Whitefriars Church Safeguarding Policy

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This Policy and Procedure was adopted at the Whitefriars Church Parochial Church Council meeting held on 20th July 2015.  It follows and is consistent with the Church of England House of Bishops’ “Protecting All God’s Children” 4th edition 2010, “Promoting a Safe Church” 2006 and Safer Recruitment Policy 2013 (Church of England and Methodist Church).  Each person who works with children and vulnerable adults will agree to abide by this policy.  It will be reviewed annually, accepted and written in the minutes of the PCC.


Contents
Principles
Golden Rule
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy
Responding to a child or adult who may be disclosing abuse
Child and adult protection procedure
Who to contact where there is a concern about a child or adult
Training
Recruitment and appointment procedure
Those who pose a risk to children
Care of survivors of abuse and their families
Record-keeping and storage
Safer practice with children
Unaccompanied children
Visiting adults who may be vulnerable, in their own homes
Organisations hiring the Bridge
Social media and engaging with young people
Other matters
Appendix A - Procedure for appointing workers
Appendix B - Safer practice for church workers guidelines
Appendix C - Volunteer Covenant
              


Principles

  • Whitefriars Parochial Church Council (PCC) takes seriously its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults entrusted to its care, and to support and develop leaders and workers.  It emphasises that everyone has a responsibility to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people, and to report any abuse or suspected abuse if discovered.
     
  • This Policy and Procedure relates to all who have received the Bishop’s Licence or Permission to work, and all other groups, organisations, and authorised leaders and helpers of Whitefriars Church with responsibility for working with children and young people and vulnerable adults in Whitefriars Parish.
     
  • The term ‘Parish’ is used to denote the PCC and Incumbent who are together responsible for ensuring that safeguarding policies and procedures are implemented.
     
  • It follows the Safeguarding Guidelines issued by the Peterborough Diocese and by the Church of England nationally, and seeks to reflect current best practice and standards.
     
  • Whitefriars PCC regards children and young people as valued members of the church.  It affirms as a fundamental aim of the church to help them to discover and grow in faith in Christ within the love of God and in a safe and supportive environment.
     
  • The PCC will:
    • Appoint a Parish Safeguarding Officer to work with the Incumbent on safeguarding matters (this appointment will take place annually after the Church Annual Parochial Church meeting).  This person will have the responsibility for advising the PCC and also for procedural matters;
    • Follow the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures;
    • Report any abuse or suspected abuse if discovered;
    • Have adequate insurance in place;
    • Ensure all those whose work brings them into regular contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults are safely recruited, complete a confidential declaration form and are subject to criminal records disclosure.
       
  • The PCC affirms that it has special responsibility for the safeguarding of children and young people with special educational, health or social needs, and it will make particular provision to ensure that such young people are included within the life of the church.

For the purposes of this document a child (or young person) is anyone under the age of 18 years.


Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is to keep all relationships with children and young people open, observable, readily understood, and shared with more than one responsible adult.  All work with young people must be well supervised, and the people doing it must be carefully selected, well trained, and properly advised of their child protection duties.


Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy

We recognise that:

  • the welfare of the child or young person is paramount;
  • everyone has different levels of vulnerability, and each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives;
  • all children and adults who may be vulnerable (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 which can occur in all families and communities;
  • domestic abuse if witnessed or overheard by a child, is a form of child abuse by the perpetrator of the abusive behaviour;
  • working in partnership with children, their parents, adults who may be vulnerable, their carers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare.

We will develop a safeguarding culture in our church that:

  • enables and encourages concerns to be raised and responded to openly and consistently and protects children and adults who may be vulnerable from actual or potential harm;
  • is child-friendly and ensures that all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse;
  • values, listens to and respects children and adults who may be vulnerable, encouraging them to be active contributors to the church community;
  • encourages adults who may be vulnerable to lead as independent a life as possible.

When concerns are raised we will:

  • respond without delay to every concern raised that a child, or adult who may be vulnerable may have been harmed, or may be at risk of harm, through abuse, harassment or bullying; or about the behaviour of an adult or child;
  • work with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (DSO) and the appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into abuse including when allegations are made against a member of the church community;
  • challenge any abuse of power especially by anyone in a position of trust.

If abuse has occurred, we will ensure in partnership with the DSO and other agencies that:

  • informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse, including support to make a complaint if so desired;
  • supervision is provided for any member of our church community known to have offended against a child or vulnerable adult, or to pose a risk to them;
  • appropriate pastoral care is offered to any member of our church community against whom an allegation is made.

