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The Church of England is called to share the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.

The life of our communities and institutions is integral to how we address this task.

The good news speaks of welcome for all, with a particular regard for those who are most vulnerable, into a community where the value and dignity of every human being is affirmed and those in positions of responsibility and authority are truly trustworthy.

Being faithful to our call to share the gospel therefore compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has’.

From ‘Promoting a Safer Church’,The Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy statement

Message from the Most Revd. and Rt. Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

  Dear Colleagues

 Safeguarding is at the heart of our Christian faith. We are all made unique and in the image of God. Jesus came that we might have life and have it in abundance (see John chapter 10 verse 10).

 ‘Safeguarding’ means the action the Church takes to promote a safer culture in all our churches. In order to achieve this we need to do a lot of hard work. We will promote the welfare of children, young people and adults. We will work to prevent abuse from occurring. We will seek to protect those that are at risk of being abused and respond well to those that have been abused. We will take care to identify where a person may present a risk to others, and offer support to them whilst taking steps to mitigate such risks.

 The Church will take appropriate steps to maintain a safer environment for all. In order to do this we must be obedient to Christ who placed a child in the midst of his disciples and encourages us all to be childlike in our faith (see Matthew chapter 18 verses 1 – 5).

 So we must practice fully and positively a ministry to all children, young people and adults; to respond sensitively and compassionately to their needs in order to help keep them safe from harm.

 This Parish Handbook aims to further strengthen the Church’s approach to safeguarding by bringing into one place the safeguarding responsibilities for parishes as outlined in the House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policies and Practice Guidance. It has been designed to support the day to day work of all parishes in relation to safeguarding and those that have a key role to play with children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable.

 It is complemented by a pocket safeguarding guide, a contact safeguarding card and a Parish Safeguarding Resource Pack, that offers a range of model templates and good practice reference material.

 It has been informed by best practice in faith organisations and the safeguarding sector. I want to thank very much all those that were involved in the work and all those that contributed to the consultation process and offered their helpful and informed views.

 The House of Bishops commends this practice guidance for use by all Parishes, particularly the safeguarding lead on the Parochial Church Council, Clergy, Parish Safeguarding Officers, licensed lay ministers and leaders of parishes work with children, young people and vulnerable adults.

 I hope that this Handbook and complementary guides and templates will contribute greatly to promoting a safer culture and building good safeguarding practice in your parish church.

 I hold in my prayers all who are directly involved in this crucial work and let us all pray that we may strive to be a safe church for all.

Yours in Christ's fellowship,

 Archbishop Justin Welby

 

Safeguarding Policy.

St Anne’s Church fully recognises its responsibilities for protection of the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The Church of England is committed to encouraging an environment where all people, and especially those who may be vulnerable for any reason, are able to worship and pursue their faith journey with encouragement and in safety.  Our aim is that everyone, whether they see themselves as vulnerable or not, will receive respectful pastoral ministry recognizing any power imbalance within such relationships.  We will seek to offer sensitive and informed pastoral care to anyone who has suffered abuse, including support to make a complaint if so desired:  help to  find appropriate specialist care either from the church or secular agencies will be offered.

 This policy sets out our commitment to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and the activities that we believe are relevant at this stage of the life of the church.

 It applies to all employees and volunteers working for the Church.  There are a number of principles and activities that contribute to our approach at this time:

The PCC will review this policy and its procedures annually in the month of September.   

 Anita Joy Brookes is our approved Child Protection Co-ordinator from the Calendar year 2011.

The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults:-

1.       In its work with people in the parish, the church is aware that many of the people it seeks to help may be traumatised and vulnerable in a number of ways.  The church will seek to ensure that any power imbalance is recognised and the negative effect is minimised;       

     2.       Our approach will be regularly reviewed by the PCC, to ensure that our activities are appropriate;  

            3.       All concerns will be taken seriously by the PCC.  Any allegations of mistreatment, abuse, harassment or bullying will be responded to;

            4.       In the first instance the Team Vicar (Chair of the PCC) will take overall responsibility for all issues of the protection of vulnerable adults in collaboration with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator of the Parochial Church Council of St Anne’s Church;

        5        Every employee or volunteer who plans to engage in work, in an officially sanctioned capacity, with children and/or vulnerable adults will be vetted, including a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS), or, as required, and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) check.  This includes work in the UK such as care homes, individual home visits etc.;

           6.       All people who will visit adults who may be vulnerable will undertake appropriate training with regard to the protection of vulnerable adults as a part of this preparation;

            7.       The PCC will put in place training for all involved in authorised pastoral visiting to ensure best practice is followed;

            8.       St Anne’s Church recognises that some of the people, who may volunteer for the roles within the life of the church, may themselves be vulnerable.  Prior to engaging in any work amongst vulnerable adults, all volunteers will undergo orientation and training in order to help them be prepared for their visit and practice good self care.  Whilst involved in this work, efforts will be made to offer appropriate support and care for any volunteers who need it.

