These procedures should be read in conjunction with Stocksfield Baptist Church’s Safeguarding Policy Statement which sets out the Church’s commitment to provide a safe environment for children and young people. The purpose of these procedures is to set out how the Church will put into practice the principles embodied in the Policy Statement. These procedures will be reviewed annually to ensure that they stay abreast of current best practice in the area of Child Protection.
- Young person
- Anyone under the age of 18 years.
- The person with overall responsibility for the activity or group concerned
- An adult who assists in the running of the group or activity and shares the responsibilities.
- An adult or young person who assists in the running of the group or activity but is not given sole responsibility for the group.
The whole church (church members or non church members)
We recognise that our work with children and young people is the responsibility of the whole church community, and that it is the duty of each one of us:
- to ensure that there is a welcome for children and young people in the life of our church
- to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people
- to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and
- to report any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected to the Designated Person for Safeguarding.
All workers with children and young people
All of those working with children and young people should take personal responsibility for implementing the policy and procedures. They will each be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and receive training, in order that they:
- can implement the guidelines for good practice
- follow the agreed code of behaviour (see Section 8) when working with children and young people
- are aware of ways in which children and young people are harmed and possible signs of abuse
- know how to respond if a child or young person discloses abuse
- know what to do if an allegation is made about a fellow worker
- know who to speak to if they have any concerns or suspicions.
Coordinators of children’s and young people’s groups
In addition to the responsibilities detailed in 2.2 all coordinators of groups need to know:
- that new volunteers must go through a formal appointment process including a DBS check where appropriate, and how to initiate this via the Designated Person for Safeguarding.
- the principles of good supervision
- what to do if another worker shares with them a concern about a child or young person
- how to access pastoral support for workers.
Minister, elders and deacons
The minister, elders and deacons are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented and resourced in the church. They should be fully conversant with the policy and procedures and should ensure that:
- there is a mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the policy
- the policy is appropriately communicated to the whole church
- those working with children and young people, and those co-ordinating this work, are properly trained, resourced and supported.
The minister additionally has responsibility for ensuring that appropriate pastoral support is provided in the context of any safeguarding investigation and therefore should be made aware of any safeguarding and child protection issues within the church (except in the case that the minister is the subject of an allegation).
The Safeguarding Deacon takes a lead within the diaconate on safeguarding issues:
- to ensure that there is a proper process in place to write and update the safeguarding policy and procedures
- to monitor implementation of the policy and procedures
- to ensure the policy and procedures are reviewed annually
- to liaise with the Designated Person for Safeguarding and keep the diaconate informed of any issues or incidents as appropriate.
Designated Person for Safeguarding
The Designated Person for Safeguarding is the central contact point for any safeguarding concerns raised within the church. This person will:
- receive and record information from anyone who has safeguarding concerns
- assess the information and consult with others as appropriate
- make formal referral to Social Services, the police or the Disclosure and Barring Service if appropriate or as advised
- be the link between the church and the NBA for safeguarding matters
- complete the paperwork and administration relating to the appointment of workers
- coordinate training in safeguarding issues.
Youth Work Co-ordinator and Children’s Work Coordinator
Part of the responsibility of the Youth Work Co-ordinator and Children’s Work Coordinator is to be a voice for young people and children in the life of the church, and to find ways of enabling children’s and young people’s own voices to be heard. In addition they have a role in helping to ensure that safeguarding issues are addressed and procedures followed.
Deacon responsible for the building
This person is the point of contact for any concerns relating to the health and safety of children and young people using the church building and facilities.
Prevention and Reporting of Abuse
The issue of safeguarding will be raised by the Designated Person at least annually in the church meeting and in the church service in order to remind the whole church community of our responsibilities in providing a welcome for children and young people, preventing abuse, responding appropriately to concerns and reporting any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.
All those who work with children and young people will be trained (see Section 6.3) to be alert to the possible indicators that a child or young person is being abused. to understand who can cause harm to children and young people and how that harm might be discovered to know how to respond if a child or young person discloses some form of abuse All children’s and young people’s workers will be issued with a summary of advice on these issues upon taking up their role.
All workers having a concern about the welfare of a child or young person or the behaviour of an adult, whether as a result of some form of disclosure or not, will not take responsibility for deciding whether or not child abuse is actually taking place, will not act alone and will not take sole responsibility for what has been shared or any concerns they may have, but will Report the concern using the standard incident report form attached as Annexe A of these procedures as soon as possible and in any case within 24 hours. Records should be signed and dated and kept secure and confidential, normally being made available only to the Designated Person for Safeguarding or the minister, and to representatives of the professional agencies as required by them. Report the concern to the Designated Person for Safeguarding as soon as possible and in any case 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 Designated Person is not available, efforts should be made immediately to report the concern to the Safeguarding Deacon, Minister or next most suitable person, as indicated in Annexe B of these procedures.
