Safeguarding

St. Francis and St. Lawrence

Benefice Safeguarding Policy 2017

St Lawrence version

 

This Policy is to be read in conjunction with The Church of England; Parish Safeguarding Handbook - Promoting a Safer Church  (June 2018)

 

Date reviewed: March 2015

Date reviewed: March 2017

Date to be reviewed: March 2018

Reviewed March 2018

Reviewed March 2019

 

St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches Safeguarding Children and Young People and Adults

Benefice Safeguarding Representative: Mrs. Carrie Fergusson,

36 Beatrice Rd, Salisbury 01722 334330

 

Statement of Purpose:-

• The people of St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God’s purpose for everyone.

• We seek to safeguard all members of the church community, of all ages.  It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of children and young people.

It is the duty of a person working with children and young people to prevent abuse and report any abuse discovered or suspected.                                                                                                                                 

Review:-  This document will be reviewed at St. Lawrence PCC on an annual basis (every March) to update and/or implement changes in accordance with legislation.  The PCC will be asked to agree any changes once a year.

This policy is designed for the use of paid employees and volunteers working with children and young people (any person who has not reached their 18th birthday) at St. Francis  & St Lawrence Churches, Salisbury.  

The Church of England House of Bishops’ policy on child protection provides clear policies and procedures for those appointed clergy or accredited lay ministers.

This should be read in conjunction with the Diocese of Salisbury Safeguarding and Good Practice Guidelines Working with Children, Young People and Adults. Available at: http://stmin.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/SafeguardingGuidelines.pdf

Line of safeguarding responsibility across the Benefice

Benefice Safeguarding Rep:  Carrie Fergusson

 Core role in relation to St Lawrence: 

  • Direct contact & response person alongside clergy for any safeguarding issues eg: specific reported safeguarding situations, management with Clergy of people who are on sex offenders registers worshipping at St L. etc.
  • Available for advice
  • Ensure St L are kept informed of any changes in legislation, protocols etc
  • Once a year – ( spring) scrutinise with clergy and Safeguarding link the St Lawrence safeguarding compliance, admin and policies. Provide a written/verbal report to PCC once per year.

St Lawrence – Safeguarding Admin link and DBS verifier. Responsible to Clergy and Safeguarding Rep

Core roles:  working alongside clergy…

  • All admin concerning DBS check verification,
  • Admin connected with safer recruitment eg; reference letters etc,
  • Ensuring DBS holders access training, keep records etc
  • Secure and confidential record keeping.
  • Admin of Key holder consent for church admin, working alongside RR admin Rep, to ensure keycode safety for hirers etc.
  • Ensure safeguarding info/contact details etc is available and displayed in the church and RR.

This individual is not  the named safeguarding contact person. That would be The Benefice Safeguarding Rep.

St L has a small Safeguarding Team made up of Clergy person, Safeguarding Admin Link and PCC Member/Reading Room rep. They will meet approx. 3 times per year.

Policy Statement

• As Christians we recognise the unique status of children (The Children Act 1989 defines a child as a person under the age of eighteen), that they matter in their own right and are taken seriously.

• Children and Young People attending activities provided by St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches will be safeguarded and nurtured physically and emotionally as well as spiritually.

• High professional standards will be maintained in all pastoral, counselling, educational, worship and recreational situations.  The exploitation of any relationship for self gratification will not be tolerated.

• St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches accepts the principle enshrined in The Children Act 1989, that the welfare of the child is paramount.

• Allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and appropriate steps will be taken.

• St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches will collaborate fully with the statutory and voluntary agencies concerned with child abuse and maltreatment.  It will not conduct investigations on its own.

Youth Services

An important group of organisations includes youth services not delivered by local authorities or district councils.

All practitioners working in these organisations and agencies who are working with children and their families are subject to the same safeguarding responsibilities, whether paid or a volunteer.

Workers with Children and Young People

• All those working or seeking to work with children and young people will be properly recruited, trained and supported, and will be subject to whatever supervision is appropriate.