            9.       All workers, volunteers and PCC Members will seek to learn about the protection of vulnerable adults in accordance with, and as appropriate, to their roles and responsibilities.

 The Safeguarding of Children and Young People-

The PCC will take all reasonable care to ensure the safety of the children and young people for whom it bears responsibility.

 Rev. Richard Westwood, (Team Vicar), will be responsible for overseeing the Youth and Children’s work and will:-

·       Support all the team involved in Children and Youth work;

·       Ensure Children and Youth groups are suitably staffed;

·       Ensure Children and Youth groups are sufficiently resourced;

·       Provide training opportunities for those involved with children and youth as appropriate.

 10.     The PCC is directly responsible for the following groups which include children and young people:-

                    Ladybirds

  Jesus Loves Me group

                    Messy Church

                    Tuesday Hub

 11.     The following groups who use the church rooms will satisfy the PCC that they have a child protection policy:-

                 Strollers

                       Gan Teideal   

 12.     Validation: Leaders aged 18 or over working with children and young people:-

·       Before appointment or the continuation of any appointment,                         appointees will need to have had clearance by the Disclosure and                     Barring Service and  completed a Self Declaration Form;

 13.     Churchwardens and key holders to Church property will satisfy the requirements, (in paragraph 12 above);

 14.     Completed declaration forms and references will be confidential to, and securely held by the Incumbent or, in the event of a vacancy, by the Rural Dean or Archdeacon;

 15.     The PCC will use the Disclosure and Barring Service for checking ‘leaders,           churchwardens and key holders’ criminal records. This will be done via the  Lichfield           Diocesan approved route;

 16.     The PCC requires groups, (groups listed in paragraph 10 above), to provide, in writing, at least the following:-

a list of its current leaders and details of their roles, provision for training and support.·       when and where the group meets, its normal working pattern and the age range it covers.

 17.     The PCC will make available training in child protection. Such training is presently co-ordinated through the Diocesan Child Protection Officers: Kim Hodges/Neil Spiring;

 18.     The PCC will publish on the notice boards at the back of church and in the church rooms,  a copy of the Diocesan Child Protection Flow Chart.  In addition, all validated leaders and  key holders will be given a copy.

 19.     The PCC will work to section 2 of the Lichfield Diocesan Child Protection Policy

 20.     The PCC will carry public liability insurance and will insure all leaders and staff for       personal accident.

 21.     The PCC will make a copy of this policy and its procedures available, if  requested, at   the Archdeacon’s visitation.

 22.     This Policy and its procedures will be monitored by the Safeguarding Officer who    will report to the PCC annually.

 IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCENRS PLEASE CONTACT – Revd. Richard Westwood – 01543682236 or Anita Brookes 01543685764.

 St Anne’s Policy and the reporting procedure can be found on st Anne’s web-site www.stranneschasetown.com or on the Safeguarding Notice Board on the south wall of the church foyer.  (To the left of the office door.)

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What to do if you are concerned about

a child or adult:

 

  If there is a concern that a child or adult is being abused (see sections 4 and 5 above for information on types of abuse):

 1. Respond well to the victim/survivor, if it is a direct disclosure, to ensure they feel listened to and taken seriously. Explain what will happen next and check out support requirements. They should be informed that their identity and the identity of the respondent maybe shared with the statutory agencies, if there is any current risk to children. The concern or allegation should not be shared with anyone other than those who need to know (e.g. the statutory agencies and people occupying appropriate church roles) (see section 8.4 below).

 2. EMERGENCY: If you believe a child or adult is in immediate danger of significant or serious harm, contact the emergency services on 999.

 3. NON- EMERGENCY: Contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent, in the first instance. They must then contact the DSA. If neither of the two are available, contact the DSA directly. Any safeguarding concerns must be reported to the DSA within 24 hours.

 If the concern arises outside of normal office hours you can contact the diocese out of hours service. Otherwise, for out of hours referrals, call the Emergency Social Work Team, or where urgent, the police. Always ensure the DSA is informed of the concerns and actions taken, and consulted regularly.