In all recruitment and selection we will:

  • ensure careful selection of ordained and lay ministers, voluntary and paid workers with children and young people and adults in line with safer recruitment principles and checks;
  • provide supervision, support and training after appointment;
  • commit ourselves to support, resource, train and regularly review those who undertake work amongst people who may be vulnerable.

In our publicity we will:

  • share information about good safeguarding practice with children, parents and adults who may be vulnerable, their carers, and all those working with them.

Responding to a child or adult who may be disclosing abuse

We will endeavour to:

  • listen carefully, take the child or vulnerable adult seriously;
  • tell the child s/he has done the right thing by telling;
  • clarify if necessary;
  • say if we can what we will do next;
  • make an accurate record on the Safeguarding Report Rorm as soon as possible.

We will not:

  • promise confidentiality;
  • investigate;
  • ask leading questions;
  • repeatedly question/ask the child or adult to repeat the disclosure over and over.

Imminent risk:

  • If we encounter a child or adult in a situation where they are in imminent danger, we will act immediately to secure the safety of the child or adult.  We will seek the assistance of the police and then make a referral to Local Authority Social Care in accordance with the Child and Adult Protection Procedure recorded below.
  • If a child or adult needs emergency medical attention, we will seek this immediately and directly with the emergency services.  We will keep parents, if available, fully informed (unless this would put the welfare of the child or vital interests of the adult who may be vulnerable, or another person at further risk).

Child and Adult Protection Procedure

We will follow the procedure below where there is concern that a child or vulnerable adult has been harmed as a result of abuse and urgent action is needed

  • If there is concern that a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of harm, it must be reported as soon as practicable to the Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent, who will take advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer (DSO) or Local Authority Social Care.  If the incumbent is implicated, inform the DSO.
     
  • If there is concern that a child or vulnerable adult has been harmed, immediately inform the Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent or DSO, and agree who will make the referral to the Local Authority Social Care team.  If no-one is available contact the Local Authority Social Care Team or Police directly.
     
  • When making a referral to the Local Authority Social Care Team:
    • make it clear from the first point of contact whether you are making a child or adult protection referral;
    • describe the event or disclosure;
    • give information about the child and family, or adult (e.g. name, date of birth, address, telephone number, GP if known);
    • follow up the telephone call with a completed referral form (should be available on the Local Authority website) or letter.  This should be acknowledged – if it is not, chase it;
    • be prepared to have further discussions with the social work team or the police investigation team.  Say if you do not want your details disclosed to the family.
       
  • Remember that the child and family should, wherever possible, be informed about and consent to the referral unless this would put the welfare of the child or vital interests of the adult who may be vulnerable, or another person at further risk.  If you have serious concerns, the absence of consent should not prevent referral.  The Duty Social Worker will give you advice over this if necessary.
     
  • For out-of-hours referrals, call the Emergency Social Work Team or where urgent, the Police.
     
  • All contacts by other staff or volunteers with external agencies (DSO, Local Authority Social Care teams, Police etc) must be immediately reported to the Incumbent and/or the Parish Safeguarding Officer.
     
  • Consult with the DSO at any point in this process but in any case always ensure the DSO is informed of the concern and actions taken.
     

Do not delay your referral.  Clergy and Diocesan Officers are NOT authorised to investigate any allegations and must never attempt to do so.  Only the Police and the Local Authorities are granted such powers in law.
Most situations are not emergencies.

  • However: If a child or adult who may be vulnerable needs immediate medical help, call emergency services, and ensure that ambulance and hospital staff are informed of any protection concerns.  If it would be dangerous for the child or adult who may be vulnerable to return home, or s/he does not want to return home and you are sufficiently concerned for their safety, contact the emergency social care service or the police.  If you observe a child or adult who may be vulnerable being harmed by someone other than a family member, or you believe they are at risk of harm from someone other than a family member, you should inform the parents or carers immediately, so that an appropriate referral to the police or social care can be made.