• Supervision and advice will be provided by a named person, usually the leader of the team to which the volunteer is attached.  In cases where there is thought to be issues of a safeguarding nature, the appropriate process outlined in this document or in the ‘Safeguarding Guidance’ leaflet should be followed

Training

• Safeguarding training should be undertaken every three years by any staff or volunteers who are working with children.  This will be provided through Salisbury Diocese.

Recruitment

• All volunteers recruited by St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches to work in a capacity which involves work with children will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring form.  Clearance from DBS is a requirement before taking up a position in a paid or voluntary position.   All post holders, paid and voluntary will be required to complete a DBS form on line, validated by the nominated Child Protection Reviewer.   Once completed the Reviewer will be informed of the volunteers clearance and will record details, the personal  identification number and the date for review.

• Candidates seeking a paid post or voluntary position requiring a DBS check will be asked to complete a volunteer / confidential declaration form (Form 2), this will include personal information, contact details, evidence of having read the safeguarding guidance booklet and knowledge of the Safeguarding Policy, and should indicate any convictions or other disqualifying behaviour that might be revealed in the disclosure process.  This information will only be taken into account when relevant to the post in question.  

• All paid employees and volunteers will, with their written agreement allow the Parish Reviewer to check the DBS website every five years as part of the church’s ongoing strategy to ensure the protection of children and adults (Form 4).  

• All applicants will be required to provide two referees who can vouch for their character and suitability for the role to which they are appointed (Safe from Harm 1993).  References will be taken up, and held securely along with related DBS documentation.  These remain confidential.  

This policy statement should be brought to the attention of all existing and new paid staff and volunteers, who should also be informed of any guidelines or training which will enable them to implement the policy statement.

Safeguarding and promoting the Welfare of Children and Young People

Under the Children Act 1989 and 2004, we all have a responsibility to safeguard and to promote the well-being of children.  

Safeguarding and Promoting the welfare of children is defined as:-

• Protecting children from maltreatment

• Preventing the impairment of children’s health or development

• Ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care

This will include all children who are considered to be ‘in need’ or vulnerable for whatever reason, including those children who are ‘disabled’.

Where abuse occurs, it is usually perpetrated by someone known to and trusted by the child, often a family member.  The incidence of abuse by someone unknown to the child is extremely low.

Working Together 2018

The needs stated by children are quite clear and some are relevant to us as a church:-  Please see Appendix 2

 Anyone working with children should see and speak to the child; listen to what they say; take their views seriously; and work with them and their families collaboratively when deciding how to support their needs.

This child-centred approach is supported by: • the Children Act 1989. This Act requires local authorities to give due regard.

A Co-ordinated Approach

A co-ordinated approach – safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who works with children has a responsibility for keeping them safe. No single person can have a full picture of a child’s needs and circumstances and, if children and families are to receive the right help at the right time, everyone who comes into contact with them has a role to play in identifying concerns, sharing information and taking prompt action.   In order that organisations, agencies and practitioners collaborate effectively, it is vital that everyone working with children and families, including those who work with parents/carers, understands the role they should play and the role of others.  

Charity trustees are responsible for ensuring that those benefiting from, or working with, their charity, are not harmed in any way through contact with it. The Charity Commission for England and Wales provides guidance on charity compliance which should be followed. Further information on the Charity Commission’s role in safeguarding can be found on: the Charity Commission's page on Gov.uk.

Voluntary, charity, social enterprise, faith-based organisations and private sectors play an important role in safeguarding children through the services they deliver. Some of these will work with particular communities such as a faith community. They may as part of their work provide a wide range of activities for children and have an important role in safeguarding children and supporting families and communities. They too, should have appropriate arrangements in place to safeguard and protect children from harm.  As a charity the church is subject to charity law and regulated either by the Charity Commission or other “principal” regulators. Charity trustees are responsible for ensuring that those benefiting from, or working with, their charity, are not harmed in any way through contact with it. The Charity Commission for England and Wales provides guidance on charity compliance which should be followed.

