Living Word Community Church, Policy for the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.
The policy and procedures have been divided into five sections covering all 10 Churches Child Protection Advisory Service safeguarding standards. Along with details of the organisation and a statement of intent and commitment to safeguarding, the policy covers the following sections:
Section 1. Place of worship / organisation details
Safe and Secure – Standard 1
Section 2. Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse
Safe and Secure – Standards 2 and 7
Section 3. Prevention
Safe and Secure – Standards 3 and 4
Section 4. Pastoral care
Safe and Secure – Standards 8 and 9
Section 5. Practice guidelines
Safe and Secure – Standards 5, 6 and 10
Appendix 1. Leadership safeguarding statement
Appendix 2. Safeguarding Poster
Appendix 3. Good Practice with children and young people
Details of the organisation
Name of Place of Organisation: Living Word Community Church
Address: The Church currently meets at the Wat Tyler Centre in Basildon
Any queries relating to this policy should be addressed to David Donoghue, Chair of Trustees, 16, Norsey Close, Billericay, CM11 1AP
Tel No: 01268 471110 Email address: email@example.com
Membership of Organisation Global Horizons
Charity Number: 293710
Regulators details: None currently
Insurance Company: Public Liability Insurance of £5,000,000 with Congregational Insurance.
The following is a brief description of our organisation and the type of work and activities we undertake with children / vulnerable adults:
The Church currently meets for worship on Sunday mornings at the Wat Tyler Centre. During that meeting activities take place for adults and children in appropriate groupings. During the week the church meets in small groups either in private homes or in rented accommodation
As a Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and vulnerable 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 attached 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 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 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 vulnerable adults.
file a copy of the policy and practice guidelines with CCPAS and the local authority and any amendments subsequently published. 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 a vulnerable 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 vulnerable 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:
1. 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.
2. 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 symptoms of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included here in our policy.
Definitions of Abuse in Children
The four definitions of abuse in children below operate in England based on the government guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006)’.
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 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 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.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
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 and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Honour based abuse
A term which is usually used to cover matters such as forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Definitions of Abuse in Vulnerable Adults
The following definition of abuse is laid down in ‘No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse (Department of Health 2000): This guidance has now been cancelled under the Care Act 2014 and Care and Support Statutory Guidance issued.
‘Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. In giving substance to that statement, however, consideration needs to be given to a number of factors:
Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it’.
This is the infliction of pain or physical injury, which is either caused deliberately, or through lack of care.
This is the involvement in sexual activities to which the person has not consented or does not truly comprehend and so cannot give informed consent, or where the other party is in a position of trust, power or authority and uses this to override or overcome lack of consent.
Psychological or Emotional Abuse
These are acts or behaviour, which cause mental distress or anguish or negates the wishes of the vulnerable adult. It is also behaviour that has a harmful effect on the vulnerable adult’s emotional health and development or any other form of mental cruelty.
Financial or Material Abuse
This is the inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions
Neglect or Act of Omission
This is the repeated deprivation of assistance that the vulnerable adult needs for important activities of daily living, including the failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to the vulnerable adult or to others. A vulnerable person may be suffering from neglect when their general well being or development is impaired
This is the inappropriate treatment of a vulnerable adult because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality, disability etc. Discriminatory abuse exists when values, beliefs or culture result in a misuse of power that denies opportunity to some groups or individuals. Discriminatory abuse links to all other forms of abuse.
This is the mistreatment or abuse of a vulnerable adult by a regime or individuals within an institution (e.g. hospital or care home) or in the community. It can be through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect or poor professional practice.
Signs and symptoms of abuse in children
Physical Signs of Abuse
Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them.
Injuries which occur to the body in places which are not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc.
Injuries which have not receive medical attention.
Reluctance to change for, or participate in games or swimming.
Repeated urinary infections or unexplained stomach pains.
Bruises, burns, bites, fractures, etc. which do not have an accidental explanation..
Cuts, scratches, substance abuse.
