Parish Safeguarding Policy
This statement was reviewed and agreed at the PCC meeting held on 20th March 2017 and will be reviewed annually by the PCC.
- As members of this church, we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all, especially¬ children and adults at risk.
- It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse and neglect of children and adults at risk and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
- We recognise that our work with children and adults at risk is the responsibility of the whole church.
- The church is committed to supporting, resourcing and training those who work with children and adults at risk.
- The church is committed to following the guidelines and procedures published by the Diocese of Manchester in the document “Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk”.
- Each worker with children and adults at risk must know the recommendations and undertake to observe them.
- Each worker will be asked to complete a church declaration form and provide references, and to apply for a DBS Check at the enhanced level through the Diocese.
- Each shall be sent a copy of the Parish’s agreed safeguarding policy handbook by the Parish Safeguarding Officer prior to commencing service.
- As part of our commitment to children and adults at risk in our community¬, the PCC has appointed Lisa Headley to be the Parish Safeguarding Officer. The responsibility for the protection of children and adults at risk rests with the incumbent and the PCC.
- All group leaders will be given a copy of the Parish Safeguarding Policy and will be asked to sign that they agree to adhere to this policy, and all community members will have access to this handbook in church and via the church website.
Safeguarding Children and Young People
1. Adult/Child Ratios
Recommended numbers of leaders to children:
For 0 to 2 years – 1 leader to every 3 children (1:3)
For 2 to 3 years – 1 leader to every 4 children (1:4)
For 3 to 8 years – 1 leader to every 8 children (1:8)
For over 8s – 1 leader for the first 8 children, followed by 1:12
2. More Than One Leader
There must always be at least two leaders for any group, irrespective of age, preferably one male/one female.
3. Time Alone
Church workers should try to ensure that they are not alone with a child or young person at any time. If there is no alternative, ensure that either the parents or another leader are informed immediately of where you will be and why. If there is a need to communicate privately remain in the view of another leader. Try never to be behind a closed door with an individual and ensure someone knows of your meeting.
4. Obtaining Parental Consent and Registering Children in Church Groups
A yellow consent form should be completed by a parent or carer on behalf of every child or young person when he/she first joins a church group. A separate form is required for each group the child attends. The form/s should be updated annually and include the following:
- Name and address
- Date of birth
- Emergency contact details for a parent or carer
- Medical information
- Any specific needs including for activities that the child is unable to take part in and serious allergies and dietary requirements
- Consent for the activity
- Consent for emergency medical treatment
- Consent for photographs and videos if relevant
The consent forms should be stored together in their group folder, and kept in a confidential place (the front office of the Parish Centre) during the week. They must always be available to the group leaders throughout each session, for example on a Sunday morning, so that they are easily accessible in an emergency.
A daily group register of all adults and children present must also be taken, for example at the beginning of every Sunday morning session. It must be kept in the front of the group folder, which remains with the group leaders throughout each session.
5. Health and Safety
- All leaders should know the location of the nearest telephone, or have access to a mobile telephone if there is no phone in the building (e.g. No.6 Barlow Moor Rd).
- Adults must be aware of a safety/fire procedure. A fire drill should be carried out regularly. Fire extinguishers should be available and regularly checked.
- Children with infectious illnesses must not attend.
- No smoking is permitted on the Church premises.
- Children should submit a health form before a residential or hazardous activity. Take health forms when going off site.
- Accidents should be recorded with a note of any action taken and signed by the leader involved and the parent or carer.
- A first aid kit should always be available and its location must be well-known. No medication should be administered without written parental consent. One leader should ideally be a first-aider.
- Preferably two adults should take responsibility for opening the premises in good time and locking up afterwards. Children under 11 should always be collected at the end of the session unless being returned to church by the leaders.
6. Volunteers aged under 18
Volunteers aged under 18 should be supervised, managed and supported effectively, and may not be counted as part of the staffing or have responsibility for children. They should be aware of whom to approach if they have any safeguarding concerns.
7. Casual Visitors
Casual visitors, i.e. those who have not been authorised by the Church or other users as leaders or helpers, should not have access to children.
8. Risk Assessments
Risk assessments should be undertaken on all activities, in order to identify hazards and to take actions to minimise risk. The same approach should be taken if buildings are hired or let for church activities involving children. Risk assessments must be made covering outside activities, including travel arrangements, and a copy provided to the PCC.
The parish insurance covers our regular activities for children and youth. PCC need a record of any other activities that may take place and it must be checked that insurance cover is adequate. External users will be required to have appropriate, adequate insurance.
10. Premises Requirements
- Toilets – the ideal is 1 toilet and 1 hand basin per 10 children.