Responsibilities of Faith Organisations

Every faith-based organisation should have policies in place to safeguard and protect children from harm. These should be followed and systems should be in place to ensure `compliance in this. Individual practitioners, whether paid or volunteer, should be aware of their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children from harm, how they should respond to child protection concerns and how to make a referral to Local Authority Childrens Social Care or the Police if necessary(usually with the support of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor).  Every faith-based organisation should have in place the appropriate arrangements. They should be aware of how they need to work with the safeguarding partners in a local area. Charities (within the meaning of section 1 Charities Act 2011), religious organisations (regulation 34 and schedule 3 to School Admissions) and any person involved in the provision, supervision or oversight of sport or leisure are included within the relevant agency regulations. This means if the safeguarding partners name them as a relevant partner they must cooperate.

Categories of Abuse

There are four categories of abuse:-

• Physical Harm

• Neglect

• Emotional Harm

• Sexual Harm

For a full definition and guidance on what to look for please see Appendix 1

Action to be taken in the case of actual or suspected abuse.

Our churches have a responsibility to protect:-

a) the children in our care

a) the people working with children

b) the organisation

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND ABUSE

The sexual exploitation of children and young people has been identified through the UK, in both rural and urban areas and in all parts of the world.  It affects boys and young men as well as girls and young women.  The abuser could be male or female.  It is a form of sexual abuse and can have a serious impact on every aspect of the lives of children involved and their families.  A full description can be found in Appendix 1.

It’s important for staff and volunteers to be aware that Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) can take many different forms including:-

* Exploitation by family members, including being sold for sex

* Sexually exploitative relationships with older adults

* Sexually exploitative relationships with peers

* Sexual exploitation through technology including grooming through social media and the taking and circulation of sexually explicit images of the child.

If there is any indication that a child/children are being sexually exploited the same process as for any form of abuse or neglect should be taken.  Further information can be found in Wiltshire Safeguarding Children Board Guidance ‘Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse - Part One 2014.’ available at: http://www.wiltshirescb.org/resources-guidance

Protection of children from abuse

The church must seek to protect children from anyone who would abuse.

This includes the attentions of perpetrators of sexual abuse (someone who is attracted to children).  Perpetrators of sexual abuse may take several years to gain a position of trust within an organisation and from this establish a position where they are able to abuse.  A perpetrator who is looking to target a church will think again where there is a pro-active policy and action taken on every allegation.

Any volunteer who receives information, allegations or witnesses concerns which confirm or suggest a child may be ‘in need’ or ‘at risk’ of significant harm, must discuss their concern immediately (or at least within 24 hours) with the Vicar, Churchwarden or the Parish Safeguarding Reviewer on Safeguarding Children.

IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH TO REFER CONCERNS TO THE SOCIAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT.

It is essential for the volunteer to collect and clarify the precise details of an allegation and write this down in the child’s own words. An example form used by St Francis Youth can be found in Appendix 3.  When this has been done, in conjunction with the appropriate team leader and safeguarding officer/vicar, this information should be shared with the Children’s Social Care Department, whose task it is to make further investigations and assess the need for further action.  

Useful information if child abuse suspected:-

Wiltshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 0300 4560108

Emergency Duty Service 08456070888 (5.30pm - 9.00am)

If a child is in immediate danger or left alone, you should contact the police or call an ambulance immediately on 999

The Diocesan Child Protection Adviser is Heather Bland.

Heather needs to be informed of any safeguarding concerns or referrals to Children’s Social Care.  She will provide advice about good practice in order to protect children and to diminish the risk of wrongful accusations being made.

She may be contacted at:-

Church House on 01722 411922  (Mon/Tue/Wed 9am - 5pm and Thu mornings).  Available for urgent safeguarding discussions 7 days a week 7am - 10pm on 07500 664800. e.mail: heather.bland@salisbury.anglican.org

Further  guidance on  Information Sharing see p.15-16

Specific considerations relating to offenders known to a church leader.

As  churches we have a statutory obligation to report all allegations against people who work with children to the local authority Designated Officer (LADO), and notify the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) of any relevant information so that those who pose a risk to vulnerable groups can be identified and barred.  In addition where they are a charity all serious incidents need reporting to the Charity Commission.  

In all such cases the Diocesan Advisor on Child Protection should be contacted, who will guide and assist in actions which must be taken.