Signs of Neglect
Failure to grow
Constant hunger, stealing or gorging food
Inadequate care, e.g. frequently wearing dirty clothes, lack of washing and personal hygiene
Emotional Signs of Abuse
Changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clinging. Also depression/aggression, extreme anxiety
Nervousness, frozen watchfulness
Obsession or phobias
Sudden under-achievement lack of concentration
Inappropriate relationships with peers or adult
Running away, stealing, lying,
Signs of Possible Sexual Abuse
Any allegation made by a child concerning sexual abuse
Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, regular engagement in age-inappropriate sexual play
Sexual activity through words, play or drawings
Sexual provocation or seduction towards adults
Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home
Severe sleep disturbance with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares, sometimes with veiled sexual connotations
Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia
Who abuses children?
Rarely a stranger
Usually someone who knows the child, e.g. parent, babysitter, sibling, relative, friend of the family
Sometimes, someone in authority such as teacher, youth worker, children’s worker or church worker/leader
Sometimes, paedophiles and others who set out to join organisations (including churches) to obtain access to children
How to respond to a child 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.Helpful Responses
You have done the right thing in telling
I am glad you have told me
I will try to help youDon’t Say
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 elsePractical Procedure
Contact the church child protection Co-ordinator as soon as possible.
Write down what was said immediately. It is important not to change words – you will be asked for this report at some point.
Do not try to investigate the matter yourself or talk to the parent, guardian or alleged abuser. This could seriously hamper any future investigation.
On very rare occasions there may be a need to contact Social Services directly; if it is not safe for the child to return home and you cannot get in touch with the Co-ordinator or Deputy Co-ordinator, for example.
Allegations of Physical Injury or Neglect
The Co-ordinator will contact CCPAS for advice in cases of deliberate injury or where concerned about the child’s safety; the church in these circumstances should not inform the parents. Where emergency medical attention is necessary it will be sought immediately. In other circumstances he will speak with the parent/carer and suggest that medical attention be sought for the child; the doctor (or health visitor) will then initiate further action if necessary. If appropriate the parent/carer will be encouraged to seek help from the Social Services Department. Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, if appropriate the Co-ordinator will offer to go with them; if they still fail to act the Co-ordinator should, in cases of real concern, contact Social Services for advice. The Insurance Company and the Charity Commissioners may also need to be informed.
Allegations of Sexual AbuseThe Co-ordinator will usually contact CCPAS for advice. CCPAS will confirm its advice in writing in case this is needed for reference purposes in the future. In a serious situation Social Services may need to be contacted immediately (if the child is at risk if they go home, for example). The Co-ordinator will not speak to the parent (or anyone else) about the matter and will not attempt to carry out any investigation into the allegations or suspicions of abuse; the role of the Co-ordinator is to collect and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and to provide this information to the Social Services Department, if necessary. The co-ordinator may also need to contact the Insurance Company and the Charity Commissioners.
Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Co-ordinator, the absence of the Co-ordinator or Deputy Co-ordinator should not delay reference to the Social Services Department in the case of an immediate, serious situation. Exceptionally, should there be any disagreement between the person in receipt of the allegation or suspicion and the Co-ordinator or Deputy Co-ordinator as to the appropriateness of a referral to Social Services, that person retains a responsibility as a member of the public to report serious matters to the Social Services Department and should do so without hesitation.
The elders will support the Co-ordinator or Deputy Co-ordinator 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.
If abuse by a member of the church is suspected
The Co-ordinator will take appropriate action, in accordance with the procedures outlined above. He will arrange pastoral support from a church member for both parties and also for the person to whom the matter was reported. All information will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis. Our desire is to protect all parties from any injustice.
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 receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis provided by CCPAS and other organisations. The Coordinator in collaboration with the Church leadership will nominate workers to attend appropriate course e.g. Facing the Unthinkable. The costs of attendance will be borne by the Church.
The Leadership will also ensure that children and vulnerable adults 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.
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 David Donoghue (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator") tel no: 07958714290 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 Terry Everett (hereafter the "Deputy ") tel no: 01375 671146. 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) is 0345 603 7634. The out of hours emergency number is 345 606 1212
The local Adult Social Services office telephone number (office hours) is 01245 430430 or, 03457 430 430
The Police Child Protection Team telephone number is 0300 333 4444.
