This is our Safeguarding Statement …….
Statement for Safeguarding Children, Young People & Vulnerable Adults
The churches of Christ the King & Holy Trinity in the Parish of Bradley Stoke
Sue Cale Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) Christ the King
Chris Orman Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) Holy Trinity
Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults in our care
In developing this safeguarding policy the churches of Christ the King and Holy Trinity in the Parish of Bradley Stoke wish to reflect that we are all in need of protection from harm and that as a Christian community it is the responsibility of every one of us to protect those less able to protect themselves.
The Churches are committed to working within the Principles of the House of Bishop’s Policy for Safeguarding (contained within ‘Protecting all God’s children 2010’ ‘Protecting All God’s children 2010’, www.bristol.anglican.org/parish-resources/safeguarding/policies-and-procedures )and the requirements of Working Together 2015 ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-safeguard-children–2 ) and Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2016 (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance ).As a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) between the Church of England and the Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Church also take cognizance of the Methodist Church’s safeguarding guidance (https://www.methodist.org.uk/safeguarding/)
Every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from the creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this potential as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.
We are committed to:
- The care, nurture of and respectful pastoral ministry with all adults and children. This includes paying due regard to the beliefs and wishes of adults and children both when a safeguarding concern arises and in the development and delivery of church led activities including worship.
- The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable. The safeguarding and protection of children and adults at risk is the responsibility of everyone in the Christian community. Procedures and formal processes alone, though essential, will not protect children and adults at risk.
- The safeguarding and protection of all children and young people within church activities. When attending church activities, such as Sunday Club, the responsibility for safeguarding children falls to the leaders and helpers of the activities. However, before the activity and immediately after, parents are responsible for their children. During Family type Services and All Age Services parents are responsible for their children (unless they choose an adult in their place) and must supervise their children if they leave the main church area and enter the foyer or other public areas.
- The promoting of a safer environment and culture, which provides a loving environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse. The community, including all its members, needs to be aware of the dangers and prepared to report concerns and take actions if necessary. The child’s welfare is the paramount consideration. Where conflicts of interest arise between the welfare of children and that of adults, it is the welfare of children that will be given priority.
- We will carefully select, train and support all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with safer recruitment principles, including the use of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosures. The churches are committed to implementing safer recruitment practice in the recruitment of all volunteers and employees and accept and follow the Church of England Safer Recruitment Policy 2015. The relevant vetting scheme is that of the Disclosure and Barring Service. The suitability of an applicant to work with children or adults at risk is never solely dependent on the outcome of a DBS check and the full safer recruitment process will be used to determine suitability of the candidate for the role. Those who work with children, young people and/or adults, and those who supervise those workers, will be required to undertake the DBS check prior to starting in any role whether employed or voluntary within the churches and will be recruited in line with Safer Recruitment practice including the use of applications forms, references and interview where applicable. Suitable induction, training and supervision will be provided to all those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.
- We will respond promptly to every concern or allegation raised which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed, co-operating with the police and local authority in any investigation. Any concern of a safeguarding issue should be raised with the PSO as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours. who will contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser if the PSO needs advice or the concern is deemed to be serious. The churches accept that they have responsibilities, through its workers, to take all reasonable steps to safeguard children and adults at risk when on church grounds, taking part in church led activities off site and when travelling between sites when organised by the Church. A risk assessment for every off site activity must be made and approved before the activity takes place.
- We will seek to care pastorally for victims and survivors of abuse and any other affected persons. If it comes to the attention of the churches that an adult has experienced abuse in their past, the adult’s wishes will be taken into consideration.
- We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult or those who may present a risk to others. If a member of a church community comes to notice as having a conviction or caution for offences against children or vulnerable adults, or has been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults, or is considered a potential present risk to either group (for example if an allegation has been made but the outcome is as yet unknown) the churches will seek to implement a written agreement, where it is safe to do so, in line with advice from the local Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements group (MAPPA) . The agreement will contain safeguards for the individual and children and/or adults at risk.
- In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice. Consequently this statement and all following procedures and guidance will be regularly updated in order to reflect current legislation, guidance and best practice. Any concerns shared will be kept in a locked place by the PSO and will be confidential.
This statement is meant as a brief guidance to protecting the children, young people and vulnerable adults in the care of our churches.
This statement will be reviewed every year.