Who to contact where there is a concern about a child or adult

Whitefriars Church

Currently vacant Incumbent  
Celia Underwood Safeguarding Officer 01933 676989

Peterborough Diocese

Garry Johnson Safeguarding Officer 01733 887041
Rona Orme Diocesan Children's Missioner 01604 887000

Lead Agencies

Social Service All Areas and Out of Hours (Option 1)
Adult Care Team (Option 2)
0300 126 1000
0300 126 1000
Police 24hrs 101
Childline   0800 1111
NSPCC Freephone National Helpline 0808 800 5000

Local Safeguarding Children Board: http://www.lscbnorthamptonshire.org.uk/reporting_concerns_child.html

Adults: http://www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/en/councilservices/asc/services/va/Pages/reportingabuse.aspx


Training

  • The Parish will make every effort to ensure that clergy, licensed workers and lay ministers, volunteers and employees working with children and vulnerable adults regularly seek and obtain safeguarding training to the level of their responsibility;
     
  • Clergy should attend the Diocesan Safeguarding Children Basic Awareness/ Refresher training once every three years.

Recruitment and Appointment Procedure

  • All leaders and helpers (aged 18 years old and above) involved in working with children and young people will be required to complete and sign an application form and confidential declaration;
     
  • Written references will be required and must be carefully checked;
     
  • A criminal disclosure (DBS) will be required in relation to all eligible roles;
     
  • All church workers with children and adults will be assessed in relation to the role being volunteered for;
     
  • After appointment, support and training will be offered;
     
  • The only exceptions to the requirements above are that helpers for one-off or occasional events or activities, whose role is limited to practical or support tasks, and where there is no question of their being in unsupervised direct contact with children, may be present for the single occasion without having completed a confidential declaration or received back their DBS application.

Those who pose a risk to children

  • When it is known that a member of the congregation, or someone wishing to join the congregation, has sexually abused a child or young person, or is not a sexual offender against children but nevertheless may pose a risk, we will consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, so that a safe course of action in accordance with recommended Church of England procedure can be pursued in conjunction with the relevant statutory agencies.

Care of Survivors of abuse and their families

  • We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with them an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care.

Record Keeping and Storage

  • Notes will be made of all safeguarding incidents involving children or adults.  They will be treated confidentially and will be securely stored by the incumbent or designated person.  They will be retained even if the information received was judged to be malicious, unsubstantiated or unfounded. 
     
  • During an interregnum, the designated person will be responsible for all safeguarding records which will be passed to the incoming incumbent.

Safer Practice with children

We will ensure our work with children is carried out in a ‘safe’ environment in accordance with Safe Parish Guidelines:

  • The minimum ratio of leaders to children will comply with the Children Act 1989: -
    • 0-2 years: 1 adult to 3 children
    • 2-3 years: 1 adult to 4 children
    • 4-8 years: 1 adult to 6 children
    • 9-12 years: 1 adult to 8 children
    • 13-18 years: 1 adult to 10 children
       
  • Each group will have a minimum of 2 adults and a gender balance will be maintained if possible ( though this might mean activities in adjoining rooms, provided connecting doors remain open or are fitted with an observation panel, and providing the ratio of children to leaders (as above) is maintained);
     
  • No adult should be expected to work with children alone (except as part of a formal mentoring project, for which the child’s consent has been obtained, and where mentoring will take place in a room specified for this purpose, which must have a door with a transparent glass panel).  There may be exceptions to this rule only when direct 1:1 work with a child is considered a necessary part of a particular staff role (for example within the role of Family Support Co-ordinator).  In instances such as these, 1:1 work undertaken with a child will be with the prior written approval of the employee’s line manager, with the prior written consent of the child’s parent and also with the consent of the child involved.  A written record of the meeting will be kept;
     
  • An attendance register will be kept for each group, including names of leaders and helpers;
     
  • We will seek to ensure meeting places are safe, secure and suitable for purpose;
     
  • Fire exits will be marked; a first aid kit will be available at each venue for children’s activities and clearly marked; and all church incident/accident forms will be stored securely along with a list of qualified first aiders;
     
  • We will be clear about boundaries with regard to touching being always related to the child’s needs and normally initiated by the child;
     
  • We will obtain parental/guardian permission for attendance at groups, trips, use of images and transporting children in the minibus and private cars;
     
  • All those who drive children on church-organised activities should have held a full driving licence for over two years which must be “clean” (i.e. with no current points);
     
  • All cars that carry children should be comprehensively insured for both private and business use.  The insured person should make sure that their insurance covers the giving of lifts relating to church-sponsored activities.


