain groups but it is equally
important to arrange get-togethers for the whole team. This will promote a mutually
supportive working environment where ideas and issues can be aired, concerns expressed
and feedback given.
Abuse of Trust
It is important that those in leadership understand that they are in a position of trust and
power over those they have responsibility for. This includes all church leaders, team leaders
and those who work with vulnerable people both adults and children.
The Sexual Offences Act 2003 prohibits those in a position of responsibility and trust from
having any sexual relationship (even if legal under other circumstances e.g. a 25 year old
adult and 17 year old young person). Churches are not included in the positions specified in
the legislation. However, churches need to think very carefully about this issue and give
guidance to their leaders and workers accordingly.
Fitness to practice and professional conduct
Churches/Places of Worship/Organisations should provide guidance on the professional
conduct they expect of those in their employ (either paid or volunteers). A number of
Christian denominations have guidelines for members of clergy about their professional
conduct to ensure that they provide safe boundaries in providing welfare and care.
This includes consideration of pastoral work such as evaluating risk when meeting with
people. There should also be guidance on maintaining appropriate boundaries between work
and their personal life, including with the use of social media.
Having clear guidelines on what is appropriate professional conduct helps maintain healthy,
safe church culture.
Abuse of Trust Caring for young people and the vulnerable
The Home Office issued guidance in ‘Abuse of Trust Caring for young people and the vulnerable: Guidance for preventing abuse of trust’ can be found at http://www.scriptureunion.org.uk/Uploads/Documents/Caring-For-The-Young-Home-Office.pdf
This guidance is intended to apply to those caring for young people or adults with care and support needs in both paid and unpaid work, including volunteers, regardless of whether they are in the public, private, voluntary or volunteering sectors. In order to avoid power imbalances, it is important to encourage a culture of mutual respect and also challenge throughout the organisation. This will also help prevent situations that may be perceived as coercive and controlling. It is important that places of worship and organisations have clear boundaries in regards to the personal relationships which can develop.
Supporting those affected by abuse
The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship/organisation.
Working with offenders
When someone attending the place of worship / organisation is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to adults with care and support needs the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults with care and support needs, set boundaries for that person, which they will be expected to keep.
If someone who poses a risk to children, young people or adults with care and support needs wants to join in with activities or become part of an organisation, it is important the leadership manage the risk appropriately by creating clear policies and a code of behaviour the individual must follow. This will help protect the vulnerable and lessen the possibility of the person being wrongly suspected of abuse in the future. At Today’s Community Church we seek to operate a system of individual contracts. These contracts give details of both the boundaries we would expect the individual to keep and the support we will offer them. They are tailored specifically to individual circumstances and informed ideally by risk assessments from the statutory agencies.
As an organisation / place of worship working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusation.
As well as a general code of conduct for workers we also have specific good practice guidelines for every activity we are involved in and these are attached/will be developed.
Any off site activities are covered by the use of consent forms, models of which can be accessed form Thirtyone:eight.
Working in Partnership
The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.
We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement will have their own policy that meets CCPAS’ safeguarding standards.
Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.
APPENDIX - 1
Leadership Safeguarding Statement
The Leadership Core Team recognises the importance of its ministry /work with children and young people and adults in need of protection and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.
We are committed to creating and enabling a healthy culture in order to minimise any coercion and control within our church.
This place of worship/organisation is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults with care and support needs and ensuring their well-being.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy. We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
- All children and young people have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.
- We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of adults who have care and support needs and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We recognise the personal dignity and rights of adults who find themselves victims of forced marriage or modern slavery and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
- We believe all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of the place of worship/organisation unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.
- We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and adults with care and support needs.
- We believe in the necessity of creating a healthy culture in our church where the value of all people is recognised and challenges are responded to appropriately.
We are committed to:
- Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and adults and good practice recommendations.
- Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.
- Ensuring that workers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
- Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
- Following any denominational or organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults in need of protection.
- Supporting the safeguarding co-ordinator/s in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/adults with care and support needs.
- Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this place of worship/organisation.
- Supporting parents and families
- Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and young people
- Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.
- Supporting all in the place of worship/organisation affected by abuse.
- Adopting and following the ‘Safe and Secure’ safeguarding standards developed by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service.
- Children’s Social Services (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child. Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about an adult with care and support needs.
- Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
- Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our agency’s headquarters.
- Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.