- Warm & Clean – group areas should be warm, adequately lit and ventilated. Maintain high standards of cleanliness.
- Special Needs – be able and willing to accommodate children with special needs. Be aware of access to your building and toilet facilities.
- Entrances & Exits – should be well lit and easily accessible.
- Registration – Social Services need to register premises where activities take place for more than 2 hours in any one day or if a holiday club runs for more than 6 days a year.
11. Trips and Residential Activities
Church groups may plan a range of outings, day trips and residential events for which it is expected that approval will have been sought from the PCC and insurance cover checked. The organisation of events can be shared amongst a group of people; however, one person should have overall responsibility for planning, supervision and conduct of the event. The group leader is responsible for ensuring that all reasonable preparation has been made for the event.
Detailed guidance on the safe organisation of trips and transport can be found in the Diocese of Manchester Safeguarding Policy.
12. Transport Arrangements
These guidelines apply to all drivers transporting children by private car, organised on behalf of the church group. They do not apply to private arrangements made by parents.
- Only adults approved as group leaders should transport children.
- Signed parental consent is required for all transport of children including to and from a meeting or as part of an activity.
- Under no circumstances should an adult be alone in the car with a child.
- Consideration should be given to suitable additional adults to support a child with special needs or challenging behaviours.
- When dropping off after the event, ensure that children are met or have access to their homes.
- Drivers need to have appropriate insurance and to comply with the law in relation to seat belts, child seats and booster cushions.
- Transporting children related to church activities is part of a regulated activity and DBS checks are required for those adults involved.
13. Uniformed Organisations
Where an organisation is a tenant of the church building, they take full responsibility for their children and leaders and adhere to the Parish Child Safeguarding Policy.
If money is collected, an account of this should be given to the PCC.
Clergy and parents should be clearly informed of all activities organised by the church and taking place on church premises, in which children and young people may take part.
16. Good Practice of Workers
- Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity befitting their age; watch language, tone of voice, and where you put your body.
- Do not engage in any of the following:
invading the privacy of children when they are showering or toileting;
rough, physical or sexually provocative games;
making sexually suggestive comments about or to a young person, even in fun;
inappropriate and intrusive touching of any form;
any scapegoating, ridiculing, or rejecting of a child or young person.
- Control and discipline children without using physical punishment.
- Do not let youngsters involve you in excessive attention seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature.
- Do not invite a child or young person to your home alone, invite a group and ensure that someone else is in the house. Make sure the parents know where the child is.
- Adults should not share sleeping accommodation with children or young people.
- Do not spend time with a child or young person alone at home – or isolated in their room.
Touch is an important part of human relationships: for example, it can be necessary to stop a young child from hurting herself or himself; it can also be a natural way of responding to someone in distress. However, everyone working with children should be sensitive to what is appropriate and inappropriate physical contact, both in general terms, and in relation to a specific individual. Leaders need to be conscious of situations in which their actions, however well intentioned, could be misconstrued by others or be harmful.
17. Good Practice with Colleagues
If you see another member of staff acting in ways which might be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to them or to your supervisor about your concerns. Leaders should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behaviour.
These measures will protect both workers and children.
What is Child Abuse?
There are 4 categories of child abuse that are used by every local authority in England and Wales.
Neglect: Where adults through carelessness or indifference ignore a child’s need or fail to protect a child from any kind of danger.
Physical Harm: Where a child has suffered actual physical harm or where it seems likely that injuries have been caused non-accidentally.
Sexual Harm: Where there is actual or LIKELY sexual exploitation of children or adolescents.
Emotional Harm: Where there is persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection.
Spiritual Harm: Church communities must be particularly vigilant to identify the inappropriate use of any religious belief or practice which may harm somebody spiritually, emotionally or physically.
Domestic Abuse: Children and young people may be harmed in homes where there is domestic abuse. Guidelines have been produced: ‘Responding to Domestic Abuse’ Archbishops’ Council 2006.
Who Abuses Children?
- An abuser is most often someone known to the child. It may be a parent, sibling, other relation, family friend, baby-sitter or neighbour. Very rarely is it a stranger.
- Sometimes, the abuser may be an adult who holds a position of authority over children, such as teacher, youth leader, children’s worker, or very sadly, a church worker/leader.
- Abusers can be people of any background.
- There is no certain way of identifying a would-be abuser; they don’t appear different from the rest of society.
- Abusers are people who are themselves in desperate need and require help.
- Many adult abusers have been abused themselves as children but not all children who are abused go on to abuse as adults.
- Sometimes, paedophiles and others set out to join organisations (including churches) to obtain access to children.
