Safeguarding Policy

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Safeguarding Policy 2016/17

 

 

 

 

www.witneybaptistchurch.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revd Nick Harris

Minister

Witney Baptist Church

Tel . 07972 770361

Email. nickdsharris@gmail.com

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

POLICY STATEMENT Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church..................................... 3

 

PROCEDURE FOR RESPONDING TO CONCERNS........................................................................................ 5

 

INCIDENT REPORT /CAUSE FOR CONCERN FORM..................................................................................... 8

 

IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE SAFEGUARDING TRUSTEE OR FAMILY MEMBER...................... 10

 

IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE MINISTER .................................................................................... . 11

 

IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE DESIGNATED PERSON OR FAMILY MEMBER............................. 12

 

If THE ISSUES RAISED CONCERNS AN ADULT………………………………………………………… .. 13

 

PREVENTION OF ABUSE INDICATORS…………………………………………………………………... .14

 

SAFE WORKING PRACTICES………………………………………………………………………………16

 

SAFE COMMUNITY………………………………………………………………………………………. 20

 

RESPECTING CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE…………………………………………………………. 23

 

SAFE RECRUITMENT, SUPPORT AND SUPVERISION………………………………………………….... 30

 

 

 

 

POLICY STATEMENT

On

Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church

 

Witney Baptist Church

(referred to as “the church” in the Policy Statement)

 

The vision of the church is

To bring people to Christ; to become like Christ.

 

In fulfilling this vision the church

 

  1. has a programme of activities with children and young people.
  2. welcomes children and young people into the life of our community.

 

The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18 and the church will endeavour to follow the guidelines (regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability) as set out in the Children Act 1989 and 2004, Safe from Harm (HM Government 1994) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2010) [or Working Together under the Children Act (Welsh Assembly Government 2006)].

 

As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with the church and will pray for them regularly.

 

In pursuit of this we endeavour to commit to follow the policies and to the development of procedures to assist with their implementation.

 

PREVENTION and REPORTING of ABUSE

 

It is the duty of each church member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people. It is the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

 

SAFE RECRUITMENT, SUPPORT and SUPERVISION OF WORKERS

 

The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.

 

RESPECTING CHILDREN and YOUNG PEOPLE

 

The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that all children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.

 

SAFE WORKING PRACTICES

 

The church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and young people and will implement ways of working with children and young people that promote their safety and well-being.

 

 

 

A SAFE COMMUNITY

 

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.

 

RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE

 

The church has appointed Sue Harris as the Safeguarding Trustee to:

 

  1. oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church’s charity trustees

 

The church has appointed Nana Forson as the Designated Person for Safeguarding to:

 

  1. advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and young people

 

  1. take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.

 

 

POLICY AND PROCEDURES

 

A copy of the policy statement will be displayed permanently on the church website with copies available on request.

 

Each worker with children and young people whether paid or voluntary will be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and will be required to follow them.  A copy of the associated government documents are available upon request.

 

 

A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the church, the parents or carers of any child or young person from the church or any other person associated with the church.

 

The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually.

 

The policy statement will be circulated in advance of  at the Church AGM, with a note of any changes made highlighted.

 

 

Witney Baptist Church

PROCEDURE FOR RESPONDING TO CONCERNS

 

It is the duty of each church member and each member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people. It is the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected. The church will fully cooperate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

 

 

RESPONDING TO A CONCERN

 

STAGE 1

 

If a child or young person is considered to be in imminent danger of harm a report should be made immediately to the police or social services.

 

 

RECORD AND REPORT

 

Step 1 Record

 

As soon as possible after a child or young person tells you about harmful behaviour, or an incident that gives cause for concern takes place a written record must be made. Incident report forms are available in THE SAFE TO GROW INFORMATION FOLDER (on the information table in the coffee area) or from Nana Forson [Designated Person for Safeguarding] Sue Harris [Safeguarding Trustee] or NICK HARRIS [Minister]

 

The written record is to be kept secure and confidential and given to Nana Forson at the time of reporting the incident (within 24 hours)

 

 

Step 2 Report

 

If anyone has a concern about the welfare of a child or young person that concern must be reported to Nana Forson.

In her absence Sue Harris or Nick Harris should be contacted.

