Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

Safeguarding

For safeguarding enquiries, you can contact us via the get in touch form or speak to us when Church is open BUT - If the situation is urgent because someone is being harmed or is not safe right now or needs immediate help right now and you cannot wait please:  dial 999, or contact social care services, or for a child speak to NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000, or ring Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser on 07342 993 844. 

POLICIES

A) Promoting a Safer Church – Our Parish Policy Statement

The Parochial Church Council of St Matthew with St Chad, Smethwick agreed to adopt all of the House of Bishop’s safeguarding policy and practice guidance and The Church of England – Birmingham’s procedures for their implementation.  Last updated and reviewed - Dec 2019 

All forms of abuse are wrong and must be stopped. The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults involved in Church activities is the responsibility of the whole Church. Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all. As a PCC we are committed to doing all we can to:

1. Promote an environment and culture of a safer Church.

2. Recruit and support those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church as safely as we can.

3. Promptly respond to and report safeguarding concerns and allegations.

4. Pastorally support victims/survivors of abuse to the best of our ability.

5. Ensure support processes are in place for those alleged to have abused others or caused concerns.

6. Work with the Diocese to manage those presenting safeguarding risks.

We will promote good safeguarding principles by: 

• Communicating to all Church Officers that the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is paramount;

• Making this safeguarding policy available to all church officers;

• Requiring all church officers working with or in contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults to attend diocesan safeguarding training;

• Ensuring that Church Officers have clear roles, are supported, are supervised and know the lines of accountability within our church for work on safeguarding;

• Publicly advertise who children, young people and vulnerable adults may speak to about concerns;

A church officer is anyone appointed or elected to a role on behalf of the church whether they are lay or ordained, paid or unpaid

We will implement good safeguarding practice by:

• Using safer recruitment procedures;

• Following reporting procedures for dealing with safeguarding concerns and allegations;

• Working co-operatively with statutory and voluntary sector partners;

• Publishing our complaints procedures;

• Maintaining our records in line with good record keeping principles.

B) Responding well to Domestic Abuse - Our Parish Policy Statement

The Parochial Church Council of St Matthew with St Chad, Smethwick agreed to adopt all of the House of Bishop’s safeguarding policy and practice guidance and The Church of England – Birmingham’s procedures for their implementation. Updated Spring 2019

All forms of abuse are wrong and must be stopped. Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all. As a PCC we are committed to doing all we can to:

1. Ensure that all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse;

2. Protect those vulnerable to domestic abuse from actual or potential harm;

3. Recognise equality amongst people and within relationships;

4. Enable and encourage concerns to be raised and responded to appropriately and consistently.

We recognise that:

• all forms of domestic abuse cause damage to the survivor and express an imbalance of power in the relationship;

• all survivors (regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity) have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;

• domestic abuse can occur in all communities;

• domestic abuse may be a single incident, but is usually a systematic, repeated pattern which escalates in severity and frequency;

• domestic abuse, if witnessed or overheard by a child, is a form of abuse by the perpetrator of the abusive behaviour;

• working in partnership with children, adults and other agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of any child or adult suffering abuse.


We will endeavour to respond to domestic abuse by:

• valuing, listening to and respecting both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.

• raising awareness about other agencies, support services, resources and expertise, through providing information in public and women-only areas of relevance to survivors, children and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.

• ensuring that those who have experienced abuse can find safety and informed help;

• working with the appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into domestic abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the church community.

• ensuring that informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse;

• identifying and outlining the appropriate relationship of those with pastoral care responsibilities with both survivors and alleged or known perpetrators of domestic abuse.