Church of England Diocese of Lichfield Aldridge

Safeguarding Policy

St. Thomas’ Church Safeguarding Policy

First Published January 2017, Updated August 2019

SECTION 1 - Details of the Place of Worship/Organisation

Name of Place of Worship/Organisation: St. Thomas’ Church, Aldridge (St. Thomas’ Church comes under the umbrella of the Diocese of Lichfield).

Address: St Thomas’ Close, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands, WS9 8SL

Tel. No: 01922 459342 Email address: [email protected]tthomasaldridge.org.uk

Membership of Denomination/Organisation: Church of England

Charity Number: 1139511 Company Number: N/A

Insurance Company: Public Liability with Ecclesiastical Insurance

The following is a brief outline of the type of work/activities we undertake with children/adults at risk:

• Sunday worship and children’s groups

• Messy Church – monthly

• Tom’s Toddlers – weekly pre-school activity

• Footprints – weekly pre-school activity

• Prayer meetings – weekly

• Pastoral support, counselling and prayer ministry

• Visiting

• Transporting

• Activities for the elderly

• Nursing home visits

The Safeguarding Policy has been created in consultation with the Churches of Aldridge Parish: Aldridge Parish Church, Tynings Lane Church and The Hothouse. The full Safeguarding Policy should be read in conjunction with policies for Safer Recruitment and The Safe Use of Mobile Technology (copies available from church office upon request).

Our Commitment

As a leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adult at risks.

We acknowledge that children, young people and adult at risks 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), le.g.al 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 (now thirtyone:eight) and prepared in consultation with the Diocese of Lichfield Guidelines for the protection of children and adult at risks.

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 adult at risks.

· The leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations. Therefore only a summary will be posted on our website.

SECTION 2 – Recognising and Responding Appropriately to an Allegation or Suspicion of Abuse

Understanding Abuse and Neglect

Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult at risk 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 at risk.

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. Stated 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), le.g.al guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. The above 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.

Definition of Child and Adult at Risk

Definition of a Child

The legal definition of a child is someone under the age of 18. Some legislation in the UK allows young people from age 16 to make certain decisions for themselves (e.g. getting married), but safeguarding legislation applies to anyone under the age of 18 because this is the legal definition of a child. The Children Act 1989 and 2004 in England and Wales, the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 in Scotland and the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 in Northern Ireland similarly define a child as someone under 18. Throughout this manual when we refer to a child our meaning (unless otherwise stated) is a person under the age of 18.

Definition of Adult at Risk/Adult in Need of Protection

An adult is someone over 18 (unless specific legislation states otherwise). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the European Convention on Human Rights, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2008) all state that adults should be free from abuse. It follows that some adults because of circumstance or particular vulnerability or risk may be in need of protection.

The Care Act 2014 defines an adult at risk as a person:

• Who is 18 years and over

• Who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)

• Is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect

• Who 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.

The Care Act promotes ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ which means that the adult at risk should be at the centre of all enquiries and decisions being made throughout the safeguarding process.

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 (2010)’.

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

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 and verbal abuse

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. Verbal abuse is any language or behavior that seeks to coerce its victim to doubt their perceptions or abilities and subjugate themselves to the abuser. 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.

Sexual abuse

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

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.

Statutory Definitions of Abuse (Adults at Risk)

The following definition of abuse is laid down in ‘No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect adult at risk from abuse (Department of Health 2000): ‘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’.

Physical Abuse

This is the infliction of pain or physical injury, which is either caused deliberately, or through lack of care.

Sexual Abuse

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, Emotional or Verbal Abuse

These are acts or behaviour, which cause mental distress or anguish or negates the wishes of the adult at risk. It is also behaviour that has a harmful effect on the adult at risk’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 adult at risk needs for important activities of daily living, including the failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to the adult at risk or to others. A vulnerable person may be suffering from neglect when their general well-being or development is impaired.

