This policy statement on safeguarding children and adults in the Church was adopted by All Saints’ Church, Four Oaks at a Parochial Church Council meeting held on 20th June 2022.
The Parish Church Council of All Saints, Four Oaks recognises the need to safeguard the children, young people and adults in our care and guard against the possibility of any form of abuse of children, young people and adults by persons who may be acting in the name of our parish or organisation. We aim to create a safe environment for the nurture and development of children, young people, and adults, in order for them to feel valued and confident to ask for support and help. We will create policies and procedures that uphold the importance of our responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children, young people and adults entrusted to our care. A Parish Safeguarding Coordinator will be appointed to ensure the implementation of this policy.
- We commit to providing a safe physical environment for work with children, young people and adults.
- We recognize that everyone has different levels of vulnerability and that each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives.
- As members of this parish we commit ourselves to respectful pastoral care for all adults to whom we minister.
- We commit ourselves to the safeguarding of people who may be vulnerable, ensuring their well-being in the life of this church and whilst attending our activities.
- We commit ourselves to promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.
- The parish commits itself to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of people who may be vulnerable.
- We commit to informing the whole church community, employees, volunteers and those using our services about our safeguarding policy and procedures and recognise that it is the responsibility of each of us to prevent and report abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We will ensure the children, young people and adults in our care know who they can talk to if they have any concerns.
- We recognise our responsibility to always respond to and report abuse in whatever context, inside or outside the church environment and will always listen to and take seriously any child, young person or adult who reports that they have been abused.
- We will always report allegations of abuse and concerns about a child, young person or an adult who is experiencing or at risk of abuse in accordance with our procedures.
- ***We will always report all allegations of abuse against Church Officers*, employees and volunteers to the appropriate statutory agency including the Bishop’s Safeguarding Advisor
- We will keep all records in relation to safeguarding concerns, allegations and the recruitment of volunteers and paid workers securely.
- We commit to the safe recruitment of all new and current Church Officers*, employees and volunteers who have contact with children, young people and adults experiencing or at risk of abuse. And neglect and will keep an annually updated list of the names of all our paid and voluntary workers.
- We will assess all new and current Church Officer*, employees and volunteers’ roles and, in every case where the role is deemed to be eligible, apply for an appropriate level criminal record check every five years and keep records of dates and disclosure numbers indefinitely.
- We commit to providing every Church Officer*, employee and volunteer with clear instructions and information in respect of their role, adequate resources and support and regular opportunities for review.
- We will ensure that all Church Officers*, employee and volunteer working with children, young people and adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect and are in a trusted role attend Church of England safeguarding training every three years.
- We require all hirers of our premises to have their own safeguarding policy and procedures, to provide us with an assurance that these are implemented and to provide us with a copy.
- The parish adopts the policy and practice guidance of The Church of England and The Church of England — Birmingham.
- We will review our safeguarding policy annually to ensure that it meets all current legislation, government guidance, House of Bishop’s and The Church of England — Birmingham policies and practice guidance.
- Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this church.
- Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this organisation. These will include ensuring that:
- at least two leaders over the age of 18 are present in any group of children and young people, no matter how small the group.
- no person under the age of 18 is ever left in charge of any children and young people of any age.
- no child or group of children or young people will be left unattended at any time.
- a register of children, young people or vulnerable adults attending the activity will be kept securely. This will include details of their name, contact details of their parent/guardian/carer etc, date of birth and next of kin.
- the occurrence of any incidents or allegations of abuse or causes of concern relating to members, leaders of or attendees at our activities will be reported to our designated safeguarding lead and, as appropriate, statutory agencies within 24 hours.
- And comply with the Code of safe practice below
This church appoints Geoff Meeson to represent the concerns and views of vulnerable people at our meetings and to outside bodies as the parish safeguarding coordinator.
This church appoints Geoff Meeson as a parish identity verifiers to process online Disclosure and Barring Service applications
Incumbent IN VACANCY
Churchwarden Geoff Meeson
Churchwarden Louise Richmond
Date: 20th June 2022
* A ‘Church Officer’ is anyone appointed by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.
Code of safe practice
All those working on behalf of the organisation with children, young people and adults must:
- Treat all individuals with respect and dignity.
- Ensure that their own language, tone of voice and body language are respectful.
- Ensure that children, young people and adults know who they can talk to about a personal concern.
- Record and report any concerns about a child, young person or adult and/or the behaviour of another worker with their activity leader and/or Designated Safeguarding Lead. Sign and date the record.
- Obtain written consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown, displayed or
- Administer any First Aid with others around.
In addition, for children and young people must:
- Always aim to work with or within sight of another adult.
- Ensure another adult is informed if a child needs to be taken to the toilet. Toilet breaks should be organised for young children.
- Respond warmly to a child who needs comforting but make sure there are other adults around.
- Ensure that the child and parents are aware of any activity that requires physical contact and its nature before the activity takes place.
All those working on behalf of the organisation with children, young people and adults must not:
- Invade an individual’s privacy whilst washing and toileting.
- Use any form of physical punishment.
- Be sexually suggestive about or to an individual.
- Scapegoat, ridicule or reject an individual or group.
- Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying.
- Show favouritism to any one individual or group.
- Allow an individual to involve you in excessive attention seeking.
- Allow unknown adults access to children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable. Visitors should always be accompanied by an approved person.
- Allow strangers to give children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable in the group, lifts. Befriend children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable on social media.
- Take photographs on personal phones or cameras as this means that images are stored on personal devices.
In addition, for children and young people, must not:
- Give lifts to children you are supervising, on their own or your own (unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g. in an emergency for medical reasons or where parents fail to collect a child and no other arrangements can be made to take a child home. In such situations, the circumstances and your decision must be recorded and shared with an appropriate person at the earliest opportunity).
- Smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of children and young people.
- Arrange social occasions with children and young people (other than events which also include adult family members/carers) outside organised group occasions.