In the event that a sexual or violent offender wishes to worship and be a part of St. Francis church community a contract of behaviour stipulating the boundaries an offender would be expected to keep will be completed with the vicar/safeguarding officer, who will make any decisions appropriate to ensure the safety of all children and young people who attend the church.  If the offender is unwilling to give this undertaking and continues to attend the church, further action will need to be taken such as informing the Offender Manager or the police, whichever is appropriate (MAPPA Guidance (2009)  National Offender Management Service Public Protection Unit.

Further advice can be found in The Gospel, Sexual Abuse and the Church.  A theological resource for the local church.  Produced by The Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England 2016 -  www.chpublishing.co.uk

Roles and Responsibilities 

Recruitment

Following receipt of references and in identified cases a favourable DBS Check the employee/volunteer will be free to work within the team.  Until the DBS Check has been completed and clearance is obtained the employee/volunteer will only be able to carry out their role under supervision.

(To be read in conjunction with the ‘Safer Recruitment Policy) June 2013 for the Church of England and he Methodist Church of Britain – on Diocesan website)

Role Description

All volunteers should be issued with a role description specifying their duties and a copy of this document. 

Confidentiality

• The Parish needs to be scrupulous in treating individual information as confidential.  All records should be kept securely and is the responsibility of the Safeguarding Officer, Children’s and families worker and/or Youth Work Leader as appropriate. Records will be kept for the length of time in accordance with current diocesan guidelines.

• Records taken are kept securely in the church building or vicarage office in a locked cabinet. Records held will be reviewed by relevant staff member and Parish Safeguarding Representative (or other suitable party to ensure proper accountability.) Records will be destroyed as necessary through this review process. • All records will be kept in line with principles of the Data Protection Act 1998: Processed fairly and lawfully, obtained and used for specific purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate, not kept for longer than is necessary, processed in line with a person’s rights and secure.

• Any records kept in relationship to a specific safeguarding issue should be held for 75 years.

• No children’s or young person’s worker / volunteer is permitted to divulge any information concerning a child, or his/her family or anything a child may tell them to anyone other than the designated people.

• Whilst confidentiality can never be promised to a child, information on a disclosure will only be shared appropriately where it is considered necessary

Complaints against a Worker

Should a complaint of any nature be made against a worker or volunteer, the Children’s Worker or Youth Worker should be informed.  They will in turn, inform the Vicar.  A complaint against a member of staff should be made directly to the Vicar.  A complaint against the Vicar should be made to the Diocesan Child Protection Co-ordinator.  Any complaint will be investigated appropriately and will involve the use of external organisations as necessary.  Appropriate decisions will be made to distinguish between internal procedural matters and allegations which would require external actions.

SAFE PRACTICE

All leaders, paid or otherwise, should be aware of any dangers within the confines of the meeting area and within the vicinity of any outside event away from the normal meeting area.  It is the responsibility of the leaders to ensure a safe environment.

Ratio of staff/volunteers to children and young people

At all times, the safety of all members and workers must be a prime concern.  While it is primarily the responsibility of the paid staff and leaders to ensure a safe environment, all workers need to be aware of the dangers, and know what action to take should difficulties arise.

Based on the recommendations of the Children Act 1989, the numbers will be as follows:-

 0 to 2 years   - 1:3

 2 to 3 years   - 1:4

 3 to 8 years   - 1:8

 Over 8’s   - 1:8 (first 8 children) followed by 1:12

Ensuring two leaders/workers are in available at all times.

Qualities of the Volunteer

We look to recruit as volunteer workers only those who agree with the ethos of Christianity and agree to not bring into disrepute St. Francis and St Lawrence Churches or any affiliates of the Benefice.

Role of the Volunteer

• All new volunteers are expected to show they have knowledge of this policy and that they are willing to attend Safeguarding Children training every three years.

• Each volunteer should receive a clear outline of their role and a copy of the ‘Guidelines for Volunteers’.  This which should include:-                                                          

a) The name of the person who will support them

b) A brief description of the work they will undertake with children

c) Guidance on creating safe situations where it is difficult for abuse to occur

d) Awareness of appropriate behaviour (see policy)

e) The action that should be taken if abuse is discovered or disclosed

Individual Safety of Paid Employees and Volunteers

• It is advisable that volunteers should not be used in isolated areas; they should be encouraged to work in situations where there is more than one adult present.

