St. Michael and All Angels Parish Church, Barford Avenue, Bedford. Date: 1st August 2018
SAFEGUARDING POLICY and PROCEDURES CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
1.1 As Christians we are called to recognise and respect the individuality and dignity of all people. We have a special responsibility to safeguard both the children and young people entrusted to our care, and all those adults in the cathedral community who may be vulnerable. Our work with children, young people and adults at the cathedral takes many forms and it is the responsibility of each of us to prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse of vulnerable people and report any such abuse that we discover or suspect. We will work with all individuals regardless of race, disability, gender, culture or creed and ensure that we are constantly mindful of their welfare.
1.2 Policy and procedures are based on legislation and Church of England national policy statement and practice guidance.
2. Safeguarding Policy Statement:
2.1. We will develop a safeguarding culture that:
• Creates an environment where there is awareness and vigilance about the signs, symptoms and impacts of abuse.
• Enables and encourages all concerns or allegations to be raised in order to protect children and adults from harm.
• Ensures all those who work or volunteer with children and adults achieve the standards required by this policy.
• Holds to account those in the church community who disregard the safety and well-being of children and adults.
2.2 We are committed to:
• Respond without delay to every disclosure made where there is any suggestion that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed.
• Listen to those who have been abused in the past and take their allegations seriously.
• Recognise all relevant local and national safeguarding guidance in developing best practice.
• Carefully select all candidates for any paid or voluntary role or responsibility within the Church in line with safer recruitment policy and procedure.
• Provide support and training to equip people with the skills and knowledge they need.
• Work with those individuals who have criminal convictions or where other safeguarding risks are identified, in order to protect members of the church community.
• Work in partnership with other organisations that protect children and adults from abuse and monitor known offenders in the community.
• Co-operate with other faith groups and denominations to protect and care for children, young people and adults.
• Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the procedures established.
2.3. St. Michael and All Angels has appointed a Safeguarding Officer to oversee and monitor the policy and procedures. She can be contacted at [email protected]
3. What is abuse?
3.1 Physical abuse includes physical ill treatment, causing unjustifiable physical discomfort, for example injury, pain or impairment. This can occur in any location, particularly in situations where there is an apparent level of trust, but often takes place within a home and may be a result of domestic violence.
3.2 Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of an individual causing severe and persistent effects on the person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. For children this will impact negatively on emotional development; and for vulnerable adults it can cause serious loneliness, isolation and depression. Emotional abuse includes bullying and harassment and discriminatory behavior.
3.3 Neglect can be physical and/or emotional and is behavior by another person which seriously impairs an individual. It is often caused by the withholding of appropriate nourishment, clothing, shelter, protection and/or emotional care.
3.4 Sexual abuse is an act or acts carried out without the informed consent of the other individual. Such behavior includes contact and non-contact abuse. Contact abuse may include rape, indecent assault, being forced to touch another person, or being pressurised into sexual acts. Non-contact abuse may include sexual remarks and suggestions, introduction to indecent material, including material online, or indecent exposure. Sexual abuse can be one off or take place as part of an ongoing manipulative relationship known as grooming.
3.5 Financial abuse is the willful extortion or manipulation of a vulnerable person and may include misappropriation of monies or goods, the misuse of finances, property or possessions, or withholding money, the exploitation of a person’s resources or embezzlement. Such abuse may involve the use of a position of authority or friendship to persuade a person to make gifts, to leave legacies or change a will.
3.6 Other abuse includes child sexual exploitation or trafficking, forced marriage, honor based violence, female genital mutilation and spiritual abuse i.e. the forcing of religious values and ideas onto people who might be considered vulnerable.
3.7 All the above categories of abuse can affect children, young people and adults.
4. Who are we safeguarding?
4.1 Children and young people are those up to, but not including, the age of 18.
4.2 A vulnerable adult is usually considered to be one with:
• a sensory or physical disability or impairment;
• a learning disability;
3 • chronic or acute mental ill health (including dementia);
• addiction to alcohol or drugs;
• serious physical and/or mental health issues;
• physical, mental or emotional frailty (temporary or permanent) that leaves the person unable to protect him or herself from exploitation or harm
5. Good Practice Guidelines for Work with Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
The Children’s Services Department of the local authority must be informed (by the leader in charge) of any event involving children under the age of 8 years which is expected to last more than two hours or of any holiday club run over six or more days; details must be given of the location, date, time and numbers and ages of children involved. (These activities are required to be registered with Ofsted).
• Workers must be prepared to listen attentively and supportively to those for whom they have a duty of care. Some children and/or adults might need general support.