Unaccompanied Children

  • If children attend our church services without their parents’ or carers’ knowledge we will welcome the child(ren) and try to establish whether their parents are aware of where they are;
     
  • We will make sure an adult recruited for work with children takes care of the child and try to discover when they are due home and encourage them to keep to that arrangement;
     
  • Depending on the age and competence of the child, we will ring the parents or ask the young person to ring to gain the parents’ consent to the child remaining;
     
  • If the child comes regularly, we will endeavour to establish regular contact with the parents or carers.

Visiting adults who may be vulnerable, in their homes (including residential homes)

  • Church workers will always complete a risk assessment before visiting someone in their own home;
     
  • They will always carry a mobile phone on a home visit, and ensure that someone knows where they are and when they are expected to return;
     
  • They will always call by appointment and carry identification;
     
  • Where our workers need to refer the person to another agency we will talk this through with the vulnerable adult, seeking his/her permission before passing on personal information;
     
  • Our workers will always endeavour to be clear about what behaviour from the vulnerable adults is acceptable and what is not.

Organisations hiring The Bridge

  • In relation to all activities and events which are not run directly by the church but take place in the Bridge, the responsibility for implementing safeguarding policies rests with the hiring organisation and not with the PCC;
     
  • However, the PCC needs to take reasonable steps to ensure that safeguarding policies and procedures are being practised by the hiring organisation;
     
  • The PCC will require visiting groups to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected at all times, follow safe recruitment procedures, and are aware of health and safety issues in the Bridge;
     
  • Visiting groups will be required to sign a hire agreement and abide by the Parish Safeguarding Policy.

Social Media and Engaging with Young People

Children and Young people’s workers should be familiar with the full policy set out in the Safe Parish Guidance;

E-mails, online chat and texting

  • parental agreement should be obtained before communicating with young people;
  • language should be clear and unambiguous;
  • all conversations must be made available for viewing by a workers supervisor;
  • workers may provide advice and support, but avoid counselling.

Mobile phones

  • workers will be offered a dedicated work phone;
  • they should use group texts wherever possible;
  • there should be an agreed length of time for conversations and a curfew (e.g. no communication between 10pm and 7am);
  • conversations causing concern should be saved and passed to supervisor;
  • photos should only be taken in accordance with safeguarding guidance;
  • images should only be downloaded to a church computer.

All of the above should be shared with young people.


Other Matters

  • Clear notices will be displayed at each venue for children’s and young people’s activities to state that this policy is in place, indicating how copies may be obtained.  The Golden Rule will be stated, along with a warning that only authorised leaders and helpers will be allowed access to children’s and young people’s groups meeting at the venue or otherwise authorised by the church;
     
  • Whitefriars Church children’s and young people’s groups may share in joint events with other church or recognised groups for similar ages, provided that the other Groups make available to the satisfaction of the Safeguarding Officer, Incumbent or youth worker a copy of their own Child Protection Policy.  Due account will be taken in particular of procedures for appointment of staff and volunteers, parental consent, the ratio of children to leaders, and insurance cover;
     
  • All members of Whitefriars groups and activities are expected to behave safely and reasonably, and to show proper respect for others.  The group leader is authorised to make judgements about behaviour issues at the time, to give any instructions or warnings they consider necessary, and, if need be, to ask for a group member to leave or be collected.  Any exclusions must be reported to the Incumbent or Churchwarden;
     
  • Safer Practice for Church Workers Guidelines (Appendix B) and the Volunteer Covenant (Appendix C) form part of this policy.

Appendix A

PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTING WORKERS

  • For the purposes of this document, ‘workers’ are defined as anyone (paid or volunteer) who work with children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable;
     
  • All appointments of people (aged 18 years or above) to work with children and young people in a Whitefriars Church activity will be administered by the Incumbent working in conjunction with the Parish Safeguarding Officer;
     
  • Those who are expected to be involved in more than occasional events as helpers, and those who will in any circumstance have unsupervised access (within agreed guidelines) to children and young people are required to go through the formal process for appointing workers;
     
  • Either the Incumbent or the relevant group leader (but always with the agreement of the Incumbent) initiates this process by asking the Safeguarding Officer to give the applicant a declaration form and a copy of the Whitefriars guidance notes on completion of forms;
     
  • The completed declaration form is to be returned to the Safeguarding Officer, who then passes it to the Ministry Resources Manager, who takes up references;
     
  • If the applicant has previously worked with under-18s in a church within the Diocese of Peterborough, contact may be made with the relevant minister to check whether a diocesan form has been completed without any disclosure of concern;
     
  • If the applicant has a current criminal records (DBS) disclosure certificate obtained through Peterborough Diocese, they are required to show it to the Parish Safeguarding Officer.  The Parish Safeguarding Officer then examines it and, if it is satisfactory, records the applicant’s name, the certificate number, and the date, and notifies the Bishop’s Office. 
     