Where required the Safeguarding Co-ordinator should then immediately inform the insurance company.
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 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.
The following procedure will be followed where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:
The Care Act 2014 defines an adult for safeguarding purposes as:-
Any person aged 18 years or over who,
a) has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting those needs)
b) is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect and,
c) as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself/herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
Suspicions or allegations of sexual or physical abuse.
If a vulnerable adult has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
Discuss any concerns with the individual themselves giving due regard to their autonomy, privacy and rights to lead an independent life.
If the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.
For advice contact the Adult Social Care Vulnerable Adults Team who have responsibility under Section 47 of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 and government guidance, ‘No Secrets’, to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively CCPAS can be contacted for advice.
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children.
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 Safeguarding Adviser (SA) / Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
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 criminal records disclosure has been completed (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.
Volunteer workers for work with children and other groups will be sought by the leadership from the existing membership of the church. All volunteer workers with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be subject to a DBS enhanced disclosure check through CCPAS. This check will be renewed should that person’s role in the organisation change.
Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct
As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers have been issued with a code of conduct towards children, young people and vulnerable adults. The Leadership undertakes to follow the principles found within the ‘Abuse Of Trust ‘guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.
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. This would normally be managed through the eldership and the pastoral team
Working with offenders
When someone attending the organisation is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to vulnerable adults the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep.
As an organisation working with children, young people and vulnerable adults 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 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 will be further developed. See appendix 3.
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 vulnerable 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. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding. 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 vulnerable adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.
Signed by: ________________________________
Leadership Safeguarding Statement
The Leadership of Living Word Community Church - hereafter referred to as Leadership] 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.
The following statement was agreed by the leadership/organisation on: _____________________
This place of worship/organisation is committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults 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 vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable adults 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 vulnerable adults.
We are committed to:
Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable 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/vulnerable adults.
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 a vulnerable adult.
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.
We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually and Safeguarding will be a standing agenda item at meetings of the Trustees.
Annually the Chair of Trustees will inspect the list of workers who hold current DBS check and sign this off, reporting to Trustees that this has taken place.
If you have any concerns for a child or vulnerable adult then speak to one of the following who have been approved as safeguarding co-ordinators for this place of worship/organisation.
David Donoghue Child Safeguarding Coordinator
Terry Everett Deputy Child Safeguarding Coordinator
David Donoghue Adult Safeguarding Coordinator
Terry Everett Deputy Adult Safeguarding Coordinator
A copy of the full policy and procedures is available from the Church Office
A copy of our safeguarding policy has been lodged with CCPAS
Signed by leadership/organisation
Signed __________________________ ________________________
Appendix 2 [Safeguarding Poster]
GOOD PRACTICE WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
The church should ensure that:
Wherever possible, a worker is not left alone with a child or young person where their activity cannot be seen.
The children’s/youth worker should:
Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity befitting their age.
Watch his/her language, tone of voice and body language in all situations where children or young people are concerned.
Avoid paying too much attention to any one child/YP or group to the exclusion of the others.
Not invite a child to his/her home alone. Always ensure a group is invited, or that there is another responsible adult in the house. Also make sure that the parents/carer know where the child/YP is.
Avoid giving regular lifts to child/YP on their own..
The children’s/youth worker should NOT engage in any of the following:
Invading the privacy of children/YP when they are in the toilet
Physically rough or sexually provocative games/activities
Making sexually suggestive comments about or to a YP, even in fun
Any behaviour including touching which could be misunderstood, either by the child/YP or another present. Likewise, the children’s/ youth worker should not tolerate such behaviour from a child or young person,
Scapegoating, ridiculing, rejecting a child for any reason
GOOD PRACTICE WITH COLLEAGUES
If you see another worker acting in ways which might be misconstrued or compromise the work with the children and YP, be prepared to speak to them yourself and/or talk to whoever is in charge of the children’s work or an elder.
All leaders should make an effort to encourage and support each other, and foster an atmosphere which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss any inappropriate attitudes, speech or behaviour.
Always remember that as workers with children and young people we are in a position of influence, authority and responsibility and we should act accordingly. Becoming too much of a ‘buddy’ may well be fun but may also lead to a confusion of roles.