The Designated Person, on being informed of a concern, will the report, together with any other relevant information and take a decision as to what action should follow. as appropriate, either to others for further information or advice, to the police or Social Services if appropriate, or back to the worker raising the concern all actions taken in reviewing and referring a concern on the incident report form attached as Annexe A of these procedures.
Depending on the action taken as a result of the concern, the Designated Person will REPORT as appropriate to the Safeguarding Deacon, the Minister, the Regional Minister, the Local Authority Designated Person and the Disclosure and Barring Service. The Designated Person, the Safeguarding Deacon and the Minister will also arrange, in conjunction with others as appropriate, to the child or young person concerned, other family members, church workers and others involved.
Support for those affected by abuse
Support and pastoral care will be offered, in partnership with Social Services and other agencies where these are involved, to the child or young person concerned and their family.
Support and counselling will also be offered to those with designated responsibilities for child protection and those working within the church to whom a child may have shared experiences of abuse.
Those who face allegations of any kind of abuse and those convicted of any offence will also be offered appropriate support and pastoral care. However, those working with children and young people should be aware that if an allegation is made against them, they will normally be advised or required to withdraw from their responsibilities while an investigation is carried out. In some circumstances they may even be asked not to attend the church during the period of an investigation. This may feel hurtful, in that it may feel that one is being treated as “guilty until proven innocent”, but it is regarded as best practice in these circumstances because it is the welfare of the children or young people which is paramount.
The person offering primary pastoral support to a victim or alleged victim of abuse will not be the same person offering primary pastoral support to the perpetrator or suspected perpetrator.
Safe recruitment and appointment
The process for recruiting and appointing volunteer workers will include the following steps:
When a need for new workers is identified, the Youth or Children’s Work Coordinator, and if necessary the minister, will make a personal approach to suitable people, or publicise the need more widely within the church using the church meeting or church notices as appropriate.
The Youth or Children’s Work Coordinator, and if necessary the minister, will draft a role profile which describes the aim of the group, the tasks and responsibilities involved in the position, the time commitment anticipated and the name of the person to whom they will be responsible. The profile will state that the person appointed will be required to apply for an Enhanced DBS disclosure, that they will be expected to work within the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures and will be required to attend the church’s safeguarding training.
All volunteer applicants will be asked to complete Stocksfield Baptist Church’s volunteer application form, available from the Designated Person for Safeguarding, giving their personal details, information on their skills and experience of working with children and young people, signing the declaration that there is no reason why they should not be working with children or young people, and giving the names of two referees, neither of which should be relatives or related by marriage and at least one of which should be someone outside the church. If the applicant currently works with children or young people in another capacity, that employer or organisation should always be asked for a reference. If the applicant has recently come from another church, that church should always be asked for a reference. The Designated Person for Safeguarding will receive completed application forms and will take up the references.
The volunteer will be interviewed by at least two suitable people (drawn from the minister, the Youth Work Coordinator, the Children’s Work Coordinator, the Designated Person for Safeguarding, the Safeguarding Deacon and the relevant group coordinator) to confirm their skills, experience and suitability for the role in question. A model interview structure is attached as Annexe C of these procedures, and training in interviewing technique will be offered.
The interviewers will make a decision as to the suitability of the person, referring to others within the group of potential interviewers for advice if necessary.
The volunteer applicant will be asked to complete an Enhanced DBS disclosure, available from the Designated Person for Safeguarding. Stocksfield Baptist Church undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information received. A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to a person serving with children and young people - this will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences.
On appointment the volunteer will be issued with their role profile, a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures, and a copy of the summary of advice on Prevention and Reporting of Abuse. They will be asked to sign an undertaking to work at all times within the terms of the policy and procedures and to attend safeguarding training sessions.
Personal information on volunteers will be stored securely by the Designated Person for Safeguarding and accessed only on a 'need to know' basis.
It should be noted that these arrangements apply to helpers over the age of 18, as well as to leaders of activities.