The report can be made face to face or by telephone, but must be followed

up by submitting the written incident report (within 24hours)

 

If the concern involves Nana Forson or a member of her family then the concern should be reported to Sue Harris or Nick Harris along with the written report.

 

 

 

 

STAGE 2

 

REVIEW AND REFER

 

Step 1 Review

 

On receiving the report Nana Forson will review the concern that has been raised taking into account any other reports that may have been received concerning the same child, adult or family.

Nana will speak with Sue Harris and may need to talk to others in the church (including Nick Harris) if she thinks they may have relevant information and knowledge that would impact on any decision that will be made.

Nana may decide to seek further advice from Colin Norris (Regional Minister) Social services or the police.

 

Step 2 Refer

 

In reviewing the reported concern Nana Forson will decide whom the report should be referred to and what action should take place.

This may include:

  1. Reporting back to the children’s worker who raised the concern and requesting continued observation.
  2. Refer the concern to others working with the child or young person asking for continued observation.
  3. Speak directly to the adult about whom the concern has been raised.

If there is any question at all of possible sexual abuse or serious physical abuse the adult concerned should not be addressed directly. The concern must be referred to the Police or Social services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Make a formal referral to the local police or Social Services Department.

 

 

 

 

Nana will keep a written record of all actions taken in reviewing and referring a concern.

Written reports will be kept safe and secure by Nana Forson.

 

 

STAGE 3

 

REPORT AND SUPPORT

 

Step 1 Report

 

When a formal referral is made to Social services or the police Nana Forson must:

 

  1. Inform Sue Harris (safeguarding trustee) Nick Harris (Minister) and Colin Norris (Regional Minister) of the referral.

 

  1. If an allegation is made against someone who works with the children then Shaun Hanks (Local Authority Designated Officer [LADO]) must also be contacted.

 

  1. If the worker has been removed from their post (or would have been if they had not resigned or left the church) because of the risk of harm they pose to children and young people the incident must be reported to the independent Safeguarding Authority using their referral forms from the ISA website www.isa-gov.org.

 

Step 2 Support

 

Once concerns, suspicions and disclosures of abuse have been addressed the church should continue to offer support to all affected.

This may be in complementing support offered by outside agencies.

Nana Forson will liaise with all concerned to ensure consistent help and support is being offered.

 

At all stages Nana Forson will be offered support from Sue Harris, Nick Harris and others as necessary.

 

INCIDENT REPORT /CAUSE FOR CONCERN FORM

 

CHILDS NAME……………………………………………………………………D.O.B…………………………...

 

ADDRESS……………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

CONCERN (Include exact words of the child where possible)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHYSICAL SIGNS (bruising, injuries, demeanour)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 P

 

 

 

 

Action taken (include name of person report given to)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Form completed by………………………………………………………………(CAPITAL LETTERS)

 

Signed……………………………………………………………………………..            

Date…………………………

                                                                  

 

 

Witney Baptist Church. Oxon                                                   

Name of reviewer…………………………………………………………… (CAPITAL LETTERS)

 

Reference Number…………………………………..                Date……………………………..

                                    (Social services)

 

 

Formal Referral made             NO [ ]    YES [ ]        Date……………………………… 

Social Services contacted      NO [ ]    YES [ ]        Date………………………………

Police contacted                      NO [ ]    YES [ ]         Date………………………………

LADO contacted                      NO [ ]    YES [ ]         Date……………………………….

Regional Minister                    NO [ ]    YES [ ]         Date……………………………….. 

Safeguarding Authority         NO [ ]    YES [ ]        Date………………………………..

 

Additional info                                                                                   Date………………

 

 

                

 

 

 

 

 

Signed…………………………………………………………………………………….        Date……………………….

 

Witney Baptist church, Oxon.

 

IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE SAFEGUARDING TRUSTEE OR FAMILY MEMBER

STAGE 1

Responding to concerns about the welfare of a child/young person relating to the behaviour of Sue Harris (or a member of her family).

 

 

 

The person who has the concern has a duty to

RECORD AND REPORT

 

A written record must be made of the concern using an incident report form available from Nana Forson. The concern should be reported to Nana Forson within 24 hours.

If a child is in imminent danger of harm a referral should be made to the police or Social Services without delay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE MINISTER

STAGE 1

Responding to concerns about the welfare of a child/young person relating to the MINISTERS’ behaviour.

