St Marks Church Safeguarding Policy 2023
St Marks Church Safeguarding Policy 20223
Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of everyone and central to our mission and ministry and all Church and community activities in Kensal Rise. This document demonstrates and guides involved in our church on the part that they need to play in order to ensure that the Church is a safe environment for everyone.
St Marks Church Kensal Rise COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING
St Marks Church is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults to worship and grow safely in Christ. This is done by acting together in a coordinated and supported manner and requires the Church Safeguarding Officer Kellie Jarrett, our Vicar Rev’d Dave Roberts, and our Children’s Champion Sue Bush to make timely responses to concerns (advice sought / action taken within 24 hours), informing / consulting with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team (DST) about these, and drawing support from the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) helpline and local authorities.
We as a church commit to forming appropriate:
· procedures to identify, respond to and report concerns
· codes of safe practice
· safer recruitment procedures.
We would emphasize that if there is something that makes anyone feel uneasy, please talk it through with someone, and keep doing so until you feel comfortable. Our Church Safeguarding Officer, Vicar, and Youth Pastor and the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, will always make themselves available to respond to any safeguarding concerns.
Safeguarding in the Parish of St Mark’s Kensal Rise
The Church of Saint Marks Kensal Rise is committed to facilitating an environment in which children, young people and vulnerable adults are able to worship and grow in Christ safely. Abuse and maltreatment in any form is entirely against Scripture and the Church’s teachings. In respecting the dignity and value of every person we are committed to:
· the care, nurture of and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children and all adults
· the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are at risk
· establishing safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment and a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ and action towards safeguarding everyone
We will seek to fulfill these through:
· the production of clear policy and procedures to which all will comply
· the safer recruitment, training and support of those in positions of responsibility and trust
· responding without delay to concerns and complaints regarding actual or potential harm or maltreatment (advice to be sought / action taken within 24 hours)
· cooperating with professionals and processes necessary to ensure proper safeguards and pastoral care
· the provision of care and support to those who have experienced abuse
· the provision of supervision and support to those who have abused others
The principles below will guide all elements of safeguarding activity delivered by those at all levels within the diocese:
The welfare of the child, young person and vulnerable adult is paramount;
Integrity, respect and listening to all;
Transparency and openness;
Collaboration with key statutory authorities and other partners;
Use of professional safeguarding advice and support both inside and outside the Church;
A commitment to the prevention of abuse;
The active management of risk;
Promoting a culture of informed vigilance;
Ensuring that case reviews and audit activity lead to improved process and response.
CODE OF SAFER WORKING PRACTICE
This code is provided for all those across the diocese to follow in working and volunteering with children, young people and vulnerable adults. The code represents the behaviors which constitute safe practice. As such it will assist those working with children and vulnerable adults to do so safely and responsibly enabling each to monitor their own standards of integrity and good practice.
The policy applies to all within the church, paid and unpaid, clergy and laity
· treat all children, young people and adults with respect and dignity, keeping your own language, attitude and body language respectful
· actively communicate with children, young people and vulnerable adults and involve them in planning and running activities where possible
· avoid being alone with a child, there should always be two properly recruited adults with each group of children
· develop a culture where workers, children and vulnerable adults feel comfortable to point out inappropriate attitudes and behavior in each other
· make it plain who someone can speak to about a personal concern, and be proactive in addressing concerns and allegations
· never use illicit drugs, abuse prescription medication, or use alcohol when responsible for a child or vulnerable adult
· keep physical contact specific to the needs of the activity and always seek permission from the person first
· obtain consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown or displayed
· never use rough play, sexually provocative words and games or any forms of physical punishment
· never scapegoat, ridicule or reject a child, group or adult or allow others to do so
· avoid showing favoritism to any one child, adult or group or doing anything to reinforce their possible infatuations towards you
· never give lifts to children or young people on their own or on your own or allow unknown adults access to children
· never share sleeping accommodation with children or invite them to your home alone
· always operate within the Diocesan principles, procedures and guidelines, clarifying these when unsure.
