This policy was agreed at a Leadership Team Meeting held September 2019
Trinity Rawdon, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this 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.
Trinity Rawdon is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable and at risk are paramount.
Trinity Rawdon recognises that it has a particular care for all who are vulnerable whether by disabilities or by reduction in capacities or by their situation. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible, but that it does not diminish our humanity and seeks to affirm the gifts and graces of all God’s people.
This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. It is intended to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.
As the people of Trinity Rawdon, we seek to safeguard the whole of our church community.
Trinity Rawdon recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children and vulnerable adults and recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual, discriminatory, domestic or institutional abuse or neglect, abuse using social media or human trafficking (slavery). It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and their development, including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained.
Trinity Church, Rawdon commits itself to:
- RESPOND without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, whether in the church or in another context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.
- Ensure the IMPLEMENTATION of Connexional Safeguarding Policy; government legislation and guidance and safe practice in the circuit and in the churches.
- The PROVISION of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people that will ensure people are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be vulnerable.
- AFFIRM and give thanks for those who work with children and vulnerable adults and also acknowledge the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding vulnerable adults who are on our premises.
It is the responsibility of Trinity Leadership Team to appoint a Church Safeguarding Officer(s) and to endeavour to ensure there are no gaps in this crucial provision. It is not appropriate for the minister to fill any gap because of the potential conflict of roles. The role will usually be undertaken on a voluntary basis although expenses should be met. Trinity Rawdon appoints Alison C. Leyburn and Monica R. Leyburn as church Safeguarding Officers (Adults) and Alison C. Leyburn and Monica R. Leyburn as church Safeguarding Officers (Children) and supports them in their role, which is to:
- support and advise the minister and the Leadership in fulfilling their roles
- provide a point of reference to advise on safeguarding issues
- liaise with circuit and district safeguarding officers
- promote safeguarding best practice within the local church with the support of circuit ministers
- ensure proper records are kept of all incidents/concerns according to Trinity policy and practice
- ensure that all safeguarding training which is required is undertaken by those in post and appropriate records kept and made available
- attend training and meetings organised to support the role
- oversee safeguarding throughout the whole life of the church community. External hirers are responsible for their own safeguarding.
- report to the Leadership Team annually
- ensure the church completes a yearly audit/monitoring on safeguarding, confirming that policies are in place for the church and are reviewed according to their schedule
- ensure the church completes a risk assessment on each area of activity in the church; that this is stored and reviewed according to their schedule, and that it is readily available on request
- ensure that the church recruits safely for all posts
- ensure that the church has safeguarding information on a noticeboard with a copy of the current, signed safeguarding policy, contact numbers for local and national helplines and other suitable information.
The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for children, young people and vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church (2018).
We believe that good practice means:
- All people are treated with respect and dignity.
- Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or vulnerable adult where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral reasons, in which case a written note of this will be made and kept noting date, time and place of visit.
- The church premises will be assessed by the church safeguarding officer with the chair of the property team and/or their representatives at least annually for safety for children and vulnerable adults and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Leadership Team in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Leadership Team will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made more suitable.
- Any church-organised transport of children or vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and that the driver and escort are DBS checked as appropriate. Trips will be risk assessed.
These things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may be vulnerable.
APPOINTMENT AND TRAINING OF WORKERS
Employees will be appointed after a satisfactory DBS disclosure and following safer recruitment procedures.
In terms of safeguarding, pastoral visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment. This could be provided via attendance at Creating Safer Space Foundation training.
GUIDELINES FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Trinity follows the Methodist Safeguarding training programme and provides Policies and Procedures for workers and employees who works with children, young people and vulnerable adults. This process will be reviewed annually. Leadership Team may produce their own material or use appropriate connexional leaflets (eg the Quick Reference Guide or Code of Safer Working Practice). Information on good practice is available in the Methodist Church Safeguarding Policy Section 9. Appendix 111.
EVENTS WITH CHURCH GROUPS OFF THE PREMISES INVOLVING CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE OR VULNERABLE ADULTS
Adequate staffing, a risk assessment and notification of the event to be given to the church safeguarding officer PRIOR to the agreement for any event or off site activity. Notification of the event will be given to the Church Administrator.
If the activity is unusual or considered to be high risk the church safeguarding officer may contact the circuit safeguarding officer for further advice.
OTHER GROUPS ON CHURCH PREMISES
Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement will be given a copy of the church safeguarding policy.
KEY CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS
8.1. A child is anyone who has not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, a member of the armed forces, in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change his/her status or entitlements to services or protection.
8.2. Vulnerable Adults: Any adult aged 18 or over who, due to disability, mental function, age or illness or traumatic circumstances, may not be able to take care or protect themselves.
8.3. Safeguarding and protecting children or vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
8.4. Adult/child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm, including neglect.
8.5. Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, in a community and in an institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.
9. ADHERENCE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
This policy forms part of our Safeguarding Policies and is in line with our current insurance policies and risk assessments.
This document will be reviewed and updated as appropriate to changes to the risk environment. Changes will be made available.
If you suspect any area of concern with adherence to this Policy please report it to the Minister or a member of the Leadership Team.
This Policy and procedure is authorised by Trinity Church Leadership Team.
Approval and Version Control
STATUS: Approved 16.09.19
By: Trinity Church Leadership Team
Version Review Date: 15/11/2020