  • If the applicant does not have a current DBS certificate through Peterborough Diocese (or another body if it is transferrable), the Parish Safeguarding Officer will send an email to the applicant inviting them to complete the online form;
     
  • On completion of the online form, the applicant will need to show the required verification documents (checklist of these will be e-mailed to the applicant) to the Parish Safeguarding Officer;
     
  • The Safeguarding Officer checks the ID and, if it is satisfactory, completes the appropriate sections online and then forwards it on for verification and application;
     
  • DBS will send a disclosure certificate direct to the applicant, and an email to the Parish Safeguarding Officer.  The applicant needs to show their disclosure certificate to the Safeguarding Officer, if blemished this will be sent off to the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer for advise on how to progress;
     
  • Once a satisfactory DBS disclosure has been received, a satisfactory diocesan declaration form completed and satisfactory references received, the applicant may be formally appointed as an authorised leader or helper; 
     
  • The applicant will be offered to register with the DBS update service (this service reduces the need to apply for multiple Certificates when you move from one job to another in the same workforce or when a recheck is required).  This can be done when applying for the DBS (using the application reference number) or within 19 days of receiving the DBS certificate (using the certificate number);
     
  • The declaration form, references and all other personal information will be stored by the Incumbent securely and confidentially.  Access to this information will be restricted to the Incumbent, the Ministry Resources Manager and the Parish Safeguarding Officer.  No other person will have access to this information without the applicant's consent, unless requested for information by a ‘Lead Agency’ (police, social services or the NSPCC) if an allegation is made;
     
  • The Parish Safeguarding Officer should keep a record of the date of issue of each DBS clearance;
     
  • The Ministry Resources Manager should keep a record of child protection training attended by each appointed worker (date and nature of training);
     
  • The Rural Dean with the Churchwardens should take on the role of the Incumbent for any appointments during a vacancy or other prolonged absence of the Incumbent.  It will be the responsibility of the Incumbent to ensure that all papers and procedures are handed over effectively;
     
  • An applicant (or other person) who does not have a DBS through Peterborough Diocese and has not yet completed a diocesan declaration form, may visit a group or other activity as a guest with consent of the relevant leader on no more than two occasions.  Once a diocesan declaration form and DBS application has been satisfactorily completed and returned to the Safeguarding Officer, an applicant may work as a helper in a group or activity, but always after the consent of the Incumbent has been given, and under the supervision of an authorised leader.    Appointment as an authorised volunteer or helper will only occur (as set out in paragraph 10 above) when all references and a DBS Disclosure have been received;
     
  • DBS forms will be renewed as required by the Diocese, with a new self-declaration form being reviewed at the same time (although there is no need for references to be provided at this time).

Appendix B

SAFER PRACTICE FOR CHURCH WORKERS GUIDELINES

Who are these guidelines for?
These guidelines are for all who work with children and young people in Whitefriars Parish.  This includes those who have a Bishop’s Licence or Permission to Officiate, and both volunteer and paid children’s and youth workers.
 

What do they apply to?
These guidelines apply to all church activities with children and young people under the age of 18.  This includes Sunday schools, crèches, holiday clubs, youth clubs, one-off outings and activities, and home visits.

Why have guidelines?
The purpose of the guidelines is to protect children and young people, aswell as leaders.

Terminology within the guidelines

  • The word ‘ child’ refers to any child or young person under the age of 18;
  • The term ‘group leader’ is used to refer to the person with overall responsibility for a group or activity, who is answerable to the Parochial Church Council (PCC).

These guidelines follow the Peterborough Diocese Code of Safer Working Practice for Church Workers which follows the Church of England’s model code of Safer Working Practice (House of Bishop’s Protecting All God’s Children 2010 p63).