If someone is considering whether or not to volunteer to lead or help with a particular activity, it may in some circumstances be helpful for them to “visit” the activity. Such visits may be valuable in ascertaining whether the person is suitably skilled and experienced for the role, as well as enabling them to clarify for themselves whether they feel called to continue. However, this situation must not be allowed to continue unformalised. A decision on the suitability of the person should be made as quickly as possible and each element of the process for appointing workers followed through. A person “visiting” an activity should not be left unsupervised with children or young people.
Under 18s may take on roles as helpers within children’s and young people’s groups, but will be closely supervised by an adult and will not be given sole responsibility for a group. The Designated Person for Safeguarding must be informed of under 18s taking on such roles so that they can give consideration to whether they need to be appointed under the church’s safeguarding procedures and an Enhanced DBS Disclosure sought.
Efforts will be made to ensure that volunteers coming from overseas who will be working with children and young people on behalf of the church are suitable by ensuring that they have completed an application form and provided references which have been followed up and found suitable, and that, where possible, declarations have been obtained from their local police force that there is no known reason why they cannot work with children or young people. Overseas volunteers will be given an orientation and induction programme, usually by the Designated Person, before starting their work, which introduces them to the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
The appointment of paid workers to work with children or young people will cover all the same elements as that for volunteers but in addition a full job description and person specification will be produced, appropriate advertising will be undertaken, the application form used will be reviewed and amended as appropriate, a formal shortlisting and interview process will be undertaken any breaks in their employment history will be thoroughly investigated the candidate’s right to work in the UK will be checked a contract of employment will be issued Back to top
Training, support and supervision
A clear structure will be set up, where each leader and helper is directly responsible to the Youth Work Co-ordinator (youth activities) who is responsible to the minister and management group, or to the Children’s Work Co-ordinator (children’s activities) who is responsible to the minister, and thence to the church’s leadership and the Church Meeting.
Newly appointed volunteers will serve a probationary period of six months. During this period, appropriate oversight of the volunteer will be organised to ensure that they develop healthy relationships with the children or young people they are working with, that they work within the agreed code of behaviour and that they work well with other members of the team. At the end of the probationary period, a further structured conversation will be held with the volunteer to reflect on their experience and review the appointment. A model structure for this conversation is attached as Annexe D of these procedures. If the person concerned, the group co-ordinator, children’s or youth work co-ordinator and minister are agreed that they are called, gifted and suitable for the ministry in this particular group, then the person concerned shall be appointed as a ‘fully accredited’ leader.
Training in safeguarding issues will be given to all volunteers according to the following pattern: Summary of advice on Prevention and Reporting of Abuse issued on appointment along with role profile and copy of Safeguarding policy and procedures. Initial training session undertaken as soon as practicable after appointment (run once or twice yearly according to demand) Annual update training given in the context of existing programme of children’s and youth work meetings Refresher training sessions at least every three years
Networks of supervision and mutual support will be established, focused around team meetings for groups (for example, Lighthouse leaders meetings or youth group leaders meetings) in which volunteers can discuss together how work is being done, identify the needs of children and young people, identify needs for further training, and help one another to maintain the culture of good practice that is the key to safeguarding children and young people. All those working with children and young people will be encouraged and supported in holding each other accountable for their actions and challenging any behaviour which crosses the line of what is acceptable or appropriate. It will be made clear to volunteers that they can request a discussion of any aspect of their situation at any time if they feel this would be beneficial. 6.5 Additional training in safeguarding and related issues (such as interviewing techniques, risk assessment etc.) will be given to Youth and Children’s Work Coordinators. Back to top
Ensuring Safe Supervision
No one adult should be alone on church premises with a child or group of children or young people.
Children and young people are not to be given access to church premises unless responsible adults are present.
Group meetings involving children or young people are to be run by at least two adults, of whom at least one should be a leader. The one exception to this policy is Sunday morning Lighthouse groups running on church premises whilst the service is taking place, which may be led by one adult leader. Where this is the case, leaders will leave doors to rooms ajar. Where a Lighthouse group has an attendance of only one child, the class will join together with the age group either above or below them. Recommended minimum ratios of adults to children will be followed in all cases. No Lighthouse group will leave the church premises with fewer than two adults present.
As far as possible, a leader is not to be alone with a child where their activity cannot be seen. Two people should normally be present before the doors are opened as children or young people arrive for a group and two should remain until the last child has left the building or room at the end of a meeting. On church premises, this may mean leaving doors open, or two groups using the same room.