 

 

 

 

The person who has the concern has a duty to

RECORD AND REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IF THE ISSUE RAISED CONCERNS THE DESIGNATED PERSON OR FAMILY MEMBER

STAGE 1

Responding to concerns about the welfare of a child/young person relating to the behaviour of Nana Forson (or a member of her family)

 

 

 

 

The person who has the concern has a duty to

RECORD AND REPORT

A written record must be made of the concern using an incident report form available from Sue Harris or Nick Harris. The concern should be reported to Sue Harris within 24 hours.

If a child is in imminent danger of harm a referral should be made to the police or Social Services without delay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESPONDING TO CONCERNS

STAGE 1

A worker has a concern about the welfare of a child/young person or the behaviour of an adult

 

 

 

A written record must be made of the concern using an incident report form available from Nana Forson or Sue Harris. The concern should be reported to Nana Forson within 24 hours.

If a child is in imminent danger of harm a referral should be made to the police or Social Services without delay.

 

The person who has the concern has a duty to

RECORD AND REPORT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Prevention and reporting of abuse – definitions and indicators

 

Neglect

Failure to provide shelter, under-nourishment, untreated illnesses, inadequate care, inappropriate clothing for the weather or the time of year.

Indicators

  • problems with personal hygiene
  • constant hunger
  • inadequate clothing
  • emaciation
  • poor relationships with peers
  • untreated medical problems
  • compulsive stealing or scavenging
  • rocking, hair twisting, thumb sucking.

 

Physical abuse

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates or induces illnesses in a child whom they are looking after.

Indicators

  • unexplained injuries/ repeated injuries
  • injuries on areas of the body not usually prone to injury
  • an injury that has not been treated/received medical attention
  • an injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent.

 

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It might look like conveying to a child that they are worthless, unloved or inadequate and can significantly harms a child’s mental health, behaviour and self-esteem.

Indicators

  • rejection
  • isolation
  • child being blamed for actions of adult
  • child being used as a carer
  • lack of empathy.

 

 

 

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Indicators

  • sudden changes in behaviour
  • displays of affection which are sexual and age inappropriate
  • tendency to cling or need constant reassurance
  • tendency to cry easily
  • regression to younger behaviour e.g. thumb sucking, acting like a baby
  • unexplained gifts or money
  • depression and withdrawal
  • wetting or soiling

 

 

 

It should be recognised that these lists are not exhaustive and the presence of one or more indicators is not in itself proof that abuse is actually taking place. It is important to remember that there might be other reasons why any of the above are occurring – it is not your job to investigate or decide if something is abuse, only to report on what is observed.

 

Safe Working Practices

 

Woodstock Baptist Church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities for children and young people and will adopt and implement ways of working with children and young people that promote their safety and well-being.

 

Parental consent for when children are in the care of a church organisation

When children or young people are in the care of a church organisation written consent should be registered and parents asked for the following information:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Home telephone number and alternative number in case of an emergency
  • Date of birth
  • Details of medical conditions the church should be aware of or any food or drug allergies.
  • Details of any behavioural issues or other matters that might be relevant
  • Permission for emergency medical treatment
  • Permission for use of photography

 

I/we hereby give our permission for photographs (video recordings) to be taken of our child. I/we understand that such material may be archived or may be used for publicity but our child will not be identified by name and material will not be placed on the church website without additional consent. Our permission will continue until our child reaches the age of 18 years, unless we otherwise give you notice.

Signed……………………….parent /carer

Date………………………….

 

Additional consent should be explicitly obtained for the following:

  • Travel arrangements when transport is being organised
  • Taking children off the church premises for occasional activities.
  • Use of the child’s photograph in church publicity material or on the church website.
  • Electronic communication with children
  • For children up to the age of 7, consent regarding who is entitled to collect the child from the group.

 

A model parental consent form can be downloaded from www.safetogrow.org.uk

 

Parents should be given the following information:

  • Name and contact telephone number of the leader.
  • Outline details of group activity including starting time and time event ends together with expectations as to whether children should be collected or whether they make their own arrangements to go home.
  • That the church has a safeguarding policy and that in the event of a parent/carer having any concerns about the welfare of their children in relation to the church, they should contact the Designated Person for Safeguarding- Ruth Archer 01993 811744.

