Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is important to us, see our policy below

St Thomas’ Church Mow Cop - Policy on the Safeguarding of Adults/Children

1. This policy will be reviewed each year to monitor the progress which has been achieved. 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.

• We recognise that a position of power in relation to another creates a risk of vulnerability. As a consequence we strive to ensure that we consider power when working and leading with people.

• We recognise that children by virtue of legal status and dependency on adults for their emotional and physical needs will always be vulnerable and at a disadvantage. We commit to considering this in our children’s activities– undertaking supervision of staff working with them and risk assessing activities and groups as a check and balance in our work.

• We understand that illness, disability, race, mental health and other issues can put adults in a position of vulnerability. We accept that these can be long term (ongoing), or temporary. We commit to considering this in our adults activities and events – undertaking supervision of staff and risk assessing activities and groups as a check and balance in our work.

• We will consider issues relating to spiritual care in prayer activity, ensuring that members of our prayer ministry team consider power, control and spiritual abuse issues in their ministry.

• We commit to transparency in our actions and accountability for our work.

2. As members of this parish we commit ourselves to respectful pastoral care for all adults and children to whom we minister. These include: Children’s Work, Adults Work, Open the Book, Friends at Home, Sunday Morning Activities, Good Companions.

3. We commit ourselves to the safeguarding of people who may be vulnerable, ensuring their well-being in the life of this church and promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.

• We will ensure proper care is taken in the selection and appointment of those who will work with vulnerable children and/or adults.

• The parish is committed to supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who undertake work with vulnerable children and/or adults.

• We will ensure that those in position of trust (such as wardens) and those leading or working with the groups specified in point 2 above and members of this PCC will have appropriate Enhanced DBS checks and these be updated every five years.

• We will ensure that all the above will undertake the appropriate safeguarding training.

• We will ensure that those working with the groups in point 2 above will undergo safer recruiting procedures as specified by the diocese.

• Our incumbent undertakes to ensure that to the best of her knowledge all PCC members, wardens and ministry leaders are of good standing.

• Only suitable and responsible people may become key holders, references will be taken up in accordance with the Safer Recruitment policy and they will be required to complete the Lichfield Diocese Declaration. Access and Usage of Church Buildings will be monitored as far as is reasonably possible.

• We will appoint and ensure training for a dedicated safeguarding co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will maintain a relationship with the diocese safeguarding team and ensure this policy is followed.

• Safeguarding, including revision of policy, will be a regular PCC agenda item and whilst there is a dedicated co-ordinator the PCC will accept collective ownership for the issue of safeguarding vulnerable children and adults in the parish work.

4. The parish commits itself to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of people who may be vulnerable.

• We will consider the impact of power, disadvantage, inclusion, disability, age and race on how we provide and plan for our ministry.

• We will actively (but appropriately), challenge each other in our work in order to ensure we consider a wide range of perspectives and views– ensuring that we do not oppressively impose our own values or views to another’s detriment.

• Where a person struggles with an activity due to disadvantage, disability or illness we will go the extra mile to assist them so they can participate and contribute as a full part of the church.

5. It is the responsibility of each of us to prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse of vulnerable people and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.

• We will not collude, keep secrets or make decisions when we have suspicion of abuse.

• We will seek through discussion the views of others and ensure through use of external agencies and the diocese safeguarding service that we engage and welcome external perspectives in order to promote a healthy accountable culture.

• We will report without bias or reference to our personal view. We will report and not investigate.

• We will record concerns factually in diocese suggested formats (as per recording with care policy 2017)

• We will not take chances with the welfare of children or vulnerable adults.

• We are open to scrutiny and encourage this in others.

• We have zero tolerance to abuse and put the welfare of vulnerable children and adults first.

• We take seriously training and activities relating to the safeguarding of Children and seek to engrain this in our congregational culture.

6. The PCC, through the co-ordinator, will ensure that the following groups who hire the Hall on a regular basis will satisfy the PCC that they either have their own safeguarding policy or they adopt the safeguarding policy developed by the church for this purpose: Art Group, Sewing Group, Library, Zumba, Good Companions, Line Dancing, Choir, Running Club, Yoga

7. The PCC will publish on the notice boards at the back of the church and in the Church Hall, a copy of the Diocesan Safe Guarding Flow Chart (available on the Diocesan website.) In addition, all validated leaders and key holders will be given a copy.

8. The PCC require groups that are working with children and young people provide:

• A list of its current leaders and details of their roles, provision for training and support

• When and where the group meets, its normal working pattern and the age range it covers.

• To agree clear roles for leaders

• Set up structures to train and support their leaders in their roles

• Agree statements of working practice.

9. The parish adopts the guidelines of the Church of England and the Diocese.

• The Parish will report and record in line with Diocese policies and comply with local guidance’s for implementing national policies as defined in diocese polices. These include the diocese safeguarding policy, recording with care policy, social media policy and safer recruitment policy.

• The PCC will make a copy of this policy and its procedures available, if requested, at The Archdeacon's visitation.

• The PCC will carry public liability insurance and will insure all leaders and staff for personal accident

10. The PCC accepts that as trustees they have a duty to ensure that these procedures are implemented, monitored and reviewed.

The PCC appoint a person to represent the concerns and views of vulnerable people at PCC meetings as appropriate and to outside bodies as our safeguarding co-ordinator and report to the PCC annually.

Safeguarding Coordinator: Rev Patrick Griffin