Remember that we are leaders, then friends. We should neither do nor say anything that will undermine our ability to function as leaders. We must model consistency to the young people in conduct, speech, attitude and discipline. If we do this, our friendship will impact their lives to a far deeper level.
GOOD PRACTICE WITH SUPERVISION
Meet together on a regular basis to review, plan and delegate the work.
Discuss working and personal relationships with the children/YP.
Ideally keep a written note of each meeting, including anything of note that was observed, by any worker.
Pray together regularly for the work, the children/YP and for each other.
The Children’s Work Leader and elders should act appropriately and sensitively if there are doubts about a worker’s practice. They should keep an eye out for any child/YP receiving any exceptional treatment, being highly favoured or treated unduly harshly.
PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR SAFETY AND PROTECTION
Make the environment as comfortable and safe as is appropriate to the age of the children
Have experienced first-aiders on call who are known to those responsible for Church meetings.
Have access to a telephone for emergencies
Keep a fully-equipped first-aid box with an accident record book which is kept in the place of worship
Keep an attendance register in a secure place: at each session record:
date and time of session
names of children and adults and helpers responsible for them
dates of birth, addresses and contact phone numbers (use back of book)
Note anything significant, e.g. accident, upset.
Child Supervision Ratio Adults (over 16) Children
0 to 2 yrs 1 : 3
2 to 3 yrs 1 : 4
3 to 8 yrs 1 : 8
Children of 5+ years should be able to take themselves to the toilet. It may be necessary to escort them to the door and make sure they come straight back again.
If taking children outside, ensure that they are well supervised and cannot wander off. Check the area for safety beforehand.
If a child’s behaviour causes concern or he/she is distressed call for his/her parent/carer.
Parents/carers should collect young children at the end of the session.
Those working closely with children need to be sensitive to their needs. Care must be taken so that anything we do does not make a child feel uncomfortable or cause them to misinterpret our actions.
Ask God for wisdom, discernment and understanding in all our dealings with the children
Encourage each child’s positives; do not compare them with each other publicly
Build healthy relationships with children and be a good role model, setting a good example. You can’t expect children to observe ground rules if you break them yourself.
Take care to give quieter and well-behaved children attention and don’t allow some children to take up all your time and energy.
Be consistent in what you say and ensure that other team members know what you have said – this avoids manipulation.
Look honestly at your programme – if children are bored, they misbehave. Is the programme at fault?
Never smack or hit a child and don’t shout – change voice tone if necessary.
Discipline out of love, never anger. (Call on support from other leaders if you feel you may deal with a situation unwisely in your anger.)
Do not tolerate swearing, racism, calling each other names, etc.
Each child is unique, special and individual, and each child needs a different method of being dealt with. We need to ask why the child is behaving that way.
Separate children who have a tendency to be disruptive when together. Give them a chance, warn them and only separate as a last resort.
Have the child sit right in front of you or get a helper to sit next to the child.
Be actively aware, anticipate situations and encourage other helpers to do the same.
Take the child aside and talk to them, challenge them to change, whilst encouraging them on their strengths.
Warn a child that you will speak to their parents and do so if necessary. It may be necessary to send them back into the service or to consider a short ban on attendance.
If a child’s behaviour is consistently disruptive, seek advice and guidance from a leader.
Keep everything public. A hug in the context of a group is very different from a hug behind closed doors.
Touch should be related to the child’s needs, not the workers.
Touch should be age-appropriate and generally initiated by the child rather than the worker.
Avoid any physical activity that is, or may be thought to be, sexually stimulating to the adult or child.
Children have the right to decide how much physical contact they have with others, except in exceptional circumstances when they need medical attention.
Team members should monitor one another in the area of physical contact. They should be free to help each other by pointing out anything that could be misconstrued.
Concerns about abuse should always be reported, following the church policy.
This policy was agreed on ………………………………
It will be reviewed by Trustees annually at their autumn meeting
……………………………………………… Chair of Trustees of Living Word Community Church
…………………………………………….. On behalf of the Elders of Living Word Community Church