Details on the consent forms should be available each time the group meets. The forms should be completed annually.

It should be clear who is responsible for obtaining this information and how it is stored.

This information should be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act. In complying with data protection legislation, the church should ensure that the information it retains is accurate and that information is held only while the information is necessary and relevant.

The church’s Health and Safety Policy has been written with children in mind and should be adhered to.

Every worker should be given clear information about the following:

  • Their individual responsibility to uphold the church’s Health and Safety Policy
  • How to report incidents and concerns under the church’s Health and Safety Policy
  • Where the First Aid equipment is kept and how accidents should be reported
  • What procedures should be followed in the event of fire

 

Risk Assessments

Step 1 :Identify the Hazards

Step 2 :Decide who might be harmed and how

Step 3 :Evaluate risks and decide on precautions

Step 4 :Record your findings and implement them

Step 5 :Review your risk assessment and update if necessary

 

To be considered:

  • When should a risk assessment be carried out? – termly/quarterly? Whenever an activity may involve greater risk.
  • Who is responsible for carrying out the risk assessment?
  • What record should be kept of the risk assessment? How should these be stored?
  • Specific risk assessments should be done when risk is enhanced eg away from usual venue

 

Risk assessment ratios factors to be considered:

  • Age of children
  • Behavioural issues
  • Special needs
  • Gender balance
  • Covering for emergencies
  • The Venue e.g. activities away from church premises normally require a higher ratio of adults to children.

 

A common method of risk assessment should be agreed to be used by all church organisations.

 

 

 

 

 

Use of Photography

  • When children are enrolled in any club/activity in addition to any other essential details written permission should be obtained to enable photos to be taken in the future
  • Photographs of individual children should never be taken without parental consent.
  • Photographing children should be conducted sensitively and with courtesy and their consent is equally as important.
  • When photos are displayed, children should not be identified by name.
  • Leaders should not store images of children on mobile phones.
  • Images must not be placed on any website without:
  • written parental consent being obtained specifically for that photograph to be used
  • the designated person for safeguarding having given approval

(c) insuring individuals are not identified.

 

Visiting Children

If photographs are to include visiting children, a verbal consent should be sought by announcing that it is the intention to take photographs, thus allowing parents to act according to their wishes.

 

Photographs at Open Events

At certain types of events, it is inevitable that there will be children around who may very reasonably get in the picture but for whom it may not be feasible to obtain even verbal permission. In such a situation it may still be appropriate to include such children as part of a group.

Before and after church services

 

The church should be aware of any particular hazards to children and young people during these periods.

 

 

 

 

 

A Safe Community

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.

We need to be aware of the fact that children and young people can be cruel and unkind to one another.

We also need to be aware of the fact that children and young people are through church brought into contact with a wide range of people who have not been through any kind of 'vetting' procedure and may not have an awareness of the church's safeguarding policy and procedures.

 

Bullying Policy

Bullying is defined as:

Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally or unintentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally.

Bullying can take many forms including:

 

  • name-calling, taunting, teasing, mocking
  • kicking, hitting, pushing, intimidating
  • unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature or sexually abusive comments
  • taking belongings
  • inappropriate text-messaging and emailing
  • sending offensive or degrading images by phone or over the internet
  • gossiping, spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours
  • excluding people from a group
  • 'unofficial' activity such as initiation ceremonies or practical jokes which may cause physical or emotional harm

 

Bullies will often pick on a particular feature or character of a person for bullying

 

  • racial difference; disability; sexuality; hair colour; gender

 

Bullies can be:

 

  • children or other young people from their own peer group, or other children and young people either older or younger
  • adults bullying children and young people
  • children and young people bullying adults

 

Some signs that can indicate a child or young person is being bullied are:

 

  • withdrawal; lack of desire to join activities with certain individuals; drop in school marks; torn clothing; loss of friends; avoidance of church groups and other activities; bruises; need for extra money or supplies.

We therefore follow the following procedures:

  • the children and young people should clearly know that bullying is unacceptable
  • children and young people should know how they can report incidences of bullying
  • all allegations will be treated seriously
  • details will be checked carefully before action is taken
  • the bullying behaviour will be investigated and the bullying will be stopped as quickly as possible
  • the parents of the bully and of the bullied will be informed
  • an attempt will be made to help bullies change their behaviour
  • all allegations and incidents of bullying will be recorded, together with actions that are taken.