What to do if you receive a report of abuse
The following procedures are designed to support you in dealing with disclosures of abuse that may arise in the course of your work with children and young people. For the purposes of this work, a child is a person under the age of 18 years.
Dos and Don’ts
- Make it clear that you cannot be asked to keep a secret.
- Listen to the child or young person, let them express their views and feelings without interruption, accept what they say.
- Reassure the child or young person that they have done the right thing in telling someone.
- Explain that you must pass this information on.
- Make notes of what was said using the child or young person’s words whenever possible, signed and dated.
- Speak to the Parish Priest or Parish Safeguarding Officer.
- If the subject of the allegation is the Parish Priest, contact the Archdeacon or Diocesan Safeguarding Officer. (The Bishop cannot be involved as per clergy discipline measure).
Do not investigate any allegation.
- Show shock or disbelief.
- Agree to keep the disclosure a secret.
- Make a promise or suggestion that you can stop the abuse.
- Ask questions seeking further detail – you risk contaminating evidence.
- Investigate any allegation – specially trained professionals undertake this role.
- Contact the alleged perpetrator.
- Make any statement or comment to the press.
Remember, you DO NOT investigate under any circumstances.
See flow chart at the foot of the article.
Any child exposed to danger of abuse must be protected without delay.
Think clearly about the cause for concern, make brief notes recording facts as you understand them. You have a duty to refer your concern.
Unless it would cause delay, discuss with the Parish Priest or Parish Safeguarding Officer unless he/she is the cause of concern.
If the child is in immediate danger you should contact the police straight away.
Safeguarding Adults at Risk
Vulnerability and risk of being abused or harmed may change with time and according to circumstance. All human beings are subject to change and chance happenings which may affect their capacity to manage themselves and their situation. While some people may appear to be strong, we know that no-one is invulnerable and at different times in our lives and in different circumstances, strengths can change and grow, diminish or disappear. Some people, because of their physical or social circumstances, have higher levels of vulnerability than others, and it is our duty as Christians to recognise this and support those who are vulnerable in a way that affords them as much independence and autonomy as possible. We must do this in a way that allows compassion and empathy without undermining dignity.
Who is an adult at risk?
An adult is someone over 18. Some adults, because of circumstance or particular vulnerability or risk, may be in need of protection. The Care Act 2014 stipulates that adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:
- Has care and support needs
- Is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect and
- Is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs.
Types of Abuse – Adults at Risk
Elder Abuse: The national charity, Action on Elder Abuse (AEA), defines abuse as ‘a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person’. It is generally recognised that the perpetrators of abuse or neglect are most commonly people who are trusted and relied on by the older person, such as family members or care staff.
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 or Emotional Abuse: These are acts or behaviour, which cause mental distress or anguish or negate the wishes of the adult at risk. It is also behaviour that has a harmful effect on their 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. Adults at risk can be prey to people taking advantage of them by taking gifts of money, food and other items from them, when the adult has little idea of their true value, does not realise this will leave them with insufficient means or believes that the people they are helping are their friends. Such abuse may also involve the use of a position of authority or friendship to persuade a person to make gifts, to leave legacies or change a will.
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. Someone may be suffering from neglect when their general well-being or development is impaired and where access to necessary health or medication is denied.
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, for example, care provided in a person’s home. It can be through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect or poor professional practice and is more about the needs or the organisation rather than the needs of the person.
Hate crime: This is an act of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or someone thinks they are. For example, a person is disabled or thought to be gay/lesbian.
If you suspect mistreatment of an adult at risk, or they disclose that they have been abused, follow the same advice relating to children on pages 16-17, and the referral flow chart on the back page of this handbook.
More detailed information about adults at risk can be found in the Diocese of Manchester Safeguarding Policy.
The possible consequences of making a referral can be difficult, but the consequences of not passing on concerns about a child or adult at risk’s welfare could be more dangerous.
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:
|Team Rector:||Nick Bundock||0161 434 6518|
|Team Curate:||Tracy Marshall||07837 624872|
|Parish Safeguarding Officer:||Lisa Headley||07810 886594|
|Children’s Workers:||Rachel Bundock||0161 434 6518|
|Tom Phipps||07806 696789|
|Diocesan Safeguarding Officer:||Abbey Clephane-Wilson||0161 8281451|
|CCPAS:||For out of hours advice||0845 120 4550|
|Manchester Child Protection Unit:||Social Services||0161 234 5001|
|Police Family Support Section:||Immediate danger to child|
|NSPCC:||0808 800 5000|
|PCCA:||Helpline for clergy||01322 660011|