Contents
Guidelines for individual workers
Additional guidelines for group leaders
Responding to child protection concerns
     - imminent risk
     - what to do if you suspect a child is at risk or has been abused
Guidelines for good practice for church-sponsored activities for children and young people
     - special needs
     - registration
     - consent
     - recommended staffing levels
     - safe environment
     - e-safety
     - transporting children on behalf of the church

Guidelines for individual workers

You should
- treat all children and young people with respect and dignity;
- ensure that your language, tone of voice and body language is respectful
- always aim to work within sight of another adult;
- ensure another adult is informed if a child needs to be taken to the toilet, toilet breaks should be organised for young children;
- ensure that children and young people know who they can talk to if they need to speak to someone about a personal concern;
- respond warmly to a child who needs comforting, but make sure there are other adults around; if any activity requires physical contact, ensure that the child and parents are aware of this and its nature beforehand;
- administer any necessary first aid with others around;
- obtain consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown or displayed;
- record any concerning incidents and give the information to your group leader. Sign and date the form;
- always share concerns about a child or the behaviour of another worker with your group leader and/or the Parish Safeguarding Officer.

You should not: -
- initiate physical contact.  Any necessary contact (i.e. for comforting, see above) should be initiated by the child;
- invade a child's privacy when washing or toileting;
- play rough, physical or provocative games;
- use any form of physical punishment;
- be sexually suggestive about or to a child, even in fun;
- touch a child inappropriately or obtrusively;
- scapegoat, reject or ridicule a child, group or adult;
- permit abusive peer activities (i.e. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying);
- show favouritism to any one child or group;
- allow a child or young person to involve you in excessive attention-seeking that is overtly physical or sexual in nature;
- give lifts to children or young people on their own or on your own;
- smoke tobacco in the presence of children;
- drink alcohol when responsible for young people;
- share sleeping accommodation with children;
- invite a child to your home alone;
- arrange social occasions with children (other than family members) outside organised group occasions;
- allow unknown adults access to children.  Visitors should always be accompanied by a known person;
- allow strangers to give children lifts.

Touch
- Church-sponsored groups and activities should provide a warm, nurturing environment for children and young people, while avoiding any inappropriate behavior or the risk of allegations being made.  Child abuse is harm of a very serious nature so that it is unlikely that any type of physical contact in the course of children and youth work could be misconstrued as abuse.  All volunteers must work with or within sight of another adult.

- Very occasionally it may be necessary to restrain a child or young person who is harming her/himself or others.  Use the least possible force and inform the parents as soon as possible.  All such incidents should be recorded and the information given to the Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator.

- All physical contact should be an appropriate response to the child’s needs not the needs of the adult.  Any physical contact should be age appropriate and any action that may be misunderstood must be avoided.  Workers should be sensitive to young people’s individual and personal boundaries.

- Whilst showing warm support and comfort to a young person, workers must be alert as to how they should touch them.  Most young people will be comfortable with a sideways one-arm hug around their shoulders.  Any physical contact should take place in a public situation.

- Workers can also adopt good practice that will support and protect each other.  If you see another worker acting in a way that may be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to them or the group leader about your concerns.

Additional guidelines for group leaders

In addition to the guidelines for individual workers above, the group leader should:
- ensure any health and safety requirements are adhered to;
- undertake risk assessments with appropriate action taken and record kept;
- keep register and consent forms up-to-date;
- have an awareness, at all times, of what is taking place and who is present;
- create space for children to talk – either formally or informally;
- liaise with the Parish Safeguarding Officer over good practice for safeguarding;
-
always inform the Youth Minister and/or Parish Safeguarding Officer of any specific safeguarding concerns  that arise.  The Parish Safeguarding Officer will liaise with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer as appropriate;
- liaise with the PCC (via the Youth and Children’s Committee)

Responding to Child Protection Concerns
- ·Do not try to deal with any child protection concern on your own.  Always tell your group leader and Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator.  Agree between with you who will take what action and when.

- ·If you are not sure if child abuse is involved, or if you have concerns about a child and you need someone to talk things over with, then again you should contact your group leader or the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.  The Local Authority Children’s Social Care Duty Officer can also be a source of advice.

- ·Always make notes about a possible child protection incident or disclosure as accurately as possible, as soon as possible.  These should cover what has happened, in what context, and anything that seemed particularly significant.  Quote the child’s words exactly where possible.  Try if possible to note from the register the child’s full name, age, date of birth, address, telephone number and GP.  Remember to sign the record and add your name, role, date of incident and date of the recording.

The following are all important points to help anyone facing this difficult situation:
- ensure all notes are kept in a safe place;
- if a child asks to talk in confidence do not promise confidentiality – you have a duty to refer a child/young person who is at risk to the statutory agencies;
- always explain that you may have to get other people to help;
- stay calm;
- listen to the child attentively;
- maintain eye contact;
- allow the child to talk, but do not press for information or ask leading questions;
- tell the child that they are not to blame for anything that has happened;
- reassure the child that they were right to tell;
- let the child know that other people will have to be told and why;
- try to explain what will happen next in a way the child can understand;
-
reassure the child that he or she will continue to receive support.

