This statement was adopted by St. Andrew’s Church, Weston June 2019
1. Statement of position.
· We recognise 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 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.
· We will consider issues relating to spiritual care in prayer activity, ensuring that members of our prayer team consider power, control and spiritual abuse issues in their ministry.
· We will ensure that leaders of our children’s Sunday school, Children’s Activity programmes such as Messy Church, and house groups as well as other ministries that involve working with vulnerable persons have appropriate enhanced DBS checks.
· Leaders must be aged 18 or over when working with children, young people or vulnerable adults. Under 18s may assist with leadership roles but must be supervised at all times.
· The PCC requires that groups that are working with children, young people or vulnerable adults:
o Agree a clear role for leaders
o Set up structures to train and support their leaders in their roles
o Agree statements of working practise
· We will ensure that those who care for people in our parish attend appropriate safeguarding training.
3. We commit ourselves protecting and promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people who attend our church.
· The PCC will ensure full compliance with Health and Safety Guidelines
· We will consider safety during all child-focussed activities such as Sunday School, Messy Church, Breakfast Service and Good Friday Workshops, and we will complete appropriate risk assessments to document this consideration.
· We will consider the safety of any people who may be vulnerable during all church run events including (but not limited to) Lent Lunches, Open Gardens and Harvest Supper, and we will complete appropriate risk assessments to document this consideration.
4. We commit ourselves to promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.
· We commit to discuss safeguarding and support to of safeguarding as a standing PCC agenda item
· We will ensure all members of the PCC have completed appropriate safeguarding training
· We will seek to develop relationships with other agencies and the diocese on safeguarding
· We will be open, transparent, and not keep secrets
· We will ensure that those in positions of trust (such as wardens, PCC safeguarding lead, PCC treasurer), and those with remits or leadership of groups involving vulnerable children etc have appropriate enhanced DBS checks and that these are updated every 5 year. This will be done via the Safeguarding Office, St. Mary’s House, The Close, Litchfield, WS13 7LD.
· We will review and revise the safeguarding policy annually
· The safeguarding leader will be responsible for completing an annual safeguarding audit
· Whilst we have a named co-ordinator we will accept collective ownership for this important issue.
· The PCC will publish on the notice boards at the back of the church and in the Church Hall a copy of the Diocesan Safeguarding Flow Chart (available on the Diocesan website). In addition, all validated leaders and key holders will be given a copy.
· The PCC will make a copy of this policy and its procedures available, if requested, at the Archdeacon’s visitation.
5. 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.
6. 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 an 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 being bias 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.
7. We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of those who will work with people who may be vulnerable.
· A Safeguarding co-ordinator for one of the parish churches will be present during the appointment and selection of those who will work with people who may be vulnerable
· A list of paid and voluntary workers will be compiled and updated regularly to ensure that the full recruitment procedures have been followed for each of them.
· Applicants to new positions will be required to complete the Lichfield Diocesan declaration
· Applicants will be required to provide two references using the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy form
· Before appointment to the continuation of any appointment, appointees may need to apply for and supply clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
· Our incumbent undertake to ensure that to the best of his or her knowledge all PCC members, wardens and ministry leaders are of good standing.
· The PCC undertakes to appoint and upskill a dedicated Safeguarding co-ordinator.
· Safeguarding co-ordination undertakes to maintain a relationship with diocese level safeguarding team and endure that this policy is followed.
8. The parish is committed to supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who undertake work amongst people who may be vulnerable.
· All those working with children, young people or vulnerable adults will complete C0 and C1 safeguarding training
· All PCC members will complete C0 and C1 safeguarding training courses
· Church wardens and the Safeguarding co-ordinator will additionally complete C2 safeguarding training
9. To the best of our ability we will ensure the safety and protection of those with leadership roles within the Church
· We will avoid lone working as far as possible when working with children, young people or vulnerable adults
· When lone working is unavoidable (for example during pastoral visits) we will keep a rota and record of where a person is intended to be at what time.
· If a church member is alone in the church (for example when decorating or cleaning the church, the barred gates will be closed and locked to ensure their safety.
· The PCC will carry public liability insurance and will insure all leaders and staff for personal accident.
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.
· We will work towards adopting the recommendations of the House of Bishops as published in the Policy for Safeguarding Children ‘Protecting All God’s Children (2010) and Promoting a Safe Church (2006)
10. Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this church.
· Those working with vulnerable adults or children will sign a declaration to state that they have read and agree to abide by the points outlined in this policy.
This church appoints Dr Rose Rae to represent the concerns and views of vulnerable people at our meetings and to outside bodies as Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator.
She is responsible for:
· Providing a point of contact through which any safeguarding concerns may be channelled
· Reviewing, implementing and monitoring this safeguarding policy