 

When a known offender is present

 

The church should be a community that is welcoming to all. However when it is known that a person who has been convicted of sexually abusing children or young people is attending the church, it is important that their behaviour within the church community is properly managed and that a contract is put in place. There may also be times when it will be appropriate to take such measures with a person who is known to have faced a series of allegations but has never been convicted.

 

If an offender is on the Sex Offenders' Register they will be monitored under guidelines known as the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). In the latest guidance there is provision to require a written contract to be in place if the offender wishes to attend a place of worship.

 

In determining the details of the contract:

 

  • There should be a discussion about who should be informed of the nature of the offence and the details of the contract.
  • The rights of the offender to re-build their lives without everyone knowing the details of their past offence should be balanced against the need to protect children and young people.
  • Sue Harris (Safeguarding Trustee), Nana Forson (Designated Person for Safeguarding) and Nick Harris (Minister) should always be informed.
  • The Designated Person or the Safeguarding Trustee should determine whether the person is subject to supervision or is on the Sex Offenders' Register.
  • If so, the Designated Person or the Safeguarding Trustee should make contact with the offender's specialist probation officer (SPO)
  • The Designated Person or the Safeguarding Trustee should inform and take advice from the Regional Minister in the local Baptist Association.
  • An open discussion must be held with the person concerned in which clear boundaries are established for their involvement in the life of the church.
  • A written contract should be drawn up which identifies appropriate behaviour. The person should be required to sign the contract.

 

Respecting children and young people

 

SAFE BEHAVIOUR- A CODE OF BEHAVIOUR FOR WORKERS AND ALL THOSE WHO ARE WITHIN THE CHURCH BUILDING.

 

Introduction

 

At Witney Baptist Church we believe that children and young people (what ever age, gender, racial background, culture or disability) should be shown respect and feel safe in all their dealings with the Church.

This code of behaviour is not just a safeguarding measure but also models patterns of Christian behaviour to children and young people, enabling them to do the things they enjoy in a safe environment. It also protects workers and other adults from false accusation or unnecessary and unwanted suspicion.

 

 

Respecting children and young people

Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity.

Use age appropriate language and tone of voice. Be aware of your own body language and the effect you are having on the individual child or young person.

Listen well to children and young people. Be careful not to assume you know what a child or young person is thinking or feeling. Listen to what is spoken and how it is said. At the same time, observe body language to better understand what is being said.

Do not engage in any of the following:

invading the privacy of children or young people when they are going to the toilet.

rough games involving physical contact between a leader and child or young person,

sexually provocative games

making sexually suggestive comments about or to a child or young person, even in “fun”

scapegoating, belittling, ridiculing, or rejecting a child or young person.

In the rare occurrence that a child soils their underclothes and needs thorough washing and a parent or carer is not present to carry out the task ensure that a second adult is present.

 

If it is necessary to control or discipline a child or young person this should be done without using physical punishment. (A situation may arise however where a child or young person needs to be restrained in order to protect them or a third person) and this should be done in sight of other adults.

Do not respond to or encourage excessive attention seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature.

Workers should not normally plan to be alone with children and young people.

 

 

Guidelines to avoid being alone with children

All workers should plan their work with children and young people in such a way that they will not normally be alone with a child or young person where their activity with them cannot be seen by others.

This will mean;

A worker or any other person should never plan to be alone on church premises with a child or young person

At least two people should be present before the doors are opened as children and young people arrive for a group and at least two adults should remain until the last child or young person has left the building at the end of the meeting.

A worker should never invite a child or young person to their home alone. It may be acceptable to invite a group if another adult is in the house. Establish that each parent/carer knows where their child is and at what time they should return home.

 

Unplanned occasions when a worker is alone with children or young people

There may be occasions when, despite careful planning, a worker finds himself or herself in a situation when they are in sole charge of children or young people in the context of a church activity, in these circumstances the worker should;

Assess the risks involved in sending the child or children home against the risks and vulnerability of being alone with them.

Phone another appropriate person to report the situation. This could be Nana Forson, Sue Harris or Nick Harris.