• In situations where an adult is alone with a child they should be easily observed by others nearby, i.e. if left alone in a room the door should always be kept open.

• Groups should always have two leaders to ensure the group is never left unattended.  Where possible there should be a male and female leader.

• Individual leaders should be discouraged from giving lifts in cars unless there is another adult present and permission is obtained from the parent/guardian. 

• Children should never be encouraged to visit the leader at their home.

Where possible an employee or volunteer should never be left alone with a child.

Leaders/supervisors should ensure that employees/volunteers are not unnecessarily exposed to risk.  Junior leaders should never be left alone with children.

Church Choir

Where the church choir includes any young person under the age of 18 years it is the responsibility of the leaders of the choir to ensure all adult choristers have references taken up.

St. Lawrence Bell Tower

Where the Bell Tower includes any young person under the age of 18, it is responsibility of the Tower Captain, supervised by the PCC to ensure national guidelines for keeping children and young people safe are adhered to.

Collection after an Event

No child or young person should be allowed to wait alone for a parent to collect them.  Two Children’s Workers / Youth Leader should remain with the child or young person until they are collected, or following a phone call to home, two people may give the child or young person a lift home, as detailed above.

Children and young people may make their own way home if permission has been given by the parents/guardians and the leader of the event has been informed of this.

Special Needs

Where a child or young person has special needs every effort will be sought to meet these appropriately.  Parents will be asked to make group leaders aware of any special needs their children may have.

Use of Photographs

At Appropriate times, photographs and sometimes video recordings are taken of the children and young people, to show at a church service, for use on our website and social media platforms or in other ways to publicise our work.  Where this is the case, photographs taken at a large event are considered public domain and permission is not required. 

When an image is of a specific person or persons, a written consent from the person or person’s parent’s will be gained appropriately.  The consent forms will contain details of how and where such images could be used.  Pictures, wherever displayed, will not reveal unnecessary information, and in the case of under 18’s, their full names or any other details.  Such consent will have a ‘shelf-life’ of two years recorded in the agreement, and images will not be used after this period.

The SNUG: drop-in at St Francis

As part of ongoing work in the youth lounge, drop-in in the SNUG is offered to young people.

Appropriate Behaviour  - Staff and Volunteers

We recognise that our workers offer a clear role model to our children and young people.  We expect, therefore, all staff and volunteers to uphold clear and appropriate standards in their behaviour, dress, speech and attitude.  Relationships with children and young people must be kept on a strictly professional level.

Ministry

In the case of general ministry, when God acts sovereignly, the workers role is simply to bless what he is doing and only minister to those of the same sex wherever possible. This type of ministry would generally follow an invitation from the front to be open to receiving the Holy Spirit.

In cases of individual ministry, where a person has requested specific prayer, it should be undertaken only by workers of the same sex and preferably in twos.  All ministry should uphold the values expressed under “Safe from Harm” and be undertaken sensitively and under the direction and authority of a designated leader.

Off-Site Activities 

Any off-site activities, days out or residential time away requires careful planning.  Leaders are responsible for ensuring appropriate safety measures are in place prior to the event taking place.  A ‘Parental Consent Form’ must be completed and returned for each child / young person attending.  This form includes information of the parents’ full details and emergency contact numbers.  In addition a completed medical form is required to accompany the party.  All times of collection and return must be clearly stated.  A ‘base contact’ will be appointed for contact in the event of any delays or other unforeseen circumstances.  A list of attendees will be left with the ‘base contact’ who will inform parents appropriately.

Other Meetings

It may from time to time be deemed appropriate to meet with young people for mentoring or an informal discussion. This will always be done in agreement with the young person and permission will be sought from parents or guardians for those under 18 years old. The following principles will be taken into account when these meeting occur:

APPROPRIATE - Meetings with young people outside the youth lounge should be arranged in conjunction with the youth work leader and should follow the usual guidelines for work with young people at St Francis Church. In particular, the following guidelines need highlighting. Meetings will be arranged as and when the needs arise but will always have a purpose to them.

