Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
The Parochial Church Council of St. Mary’s Church Chedzoy has fully adopted the Diocese of Bath & Wells Safeguarding Policy shown below.
Our Safeguarding Officer is Linda Friend (e-mail: pcc[email protected])
Diocese of Bath & Wells Safeguarding Policy
Introduction - aims and purpose
The purpose of this policy document is to identify and outline the issues and principles of safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults for the Church of England.
At a national level it is the House of Bishop’s which approves the policy and provides recommended procedures where it is judged that the Church of England should have common practice across the dioceses.
The Diocese of Bath & Wells fully adopts the House of Bishop’s publication document “Protecting all God’s children 4th edition” published in November 2010, the policy for Safeguarding Children in the Church of England. In conjunction with the House of Bishop’s publication document “Promoting a safe church” published in 2006, the policy for Safeguarding Adults in the Church of England, produce this Diocese of Bath & Wells Safeguarding policy.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. National guidelines state that all organisations that work with children, young people and vulnerable adults share a commitment to safeguard and promote their welfare. Everyone in the church community has a responsibility to ensure there is a welcome for all people and a responsibility for the safety, well being and protection of others.
The Church works with statutory agencies to help safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. Since its first child protection policy, and before, the Church has taken the view that matters which are the subject of statutory provisions should be brought to the relevant agencies for determination. This is particularly important if there is a possible need for statutory action to protect a child or adult, or to bring an alleged offender to justice.
For faith communities to fulfil this commitment and for there to be an integrated approach there needs to be the following arrangements in place:
• Each parish needs to have appropriate arrangements in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in the Church community.
• Those involved with working with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the parish need to know how to report concerns that they may have about the children, young people or vulnerable adults they meet that are in line with national procedures.
• Those involved in working with children, young people and vulnerable adults need to adopt appropriate codes of practice.
• All who work directly with children, young people and vulnerable adults need to undergo safe recruitment procedures.
Principles - summary of the policy
We are committed to:
• The care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with all children, young people and all adults within our church community.
• The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable.
• The establishing of safe, caring communities which provide an environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse.
• We will follow safe recruitment procedure to carefully select and train all those with any responsibility within the church for children, young people and vulnerable adults, including the use of criminal records disclosures.
• We will respond to every complaint made which suggests that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, co-operating with the Police and local authority in any investigation.
• We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with him or her an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care.
• We will care for and supervise any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
• We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.
• We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognized good practice.
Christian communities should be places where all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse. The Church is particularly called by God to support those less powerful and those without a voice in our society. The Church is working towards creating a safe and non-discriminatory environment by being aware of some of the particular situations that create vulnerability. Issues which need to be considered include both the physical environment and the attitudes of workers and volunteers. A person who might be considered vulnerable has the right to:
● Be treated with respect and dignity.
● Have their privacy respected.
● Be able to lead as independent a life as possible.
● Be able to choose how to lead their life.
● Have the protection of the law.
● Have their rights upheld regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality,
impairment or disability, age, religion or cultural background.
● Be able to use their chosen language or method of communication.
● Be heard.