Make a written report of the situation immediately afterwards and give a copy to Nana Forson and Sue Harris (This is to ensure appropriate accountability for situations where there is increased vulnerability and allows for monitoring of situations where workers are on their own with children and young people if the same situation keeps on recurring so that working practices can be reviewed.)

If a child or young person asks to speak to a worker alone for support or pastoral guidance and privacy and confidentiality are required, the following guidelines should apply;

If a worker believes that the child or young person has developed an inappropriate attachment to him/her and therefore there is a chance that the worker is placed in a vulnerable position a second adult should be asked to be present.

If it is possible for the conversation to be held in a quiet corner of the room where others are present, but where sufficient privacy can be assured, then this option should be taken.

If this is not possible the conversation is best held at the back of the worship space, which contains a screen but is nevertheless open to public view.

Wherever possible another adult should be in the building and the child or young person should know that they are there,

Another adult should know that the interview is taking place and with whom.

A worker should set an agreed time limit prior to the conversation and stick to it. It is the responsibility of the worker as the adult involved to set the ground rule and end the session at the designated time. Make another appointment time to continue as necessary.

A worker should not invite a child or young person to their home alone or go to the child or young person’s home if they are alone.

Working one to one

When one to one working is necessary because a child or young person is;

Facing big issues

Need advice and support

Are being formally mentored

Facing a crisis in their life

Are in discipleship meeting including prayer and bible study.

 

 

 

Guidelines for appropriate physical contact with children and young people

Not all children and young people accept touch in the same way, it is dependent on the experiences surrounding the touch. To some a hug can be a huge comfort to those who have experienced abuse it can feel wrong and menacing .The following guidelines will help make a good judgement.

Is it for the sake of the child or young person or is it for your own benefit?

If no one is present it is always advisable to avoid physical contact.

Use physical contact in a way that conveys appropriate concern but in a way that is least likely to be misconstrued. For example an arm around the shoulder standing by the side of the child or young person may be more appropriate than a full” hug”

Remember that not all express friendship in the same way and some people (children included) find excessive touching an infringement of their personal space.

If you find a child or young person is cringing or responding in a negative way to being touched then stop immediately and find an alternative way to convey your concern.

Workers should be prepared to be accountable to fellow workers for the use of their touch and physical contact and should listen to the concern of others if it is felt that boundaries are being crossed.

 

Abuse of trust

A leader in whom the child or young person has placed a degree of trust is an unequal partnership. The power that the leader has in the relationship is accompanied by a responsibility not to abuse the trust.

 

Electronic communication

Electronic communication is an acknowledged legitimate means of communicating with children and young people only as long as strict protocols are followed. It must never become a substitute for face to face communication.

Parents and carers and children and young people themselves have the right to decide if a worker is to have an e mail address or mobile phone number etc.

Workers should only use electronic means of communication with these children and young people from whom appropriate consent has been given.

Workers should not put any pressure on children and young people to reveal their e-mail address, mobile phone number etc.

Direct electronic communication with children of primary school age is inappropriate and should be avoided.

Only workers who have been appointed under the church’s safeguarding procedures should use any electronic communication to contact children or young people on behalf of the church or one of the church’s organisations.

Contact with children and young people by electronic communication should generally be for information giving purpose only and not for general chatter.

When a young person in need or at a point of crisis uses this as a way of communication with a worker, significant conversations should be saved as a text or file if possible and a log kept of when they communicated and who was involved.

Workers should not share any personal information with children and young people and should not request or respond to any personal information from the child or young person other than that which is necessary and appropriate as a part of their role.

Workers should be careful in their communications with children and young people so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation of their motives.

Clear unambiguous language should be used avoiding the use of unnecessary abbreviations.

Electronic communication should only be used between the hours of 8.00a.m. and 10.00p.m.

E-mails to young people should include a church header and footer showing this to be an official communication from a youth team member.

 

Mobile phones

Mobile phone usage should be primarily about information giving.

“Text” language should be avoided so that there is no misunderstanding of what is being communicated.

“Text conversations” should usually be avoided (that is a series of text messages being sent to and fro between mobiles).

The use of phone cameras should comply with the church’s policy on photo/videos.

Workers should not retain images of children and young people on their mobile phones.