• Meetings should take place in a public place, for example a coffee shop or a park or in the youth lounge or other church rooms, in conjunction with Parents where appropriate.

• Though we intend to keep a level of confidentiality, we never promise secrecy. We have a responsibility to report any issues that are of concern (i.e. abuse, bullying, self harm) and need to be prepared for the legal implications that may come from that.

ACCOUNTABILITY- Meetings should be recorded using the appropriate forms (i.e. oneto-one records, concerns records).  Any issues of concern need to be reported and to be discussed with the Youth Work Leader, who may then refer it to the Safeguarding Officer and/or Vicar.

OPEN - Where appropriate, parents will be informed of meeting with their children. The parents then may well need to be contacted to discuss the out comes of the meeting with the youth work leader or appropriate person. The young person obviously has a right to decline to meet however if they agree to meet and then do not attend, then that will be dealt with appropriately.

HOSPITABLE - It is important to make young people feel safe and welcome, the same as if they were attending youth clubs. This means it may be appropriate to offer to buy them a drink and/or a small cake. Always try and leave a meeting on a positive note offering to pray with young people if appropriate. Any costs incurred can be claimed as an expense.

REVIEW - Meetings will be reviewed by the youth work leaders where appropriate to determine what actions need to be taken from them.

First Aid

A qualified First Aider is available at all organised activities for children and young people.

St. Lawrence – A first Aid Kit is available on the back shelf underneath the stairs in church and also in the Reading Room.

St Francis. - A First Aid Kit can be located in both kitchens in the church.  All accidents or near misses, no matter how insignificant must be recorded in the Accident Book, which can be found in the Vestry. 

Prescribed Medication

Leaders of children and young people’s groups will not administer prescription or any other drugs.  Where a child or young person requires prescription medication during an activity, we will allow them to administer it themselves.  A pre-existing injury form and/or medical administration form should be filled in were appropriate other than in the case of an asthma inhaler.

Social Media Policy and Electronic Communication

All Communication done electronically that is done on behalf of St Francis Church (both via social media and ‘privately’) will be done in accordance with Social Media Policy and Electronic communication policy.

Drugs and Alcohol

Illegal drugs, solvents or alcohol are not permitted at our children’s and youth events.  Smoking is not allowed within our buildings or when engaged in children’s or youth activities.

Anyone found in the possession of alcohol on site or attending an off-site event will be asked to hand it in to a worker to be disposed of.  It is recognised that alcohol may be available at selected church social events.  Under these circumstances we look to our workers to model appropriate behaviour.

Any illegal substances found on the premises should be destroyed in the presence of an adult witness.  Any transfer of the substance from a young person to a worker should also be witnessed.  Alternatively, a substance could be handed into the police.  The worker is not obliged to report such an incident to the police, but should inform their appropriate member of staff as soon as possible.

Self Harm

Where self harm is suspected, reported or disclosed, it should be reported to the session leader at the earliest possible convenience and recorded appropriately. From there the best course of action to ensure safety for that young person will be decided. This will be reported to the designated safeguarding officer.

Internet and WIFI

The is public internet access across the entire site at St Francis Church. Efforts have been made to limit access to inappropriate content through the church WIFI systems.

Wi-fi is available in St. Lawrence Reading Room.

In the case of any safeguarding or child protection concerns, volunteers and paid employees should follow the Safeguarding Policy which can be found on the St. Francis website or a copy at the back of the church.

REMEMBER:

 SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN IS ‘EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS

 

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS

Vicar of St. Francis    - 01722 334214

Vicar of St Lawrence - 01722 504664

Curate of St. Francis    - 01722 414197

Youth Work Leader    - 01722 413644

Children and Families Worker  - 01722 413644

Safeguarding Children Reviewer     - 01722 334330

Wiltshire Multi-Agency 

Safeguarding Hub (MASH)   - 0300 4560108

Out of Hours Social Care    - 0845 6070888

Diocese Safeguarding Advisor  - 01722 411922 / 07500 664800

Information sharing 

Effective sharing of information between professionals/organisations and local agencies is essential for effective identification, assessment and service provision.  Early sharing of information is the key to providing effective early help where there are emerging problems. At the other end of the continuum, sharing information can be essential to put in place effective child protection services. Serious Case Reviews (SCRs) have shown how poor information sharing has contributed to the deaths or serious injuries of children. 