Imminent risk

- If you encounter a child in a situation where the child is in imminent danger, you should act immediately to secure the safety of the child. Seek the assistance of the police and then make a referral to Local Authority Children’s Social Care.

- If a child needs emergency medical attention, this should be sought immediately and directly from the emergency services. Parents, if available, should be kept fully informed.

What to do if you suspect a child is at risk or has been abused

- Agree with your group leader who will make the referral;

- Make an immediate telephone referral to the Local Authority Children’s Social Care. Make it clear from the first point of contact that you are making a child protection referral;

- Describe the event or disclosure and give information about the child and family, for example the child’s name, date of birth, address, telephone number and GP if known;

- Follow up your telephone call with a completed referral form (sometimes available on the Local Authority website) or letter;

- If there is no acknowledgement within 48 hours, chase it;

- Remember that the child and family should, wherever possible, consent to the referral unless this would put the welfare of the child or another person at further risk. If you have serious concerns, the absence of consent should not prevent a referral. The Duty Social Worker will give you advice over this if necessary;

- Be prepared to have further discussions with the social work team or the police investigation team. Say if you do not want your details disclosed to the family;

- For out-of-hours referrals, call the Emergency Social Work Team or where urgent, the police;

- Consult with the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer at any point in this process but in any case always ensure the DSO is informed of the concern and actions taken.

Guidelines for Good Pratice for church-sponsored activities for children and young people

Special needs

- Welcome children and young people with special needs to the group;

- Try to make the premises, toilets and access suitable for people with disabilities;

- Ask the parent about how best to meet the child’s special needs, and do not see this as the responsibility only of the child’s parents;

- If premises are being designated or refurbished, take the opportunity to anticipate the possible special needs of future children and adults, advice is available;

- Disability legislation requires organisations to take reasonable steps to meet the needs of disabled people and this includes children;

- Special care must be taken by workers with children who may need help with toileting. Soiling accidents should be dealt with by the parent if available. If not another adult should be present whilst the child is washed or changed.

Registration

- A registration form should be completed for every child or young person who attends groups or activities. The form should be updated annually and include the following – name, address, date of birth, emergency contact details, medical information, any special needs including activities that the child is unable to take part in, consent for emergency medical treatment and consent for photographs and videos if relevant.

- Separate consent should be obtained for one-off events and activities, for example swimming, and also for outings, weekends away etc.

- All personal details and consent forms must be stored securely.

Consent

- Consent needs to be from a parent or person with parental responsibility. It can be from the child or young person if he or she has sufficient age and understanding in relation to the specific issue. So, for example, while parental consent is always required for a group residential holiday, a teenager would be able to consent to the photos from the holiday being displayed in church. You should record who has given consent for any specific activity.

Recommended staffing levels

- The minimum ratio of leaders to children will comply with the Children Act 1989: -

  • 0-2 years: 1 adult to 3 children
  • 2-3 years: 1 adult to 4 children
  • 4-8 years: 1 adult to 6 children
  • 9-12 years: 1 adult to 8 children
  • 13-18 years: 1 adult to 10 children

- More help may be required if children are being taken out, are undertaking physical activities or if circumstances require it;

- Each group should have at least 2 adults and it is recommended that there should be at least one male and one female;

- If small groups are in the same room or adjoining rooms with open access between them it is possible to have only one adult per group, dependent on the nature of the activity;

- Young people who are being encouraged to develop their leadership skills through helping should always be overseen by an appointed worker who will be responsible for ensuring that good practice and safeguarding procedures are being followed and the work they are doing is appropriate to both their age and understanding;

- Adults who assist on one or two occasions must be responsible to an appointed worker. Thereafter they should become part of the team and be properly appointed through the normal recruitment process.