 4. If the DSA or other colleagues are not available within 24 hours, don’t delay. Contact Children’s Social Care (this maybe called the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (“MASH”) or Adult Social care and/or police directly, then advise the Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent, who will advise the DSA. If there are doubts about whether or not to make a referral and under what route, a consultation can be sought with MASH. Consultations and referrals would normally be initiated by the DSA.

 If in doubt don’t delay, seek advice from statutory agencies

 5. Do not contact the respondent12 or anyone who may be implicated in the allegation or disclosure, even if they would normally be contacted as part of the procedure, until advice has been sought from the DSA or statutory agencies.

 6. Record the date and time of when the concerns arose and details of the concern or allegation. Keep it factual. Pass all original records, including rough notes, immediately to the DSA. Any copies of retained records should be kept secure and confidential. (Please see Recording Templates available in the online Parish Resource Pack).

 7. The DSA will act in line with the House of Bishops guidance. They will offer advice, support and guidance and help to make the required referrals. If there is a risk of harm the concerns must be reported to the statutory agencies with 24 hours of the DSA receiving the concerns. This would be the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), for children or Adult Social Care and/or the Police.

8. There should be close communication between the DSA, PSO/Incumbent and the appropriate Archdeacon until the situation is resolved.

 8.3 What to do if you are concerned that a church officer13 maybe abusing a child or adult14

If there is a concern that a church officer may be abusing or neglecting a child or adult, or the church officer’s behaviour may not be following safer working practice (see section 12 below):

 1. Respond well to the victim/survivor, if it is a direct disclosure, to ensure they are listened to and taken seriously. Explain to the victim/survivor what will happen next and check out support requirements. They should be informed that their identity and the identity of the respondent will be shared with the statutory agencies, if there is any current risk to children. The concern or allegation should not be shared with anyone other than those who need to know (e.g. the statutory agencies and people occupying appropriate church roles) (see section 8.4 below).

 2. EMERGENCY: If you believe a child or adult is in immediate danger of significant or serious harm, contact the emergency services on 999.

 3. NON -EMERGENCY: Contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent, in the first instance, if they are not implicated. The Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent must then contact the DSA. Any safeguarding concern or allegation of abuse against a church officer must be reported to the DSA within 24 hours.

 4. Record the details of the concern or allegation. Always ask to do this and explain the importance of recording all information. Where it is not appropriate to take notes at the time (usually it will not be), make a written record as soon as possible afterwards or before the end of the day. The record should include details of information provided to that person as well as the information received. Record the time, date, location, persons present and how the concern or allegation was received, e.g. by telephone, face to face conversation, letter, etc. Always sign and date the record. (Please see Recording Templates available in the online Parish Resource Pack).

 5. If the victim/survivor disagrees with the content of the note, any agreed changes can be made. If changes are not agreed (perhaps because they refer to additional matters that did not arise during the meeting), the person should be advised that their comments are noted and will be retained with the notes of the meeting.

 6. Pass all original records, including rough notes, immediately to the DSA. Any copies of retained records should be kept secure and confidential.

7. Do not contact or inform the respondent or anyone who may be implicated in the concern or allegation, even if they would normally be contacted as part of the procedure.

 8. The DSA will act in line with the House of Bishops guidance. They will offer advice, support and guidance and refer the concerns to the statutory agencies within 24 hours.  This would be the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and/or the police. The DSA will now take over the management of the safeguarding concern in conjunction with the Core Group15, (which will be convened within 48 hours) and Statutory agencies. There may also be a requirement for parish representatives to attend a subsequent Core Group(s). If there are doubts about the whether or not to make a referral and under what route, the DSA will seek advice form the LADO.

 If in doubt don’t delay, seek advice from statutory agencies

 Please note the procedure is the same for non-recent abuse,

 A proper balance must be struck between protecting children and adults, and respecting the rights of the person against whom an allegation is made. In such circumstances the welfare of the child, young person or adult must come first. The rights of the person against whom the allegation is made are important and must be given due weight, once the immediate safety and protection of the child, young person or vulnerable adult has been assured.

12 The person about whom a safeguarding concern or allegation has been made. Sometimes called the ‘subject of concerns or allegations’ or ‘alleged perpetrator’.  

13 This could be priest, church warden, volunteer, youth group leader, reader, organist, choir leader, bell ringer, Sunday school leader, home visitor. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

14 Please see the House of Bishops Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against Church Officers Practice Guidance for further information.

15 Every safeguarding concern or involving a church officer should be managed by a defined core group, convened for the specific situation. The purpose of the group is to oversee and manage the response to a safeguarding concern or allegation in line with House of Bishops’ policy and practice guidance. allegation

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