Fears about sharing information cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children. To ensure effective safeguarding arrangements: 

• all organisations should have arrangements in place which set out clearly the processes and     the principles for sharing information between each other, with other professionals and with the LSCB; and no professional/volunteer should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to keeping a child safe. If a professional/volunteer has concerns about a child’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer harm, then they should share the information with their group leader but if there is a disagreement and the professional/ volunteer feels strongly that the local authority children’s social care should be informed it is their responsibility to take this forward.

References:

A Church Child Protection Policy (1999) Watton on the Web part of River Ministries Norfolk

Child Protection Policy – St. Pauls’ Church, Salisbury

Policy of Child Protection (1999) ‘A Policy Document by the House of Bishops’ Church House Publishing 

‘Safer Recruitment Policy'

‘Safe from Harm’ (1993) Home Office Code of Practice, Department of Health, Department for Education and the Welsh Office 

Working Together to Safeguarding Children (Dfes 2010/2013)

Salisbury Diocese Fact Sheets (07 February 2000)

South West Child Protection Procedures (Wiltshire LSCB)

 

Appendix 1

Definitions of Child Abuse

Physical Harm -

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 feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.

Neglect –

is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development.  It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger, leaving a child with inappropriate carers or abandoning a child, preventing social interaction, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to a child’s basic emotional needs.

Emotional Harm-

Children harmed by constant lack of love and affection, or threats, verbal attacks, taunting or shouting.  This may be caused by seeing the abuse of another (consider domestic abuse within the home).  All other forms of abuse will include emotional abuse.

Sexual Harm-

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 or non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material, or watching sexual activities.

The recognition of abuse

These warning signs are only a guide and not necessarily proof of abuse, if in doubt advice should be sought from your group leader.

• changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child becomes withdrawn or clingy, not wanting to go home.

• Becoming aggressive

• Nervousness / watchfulness

• Sudden underachievement or lack of concentration

• Change or inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults

• Attention seeking behaviour

• Persistent tiredness

• Running away/stealing/lying

Areas which may give rise to a greater level of concern

• Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them

• Injuries where different explanations are given by carers or the child

• Injuries to the body which are unusual or in unusual places.  Not those which are usually caused by falls or playing rough games.

• Injuries which aren’t in keeping with the developmental age of the child

• Injuries or illnesses which have not received medical attention

• Unusual reluctance to remove protective clothing

• Any signs of neglect, undernourishment or  inadequate care

• Any allegations made by a child concerning abuse

• Child with an excessive pre-occupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour or who regularly engages in age inappropriate sexual behaviour

• Sexual activity through words, play or drawing

• Child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults

• Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home

• Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares

These signs may not mean that abuse has taken place but they should make us stop and think, consider the possibilities of abuse and whether advice needs to be sought from a leader.

Further information on any of the above can be found on South West Region Child Protection Procedures

Sexual exploitation of children as described in the government guidance document:-

‘involving exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive something (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of the performing and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities.  It can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition: e.g. Being persuaded to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones, without immediate payment or gain. In all cases those exploiting the child have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.  Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability (DoH 2008).

Children and young people should be given the opportunity to talk with an independent person.  There should be information available or advertised about:-

Childline   - 0800 1111     NSPCC Helpline - 0800 800500


 

Appendix 2

 

Working Together to Safeguard Children  2018

The needs stated by children are quite clear and some are relevant to us as a church:- 

* Vigilance: to have adults notice when things are troubling them

Understanding and action: to understand what is happening; to be heard and understood; and to have that understanding acted upon

Stability: to be able to develop an ongoing stable relationship of trust with those helping them

Respect: to be treated with the expectation that they are competent rather than not

Information and Engagement: to be informed about and involved in procedures, decisions, concerns and plans