• Avoid working in one-to-one situations with children or vulnerable adults wherever possible. Make sure there is a colleague within earshot. Try to have a man and a woman at each mixed-age activity
• If someone makes a complaint or an allegation about the behavior of someone within the church or in the community, listen carefully without making a judgment on how plausible what you are hearing might be.
• Explain that conversations will be confidential unless there are exceptional circumstances. If a person is being harmed, if they are harming others or if they know that a child or vulnerable adult is being harmed, the information will have to be passed on and therefore cannot be kept confidential. In this case, the worker must ensure that the individual knows that there is this limitation.
• Supervision: There must be sufficient adults present to ensure that the children are properly supervised and safe; an approximate ratio of one adult for every eight children may be taken as a reasonable working guide, but the appropriate figure in a given case will depend upon the age of the children and the nature of the activity. For Chaperones the legal requirement is a minimum of one adult to 12 children/young people.
• The premises used should be safe and well maintained. Seek advice if necessary on the latest Health and Safety regulations and a suitably stocked First Aid kit should be always accessible. Ideally, one or more of the workers on the premises should be trained in First Aid.
• Make sure that all planned activities, on or off site, are covered by an adequate risk assessment that ensures adequate insurance cover.
• With adults who are vulnerable, try to establish a line of communication with the carer or key worker, if there is one and keep a written record of the session.
• Photography: Consent of parents or young people themselves (if over 16 years) must be obtained if photographs might be published or displayed. Each event requires separate consent. Unless in exceptional circumstances no child/young person should ever be identified by name. It must be clear where photographs will be stored so that they are not used except for the event for which consent is given.
• Transport: This also requires parental consent. Driving a minibus for 4 children/young people is a Regulated Activity and drivers must have an enhanced DBS and Regulated Activity check. There are strict requirements about the roadworthiness of the vehicle, having comprehensive insurance, ensuring the use of seat belts; and drivers must be over 21, have had a license for over 2 years and have no endorsements of 6 or more points, or unspent convictions for driving offences.
• Communication with young people: All communication between children and adults, by whatever method, should take place within clear and explicit boundaries.
1. If young people want you to hold their mobile phone numbers, e-mail addresses or similar, and communicate with them this way, make sure that their parents know and have agreed
2. Only make contact with young people for reasons related to the work of the church
3. Only give a your own personal email address or mobile phone number in exceptional circumstances to avoid these being misused.
6. Responding to an Allegation of Abuse
• In all cases it is essential that any allegation or indication is treated seriously. The role of a member of staff or volunteer to whom an allegation, or potential allegation, of abuse is made, is to listen, reassure, be sympathetic and record, but NOT to investigate.
• If a child or adult makes a statement to you alleging abuse or says something which indicates that abuse may have occurred:
a. You should listen;
b. You should not stop an individual who appears to be recalling events freely;
c. You must not ask questions unless it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to clarify something which the individual has said, or to secure essential details;
d. You must not under any circumstances ask leading questions (i.e. which suggest or imply the answer); if you have to ask any questions, only use open questions such as what? where? when? who? If in doubt about whether to ask a question, do not ask it.
e. As soon as possible after the discussion, (and if possible before you do anything else) you must make an accurate and comprehensive record of all the facts, allegations and concerns.
f. All safeguarding reports must be dated and signed and be kept in a confidential file and locked cabinet accessible only to a limited number of personnel on a Need to Know basis only.
g. You should distinguish between known facts and allegations and opinions - wherever possible, record in direct speech anything which has been said. Describe any expression of emotion, but do not try to interpret any signs.
h. In the case of a physical injury it may be helpful to draw a sketch to show the size and position of the injury.
• In the case of a physical injury the first consideration must be to seek medical help. If a child is reluctant to return home the Children’s Services or, in an emergency, the Police should be contacted.
Special considerations apply to statements made to a priest receiving a confession. Refer to House of Bishops’ Policy Document. See References, Appendix 1.5
7.1 If a child makes a statement alleging to you that s/he has been abused or says something which indicates that abuse may have occurred, or you otherwise have grounds to suspect that the child may have been abused, that allegation, statement or suspicion must be reported immediately to the Safeguarding Officer and the line manager/group leader. A decision will be made as to whether the concern needs to be reported to the Children’s Services of the relevant local authority in which the child lives and who will do this.
7.2 If the allegation relates to a vulnerable adult then the referral will be made to Adult Care Services for the area in which the adult lives.
7.3 The responsibility for reporting rests with the person to whom the allegation is made. Reporting is mandatory, not optional.