Instant messaging services (IMS)

When a child or young person in need or at point of crisis uses this as a way of communicating with a worker, significant conversations should be saved as a text file if possible and a log kept of when they communicated and who was involved.

Social networking sites

If leaders are going to communicate via social networking sites, consideration should be given to making a separate profile for the church group.

Alternatively youth leaders should consider having a site solely for youth work communications, which is totally separate from their own personal site.

If leaders are going to use their own personal site they should ensure that all its content is appropriate for young people to see.

Lower age limits of social networking sites should be adhered to (this varies for each site).

Be aware of the content of photos that may be uploaded onto your site.

Be aware that children and young people could view photos and communications of other people linked to that social networking site.

All communications with young people should be kept within public domains.

Workers should ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny.

Copies of communications should be retained and where possible other workers should be copied in on communications.

 

 

 

 

SAFE RECRUITMENT, SUPPORT AND SUPERVISION OF WORKERS

 

Witney Baptist church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.

 

RECRUITMENT PROCEDURE FOR CHILDREN’S WORKER

 

The same procedure needs to be followed whether the position is for a voluntary or paid role:

*To draw up a Job description.

*Advertise the position.

*Review application forms.

*Interview.

*Appoint.

*Take up references.

*DBS check.

*Induction training.

*Probationary period.

 

 

The Sunday school leader and members of the leadership team (Deacons and Minister) are responsible for the recruitment of children’s workers. A leader should not be involved in the interview or appointment decision involving a close family member.

 

 

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

A Job description will be drawn up by the leadership team in consultation with the Sunday school leader. For a paid worker this should also include a person specification.

The job description also needs to include who the person is accountable to and who the person will be responsible for as well as a statement that the person appointed will be expected to work within the policy and procedures of the Church’s safeguarding children policy.

ADVERTISE

The requirement for a new voluntary children’s worker will be announced at the church meeting. Personal approaches may be made but the recruitment procedure will still need to be followed.

Paid positions will be advertised in suitable publications.

 

APPLICATIONS

Application forms will be administered by the leadership team. To include a signed declaration that there is nothing in the candidate’s past that would call into question their suitability to work with children and young people.

 

INTERVIEW

Interviews will be conducted by the Sunday school leader and a member of the leadership team. A minimum of two people are required to conduct the interview.

APPOINT

The appointment decision will be made by those interviewing. For a paid worker it is a legal requirement to issue a contract of employment.

REFERENCES

Two references will be taken up by the leadership team. One of these should be from outside of the Church. The referees must not be relatives or related by marriage to the candidate.

VBS

 

VBS cheek to be undertaken following up to date legislation.

 

INDUCTION

An induction programme should be arranged by the Sunday school leader to include training in the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

The structure of supervision (who is accountable to whom) should be made very clear and regular meetings held to include safeguarding issues.

PROBATION

A probationary period should be agreed on. At the end of which a structured conversation with the Sunday school leader (for paid employment Sunday school leader and member of the leadership team) and candidate should take place. To review the appointment and clarify any further training needs.

YOUNG LEADERS

In law, young leaders under the age of 18 are children and can not be treated as adult members of a team. However they should be encouraged to develop and hone leadership skills.

 

Young leaders under the age of 18 WILL NOT need to be appointed under the full procedures of the church’s Safeguarding Children Policy including applying for an [vetting and Barring]Enhanced DBS Disclosure if:

  1. They are asked to take increasing leadership responsibility in a group in which they are a member by assisting the adult leaders of that group.
  1. They are part of a peer-led group and emerge within that group as leaders.

Young leaders under 18 WILL need to be appointed under the Church’s Procedures and Safeguarding policy including Enhanced DBS Disclosure if;

  1. They are appointed to work in a regulated activity with children and young people in a group to which they do not belong.

Leaders aged 18 and over are adults and will need to go through the full safeguarding appointment procedure. Care needs to be taken when a young leader turns 18 that their new status is recognised and the appropriate procedures are followed, including

  1. VBS Disclosure
  2. References
  3. Training in the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.

 

 

copies of model forms from the BUGB safe to grow website www.safetogrow.org.uk

 

  1. information for volunteers
  2. application for voluntary work
  3. application for paid work
  4. criminal record declaration
  5. request for reference
  6. reference form
  7. Contract of employment (C12 pages 14-22) from www.baptist.org.uk