Discriminatory Abuse

This is the inappropriate treatment of an adult at risk 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.

Institutional Abuse

This is the mistreatment or abuse of an adult at risk 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 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.

Physical

• 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*

Sexual

• Any allegations made concerning sexual abuse

• Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behavior

• 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*

Emotional

• 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 behavior

• Persistent tiredness

• Running away/stealing/lying

Neglect

• Under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, Untreated illnesses,

• Inadequate care, etc.

*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.

Signs of Possible Abuse (Adults at Risk)

Physical

• A history of unexplained falls, fractures, bruises, burns, minor injuries

• Signs of under or over use of medication and/or medical problems unattended

Sexual

• Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse

• Unexplained change in behaviour or sexually implicit/explicit behaviour

• Torn, stained or bloody underwear and/or unusual difficulty in walking or sitting

• Infections or sexually transmitted diseases

• Full or partial disclosure or hints of sexual abuse

• Self-harming

Psychological

• Alteration in psychological state e.g. withdrawn, agitated, anxious, tearful

• Intimidated or subdued in the presence of the carer

• Fearful, flinching or frightened of making choices or expressing wishes

• Unexplained paranoia

Financial or Material

• Disparity between assets and living conditions

• Unexplained withdrawals from accounts or disappearance of financial documents

• Sudden inability to pay bills

• Carers or professionals fail to account for expenses incurred on a person’s behalf

• Recent changes of deeds or title to property

Neglect or Omission

• Malnutrition, weight loss and /or persistent hunger

• Poor physical condition, poor hygiene, varicose ulcers, pressure sores

• Being left in wet clothing or bedding and/or clothing in a poor condition

• Failure to access appropriate health, educational services or social care

• No callers or visitors

Discriminatory

• Inappropriate remarks, comments or lack of respect

• Poor quality or avoidance of care

Institutional

• Lack of flexibility or choice over meals, bed times, visitors, phone calls etc.

• Inadequate medical care and misuse of medication

• Inappropriate use of restraint

• Sensory deprivation e.g. denial of use of spectacles or hearing aids

• Missing documents and/or absence of individual care plans

• Public discussion of private matter

• Lack of opportunity for social, educational or recreational activity

How to Respond to a Child Wishing to Disclose Abuse

Effective Listening

Ensure the physical environment is welcoming, giving opportunity for the child or adult at risk 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 you.

DON'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 else

• No leading questions – e.g. Did you? Did they?

WRITE IT DOWN!

Write down as soon as possible after your conversation as word perfect as possible, pass the information to one of the Safeguarding Officers, and complete the form as soon afterwards as you can.

Safeguarding Awareness Training

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 of our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis through the thirtyone:eight training programme or distance learning course. At times there may be in-house training provided through thirtyone:eight. Coordinators will also attend training provided by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Local Adult Protection Board/thirtyone:eight.

The Leadership will also ensure that children and adult at risks 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 for Children or Adults

Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Procedures to follow are below:

· The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse relating to children should report concerns as soon as possible to Sue Grundy (hereafter the ‘safeguarding children coordinator’) tel. no: 01922 457795 /07772 925069, 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 children coordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the safeguarding coordinator, then the report should be made to Kate Mason (hereafter the ‘deputy’) tel. no: 01922 455842/07913 258562. If the suspicions implicate both the safeguarding coordinator and the deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to Sue Quibell tel. no: 01922 744205/ 07889 885545 or thirtyone:eight, PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ, telephone: 0303 003 1111. Alternatively contact social services or the police.

· The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse relating to adults at risk should report concerns as soon as possible to Sue Quibell (hereafter the ‘safeguarding adults at risk coordinator") tel. no: 01922 744205/07889 885545, 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 adults at risk coordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the safeguarding coordinator, then the report should be made to Vera Russell (hereafter the ‘deputy’), tel. no: 01922 616383/07806 519301. If the suspicions implicate both the safeguarding coordinator and the deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to Sue Grundy (01922 457795/07772925069) or to Kate Mason (01922 455842/07913 258562) or to or thirtyone:eight, PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ, telephone: 0303 003 1111. Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.