The above set clear expectations of behavior and codes of practice which serve to reduce the possibilities of positions of trust being abused or misused, or false accusations being made.
Concerns about children, young people and vulnerable adults will be diligently and promptly responded to according to our procedures, recognizing the sensitivity it may hold for those involved. Where there is a concern, this should be reported to the appropriate person (Church Safeguarding Officer) or advice sought (from the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or CCPAS 24 hour helpline) immediately where possible, but at least within 24 hours.
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL’S (PCC’s) RESPONSIBILITIES
The church’s PCC has a key role in the running of our church and in safeguarding the members of our worshipping community. The PCC therefore commits to the following:
· formally adopt and implement the Diocesan policy for safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults ‘Safeguarding in the Diocese of London’ and the associated procedures and guidance provided by the Diocese. The implementation of the policy and procedures should be discussed and reviewed by the PCC regularly (at least twice a year) and at the first PCC meeting after the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM), the Church Safeguarding Officer should present a report for discussion and the PCC Safeguarding Policy Statement should be signed. One copy of this policy statement should be filed with the PCC minutes, another copy sent to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and copies displayed prominently in the church and wherever work with vulnerable groups takes place.
· Appoint at least one Church Safeguarding Officer to work with the vicar and the PCC in order to implement the policy and procedures. The Church Safeguarding Officer should attend the PCC at least twice a year and should not be a member of the clergy.
· appoint a person, who should be different from the Church Safeguarding Officer, to be a Children’s Champion. This should be someone children know they could talk to about any problems, if they wish to.
· display in church premises where children’s activities take place, the contact details of the Church Safeguarding Officer and Children’s Champion along with contact numbers for: ‘Childline’ (0800 1111), ‘Family Lives’ (was ‘Parentline Plus’ – 0808 800 222), the CCPAS Helpline (0845 120 4550) and the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (020 7932 1224). This can most easily be achieved by displaying a poster in the church foyer area.
· ensure that all those authorized to work with children (paid and voluntary) are appropriately recruited according to safer recruitment practice and are trained and supported
· ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities which involve children undertaken in the name of the PCC and that risk assessments are completed for all activities
· ensure all those hiring church premises undertake to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities towards children and young people
· where working within Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs), agree which denomination or organization’s safeguarding policy to follow, including where to seek advice in urgent situations. This decision should be ratified both by the bishop and other appropriate church leaders in the partnership
· in the event of a specific safeguarding concern, ensure that all the LEP partners are also notified
As a church we also agree to adopt and uphold:
The House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy statement’;
The House of Bishops’ and diocesan safeguarding policies and practice guidance, while being responsive to local parish requirements;
In the day to day running of our activities it is important therefore to establish who is primarily responsible for safeguarding.
1st – Rev Dave Roberts
2nd - Caroline Winterburn
Parents and Toddlers
1st - Caroline Winterburn
2nd - Sue Bush
In any other groups which work with children and vulnerable adults it will need to be established who is primarily responsible for dealing with safeguarding concerns and implementing our policy. In the event of a concern coming to light it is always the group leader’s responsibility to report the concern directly to the church safeguarding officer (Kellie Jarrett) as promptly as possible and certainly within 24 hours.
Within Kids’ church it is the policy of Saint Marks Church Kensal Rise that all volunteers and leaders have a current and valid DBS check or if they are new leaders are in the process of receiving their check. It is our policy that all leaders and volunteers undergo regular training in safeguarding, usually every two years which will be provided by Saint Marks Church in coordination with CCPAS.
Within these groups therefore it is only leaders with a valid DBS certificate who are authorised to be with children in a one to one environment (for instance when taking children to the toilet) though in all other circumstances one to one contact should be avoided. In older youth where one to one mentoring takes place, this should always be in a public and open space.
This policy should be agreed and amended as appropriate by the PCC on an annual basis as well as adopting the wider Diocese of London safeguarding policy and implementing wider policy as recommended in that document with the help of the diocese.
Signed on behalf of the PCC