We acknowledge children’s and adults right to protection from abuse, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or beliefs. We consider that the welfare of children is paramount. We will follow legislation, statutory guidance and recognised good practice in order to protect vulnerable people in our church.
We will seek to establish a caring environment in which there is an informed vigilance about the dangers of abuse.
We will implement, maintain and regularly review the procedures outlined in this policy, which are designed to prevent and be alert to abuse.
We will always have a safeguarding officer who will have specific responsibilities for safeguarding, although we realise that safeguarding is a whole church responsibility.
The Safeguarding officer is the person to whom all concerns or allegations should be addressed. Contact details of the Safeguarding Officer will be in the list of Key Contacts.
The Church will organise any activities in such a way to promote a safe environment and minimise any risk of harm to children and adults.
We are committed to providing support and training to those who work with children and adults.
We will use rigorous and careful supervision to protect people from the risks associated with known offenders within the congregation, including implementing contracts with known offenders and those who have been assessed as posing a risk.
All concerns and allegations of abuse will be responded to appropriately, including referring to the statutory authorities if necessary.
We will co-operate with the statutory authorities in any investigation, will follow multi-agency decisions and will maintain confidentiality of any investigations to those directly involved.
Who this policy applies to:
- All those who attend our church
- Trustees and Committee
- Organisations who hire our building with the agreement to operate under our safeguarding policy. If they have their own safeguarding policy, they should provide the church with a copy. If not they should confirm in writing that they will follow ours.
Duty of care and confidentiality
We have a duty of care to all adults and children* who use our church.
*the term children refers to those under the age of 18
What to do if there is a disclosure or allegation of abuse
If a child, young person or adult makes a disclosure of abuse or makes an allegation against someone, it is important for the person being told:
- To stay calm and listen carefully
- Reassures them that the have done the right thing in telling.
- Does not investigate or ask leading questions
- Explains that they will need to tell someone else if anyone is at risk of harm, in order to help them.
- Does not promise to keep secret what they have been told.Informs the church safeguarding officer as soon as possible.
- Makes a written record of the allegation, disclosure or incidents and sign and date this record. This should then be given to the Safeguarding officer which should then be kept in a locked filing cabinet.
Procedure in the event of a concern of abuse
If there is an immediate threat of harm, the police should be contacted without delay. Where it is judged that there is no immediate threat of harm, the following should occur:
- The concern should be discussed with the church safeguarding officer and a decision made as to whether the concern should be referred to the statutory authorities.
- A confidential record will be made of the conversation and circumstances surrounding it. This will be kept securely and a copy passed to statutory authorities if a referral is made.
- The person about whom the allegation is made must not be informed by anyone in the church if it is judged that to do so could place a child or adult at increased risk.
- If the statutory authorities are involved, they should be consulted beforehand.The church committee should be kept informed of any serious concerns.
If someone in the church is alleged or known to have harmed children or adults, the Safeguarding officer should be informed so that they can offer support and advice and if required contact the statutory authorities.
Ann Kader Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Churches Child Protection Advisory Service:
(If you are unable to contact your safeguarding officer) 0845 120 4550
Plymouth Social Services 01752 346 984