· Where the concern is about a child the safeguarding coordinator should contact Children’s Social Services. Where the concern is regarding an adult at risk contact Adult Social Services or take advice from thirtyone:eight as above.

The local Children’s Social Services Office’s telephone number (office hours) is 0300 555 2866. The out of hours emergency number is 0300 555 2922.

The local Adult Social Care & Inclusion Office’s telephone number is 0300 555 2922. This number can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including Bank Holidays and weekends.

Where anyone is felt to be in immediate danger, the police should be called on 999.

Where required the safeguarding coordinator should then immediately inform the insurance company and other strategic personnel within the diocese:

· During office hours and for general enquiries please call Kim Hodgkins on 01543 306030.

· For Emergencies the Diocese has an emergency safeguarding number: 0300 003 111 (option 2). This number is staffed on a rota basis by members of the Safeguarding Team. There is a possibility that you may be diverted to their answer machine. Please leave a message and if your call is urgent the person on call will contact you as soon as possible.

Lichfield Diocese Safeguarding Team

· Neil Spiring – Senior Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor and Team Leader (01543 306030).

· Kim Hodgkins – Diocesan Advisor for the Safeguarding of Children (01543 306030).

· Rev. Sally Smith – Diocesan Advisor for the Safeguarding of Adults (07962

025659).

· Jane Tillier – Bishop's Advisor for Pastoral Care and Well Being ([email protected] or 07530 734079).

· 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 coordinator or deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from thirtyone:eight.

· The leadership will support the safeguarding coordinators/deputies 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 thirtyone:eight, 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 coordinator/deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the safeguarding coordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency directly. 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 coordinators/deputies 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 thirtyone:eight) 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 thirtyone:eight (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 coordinator/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 thirtyone:eight if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. thirtyone:eight will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

The following procedure will be followed where there is a concern that an adult is at risk or in need of protection:

Suspicions or Allegations of Physical or Sexual Abuse

If an adult at risk has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse the safeguarding coordinator/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 adult at risk 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 Adults at Risk 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 thirtyone:eight 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).

Sections 6.20 – 6.30 [Allegations of abuse made against a person who works with children] in Working Together 2006 states that local authorities should have a designated officer to manage cases where an accusation is made against someone working with children (whether working in a paid or voluntary capacity). These individuals are often known as Safeguarding Advisers or Local Authority Designated Officers. Where accusations involve a worker then speak to social services and the police and ask whether the individual needs to be referred.

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 ISA Vetting and Barring Scheme lists of those people deemed unsuitable for working with children or adult at risks. Where you are liaising with a SA / LADO discuss with them about the need to refer to the ISA.

SECTION 3 - Prevention

Safe Recruitment – see Appendix 9 for full safe recruitment procedures

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 & Barring Service application 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 St. Thomas’ Church Safeguarding Policy and knows how to report concerns.

When appointing volunteers:

• They will not be recruited to the team unless they have worshipped regularly at St. Thomas’ Church for a minimum of six months. This includes those who have moved from other churches.

• Names of potential volunteers will be presented to the Minister and Safeguarding Officers before being approached.

• A Disclosure & Barring Service application has been completed (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information).

• They will be given a copy of St. Thomas’ Church Safeguarding Policy and will receive training.

• Job Descriptions for volunteers will be reviewed annually.

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 adult at risks. 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.

SECTION 4- Pastoral Care

Supporting those Affected by Abuse

The leadership (i.e. clergy and wardens) 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 at risk the leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults-at-risk, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep.

SECTION 5 - Practice Guidelines

As an organisation/place of worship working with children, young people and adult at risks 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 are attached/will be developed.

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 adult at risks. 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 thirtyone:eight’s safeguarding standards. Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adult at risks and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.