Safe environment

- Display both the Childline telephone number in a prominent place where children and young people can see it, and the Parentline Plus number for parents;

- Undertake a risk assessment for each activity and in greater detail for an unusual activity or when away from the usual location;

- Minimum standards for a safe environment:

  • Meeting places should be warm, well lit and well ventilated. They should be kept clean and free of clutter;
  • Electric sockets should be covered;
  • Toilets and hand basins should be easily available with hygienic drying facilities;
  • Appropriate space and equipment should be available for any intended activity;
  • If food is regularly prepared for children on the premises, the facilities will need to be checked by the Environmental Health Officer and a Food Handling and Hygiene Certificate acquired;
  • Children’s packed lunches should be kept refrigerated. Drinks should always be available;
  • Groups should have access to a phone in order to call for help if necessary;
  • Adults should be aware of the fire procedures. Fire extinguishers should be regularly checked and smoke detectors fitted throughout the premises;
  • A fire drill should be carried out regularly;
  • Unaccompanied children and young people should be encouraged not to walk to or from your premises along dark or badly lit paths;
  • A first aid kit and accident book/forms should be available on the premises. The contents of the first aid kit should be stored in a waterproof container and be clearly marked. Each group should designate one worker to check the contents at prescribed intervals;
  • All staff and volunteer workers should be encouraged to have some first aid knowledge and the parish should encourage access to First Aid training. A list of first aiders in the parish should be compiled and kept available. All accidents must be recorded in the accident book/forms.

E-safety

- Ensure all electronic communications are appropriate and professional;

- If using e-technology as a group activity, ensure that an adult worker who knows and understands what is happening within the group;

- Do not make any relationship with a child (other than family members) through a social networking site;

- Maintain a log of all electronic contact with individuals or groups including messaging and texting.

- For detailed guidelines on E-safety visit: www.peterborough-diocese.org.uk/e-safety

Transporting children on behalf of the church

Drivers

- All those who drive children on church-organised activities should have held a full and clean driving licence for over 2 years;

- Drivers who are not children’s workers should be recruited for the task through the normal recruitment process;

- Any driver who has an endorsement of 6 points or more on their licence should inform the group leader and the parish safeguarding officer;

- Any driver who has an unspent conviction for any serious road traffic offense should not transport children for the church;

- Drivers must always be in a fit state (i.e. not over-tired; not under the influence of alcohol ; not taking illegal substances; not under the influence of medicine which may cause drowsiness)

Minibus or coach

- Workers and helpers should sit among the group and not together;

- If noise or behavior appears to be getting out of control, stop the vehicle until calm is restored;

- Before using a minibus, ensure you know the up-to-date regulations for its use and have had a trial drive

- People responsible for a trip in the church minibus need to produce a list of all those in the vehicle, along with the name and contact numbers of their next-of-kin. This list needs to be given to the Vicar or another nominated member of church staff

Private car

- Children and young people should not be transported in a private car without the prior consent of their parents or carers. This also applies to formally arranged lifts to and from a church activity;

- All cars that carry children should be comprehensively insured for both private and business use. The insured person should make sure that their insurance covers the giving of lifts relating to church-sponsored activities;

- All cars that carry children should be in a roadworthy condition;

- All children must wear suitable seat-belts and use appropriate booster seats. If there are insufficient seat belts, additional children should not be carried;

- At no time should the number of children in a car exceed the usual passenger number;

- There should be a non-driving adult escort as well as the driver. If in an emergency a driver has to transport one child on his or her own, the child must sit in the back of the car.


Appendix C

VOLUNTEER COVENANT 

Leaders and helpers can expect:

  • To undergo a DBS check (and Diocesan declaration);
  • To receive help & support in being a leader/helper, as agreed with group leaders;
  • Any safeguarding concerns that they raise to be responded to in a supportive way;
  • To be prayed for regularly;
  • To be invited to be involved in planning and reviewing of groups;
  • To have the opportunity to attend other training courses;
  • Their work to be covered by the church’s insurance policy;
  • Not to be out of pocket as far as expenses are concerned;
  • To be treated with respect and in line with the organisation’s policies on e.g. equal opportunities, health and safety 

Leaders and helpers are expected:

  • To carry out their role in a way that is consistent with the Christian faith.  This includes being a positive role model in the way that they behave, and by seeking to live out and demonstrate a clear Christian lifestyle;
  • To be a worshipping member of Whitefriars Church (or another Christian church - the involvement with Whitefriars to be with the agreement of their vicar);
  • To be accountable to their group leader and the Vicar;
  • To comply with the church’s safeguarding policy, and to attend training sessions as required;
  • To give reasonable notice if they wish to stop being a leader/helper; or are unable to fulfil their agreed commitments;
  • The volunteer will abide by the organisation’s objectives and its equal opportunities, health and safety, confidentiality and other policies.


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