7.4. St. Michael and All Angels Safeguarding Officer can also be consulted in cases of uncertainty or general concern. If she/he is unavailable the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser can give advice and a Church Officer at St. Michael and All Angels should be informed.
7.5 Allegations in relation to St. Michael and All Angel’s clergy must be made directly and immediately to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
8. Pastoral Care
St. Michael and All Angels must also offer support to both survivors and those who might pose a risk.
• Survivors include those who have suffered any form of sexual as well as physical or emotional abuse or misuse of power.
• Those posing a risk. Known people who might pose a risk will be referred to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor who will work with relevant church personnel to undertake a Risk Assessment and draw up a contract in order to minimise risks, whilst maintaining a supportive relationship with the individual and normally allowing opportunities for worship.
9. Recruitment of staff and volunteers
9.1 St. Michael and All Angels takes the safety of individuals very seriously and expects that everyone will work within the framework of the Safeguarding Policy and National Safer Recruitment Guidelines. We are committed to the establishment of a safe, caring community which creates a supportive culture in which victims of abuse can report or disclose abuse. It is important, therefore that we adopt safer working practices across all paid and volunteer roles especially where they involve the contact with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults.
9.2 All paid staff and volunteers recruited who will have contact with children, young people, and/or vulnerable adults must have a Role Outline, complete an application form, be interviewed by 2 people and give names of 2 referees. The Role Outline will state what level of DBS check is required. In cases of doubt the Safeguarding Officer must be consulted.
9.3.The regulations for undertaking criminal record checks are complex and St. Michael and All Angels uses the services of the Churches’ Child Protection and Advisory Service (CCPAS) to undertake the checks on our behalf. There are 2 levels of check which apply equally to children, young people and vulnerable adults
9.4 Enhanced criminal record (DBS) check is required but does not include a check against the Barred list:
9.4 This is required for workers with children, young people, or vulnerable adults if their contact with them is:
• frequent (once a week),
• intensive (4 days in a 30 day period),
• overnight or
• s/he supervises or trains staff.
9.4.1 For a DBS check to be required for work with vulnerable adults these adults should already be in receipt of health, personal or social care.
9.4.3 Examples of occasions when a DBS check is required for work with children and young people include for those who are training/supervising choristers, junior bell ringers and young servers; or, alternatively, those who are working with groups such Sunday Club, and youth groups and who might occasionally be left alone with children/young people. In situations when workers are being well supervised i.e the supervisor can always observe the worker’s actions, it is sufficient for the supervisor to be checked.
9.5 If the criteria above are not met a DBS check is not permitted.
9.6 Enhanced criminal record check including Barred list check are required if workers are undertaking a Regulated Activity:
9.6.1 A Regulated Activity with a child or children (under age of 18), is frequent, intensive, or overnight and is unsupervised.
9.6.2 Workers with vulnerable adults are undertaking a Regulated Activity if s/he is helping directly with personal care such as washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, or teaching someone to do one of these tasks; or helping with cash, bills or shopping; or helping with conducting affairs (eg. power of attorney) for a non- relative/friend; or driving someone to receive healthcare or personal care or social care as part of a service provided by the church.
9.7 Everyone requiring either level of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is also required to complete a Self- Declaration Form.
9.8 All costs of DBS checks, made by CCPAS, are met by the Church authorities.
9.9 All DBS checks must be signed off by the Safeguarding Officer.
9.10 Completed checks which identify an issue or “blemish” are returned to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser who will discuss the issue with appropriate Church Officers. Any information disclosed must be treated in the strictest confidence.
10. Support, Supervision and Training
10.1 Paid staff and volunteers will receive either a Job/Role Outline which must include the name of the person to whom they are accountable.
10.2 Induction of all staff and volunteers should include information about their duty to treat all people with dignity and respect and to keep them safe from harm, as well as outlining the Christian framework within which this should be offered. This will also be reinforced in basic awareness/foundation safeguarding training.
10.3 There is detailed National Guidance as to what training staff and volunteers should attend based on a comprehensive core and specialist modular programme. Compliance is essential and the St. Michael and All Angels PCC will need to decide whether individuals can continue in their role if the relevant training has not been undertaken.
10.4 Everyone working with children, young people, and vulnerable adults must also receive supervision and support for the work they undertake.
Other Key Responsibilities
St. Michael and All Angels will comply with the requirements of The Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016.
There will be a statement at St. Michael and All Angels PCC and AGM as to whether or not they have had due regard to the House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and adults.
1st August 2018
Next Review due 1st August 2019.