In a situation where a young person asks to speak to a worker on their own, for example in order to seek support or pastoral guidance, where privacy and confidentiality are important, it would be preferable for this to take place in a quiet corner of the room where others are present but where sufficient privacy is ensured. If this is not possible, hold the conversation in a room with the door left open. Another adult should know the interview is taking place and with whom. Another adult should be in the building, and the young person should know they are there. If the worker believes that to speak to the young person on their own would place them in a vulnerable position the worker can insist that another worker also be present.
A register is to be kept of all children and young people attending activities on the church premises. This is helpful for recording attendance and essential in the case of a fire. The group or activity co-ordinator should take responsibility to make sure that the register is in use on each occasion the group meets or activity takes place.
Where children and young people are being cared for in the absence of their parents/carers, for example during a holiday club or after school club or a trip away from church premises, all children and young people must be registered and relevant information obtained, including address and contact details, details of medical conditions, allergies, dietary information etc. Consent forms for emergency medical treatment, use of photography and for travel arrangements should be completed where appropriate. This information should be readily available to workers. Information on the activities children will be undertaking and the time limits of these should be communicated to parents/carers, and arrangements for returning children to their parents care should be clarified. Where children are collected from activities (this is normally the case for children up to 11 years old) nominated persons should be identified by the parent/carer as acceptable to carry out this task, should the parent/carer be unavailable to collect their child.
Parents and carers should be advised that the Church operates a safeguarding policy and made aware of who they can contact if any issue arises. This will be done annually during the church service, and via correspondence to parents/carers for groups meeting outside of Sunday mornings (e.g. Red Bananas, Holiday Club).
All parents will take responsibility for the behaviour and actions of their children throughout church events, socials, all-age services and before the start of and after the conclusion of the formal Sunday services, Lighthouse activities, youth meetings etc. On a Sunday morning this means that: Children in crèche will be brought back into the sanctuary at the end of the service and reunited with their parent or carer. Leaders of Lighthouse should ensure that each child is reunited with his/her parents/carers immediately on the conclusion of the morning service. Parents should aim to be aware of where their children are in (or outside) the building and what they are doing.
All helpers should be supervised by a recognised leader. This means the following: Never leaving the group in the sole care of the helper, except in an emergency. Making sure that the helper is familiar with safeguarding principles. Undertaking to train and mentor the helper, so that they learn principles of children’s and youth ministry from the leader.
Whenever any group is meeting on the church premises, leaders must ensure that their group has a mobile phone for emergency telephone calls, as the church office will not normally be open. This also applies to outside groups using the church premises.
Youth and children’s coordinators are responsible for carrying out annual general risk assessments for their group’s activities and specific risk assessments for activities involving greater risk or activities taking place away from the normal venue. To this end they will familiarise themselves with SBC’s ‘Trips Preparation and Protocol’ document. Written records of risk assessments will be made and stored by the coordinators.
If a children’s or young people’s activity involves an overnight stay, a risk assessment will be undertaken to identify the potential issues relating to safety and security and appropriate procedures and safeguards should then be put in place. These would cover such areas as ratios of leaders to children and young people, sleeping arrangements, communicating details of the trip to parents/carers and obtaining appropriate consents, etc. Detailed guidance on looking after children overnight, contained within the Baptist Union’s “Safe to Grow” publication, will be consulted.
Whenever transport to and from an event or activity is offered by the church and arrangements are made by the church, written permission should be obtained from the parent or carer. Those driving the transport must be folk who have been cleared by the church to have contact with children and young people and who therefore have been referenced and hold an Enhanced DBS disclosure. must agree to the church’s code of behaviour when transporting children (point 8.12 below) must have fully comprehensive insurance which covers voluntary work (or in the case of an employed worker, transporting others in connection with their employment) must not have a history of driving offences suggesting that they may not be a safe driver must sign a statement confirming that all the above requirements have been met (If, on the other hand, transport arrangements are informal private arrangements made between parents, these procedures will not apply. It is therefore important that the church and parents are clear about the nature of the arrangements applying in each circumstance.)
The Church’s letting conditions will include a statement requiring outside groups and organisations working with children and young people and using Church premises to confirm with the Safeguarding Deacon that they have an appropriate Safeguarding policy.
Code of Behaviour
All those working with children or young people will undertake to follow the following code of behaviour:
Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity.
Use age appropriate language and tone of voice. Be aware of your 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, observing body language at the same time.
Do not engage in any of the following:
- invading the privacy of children or young people when they are showering or toileting
- rough games involving physical contact between a leader and a child or young person.
- sexually provocative games
- making sexually suggestive comments about or to a young person, even in ‘fun’
- scapegoating, belittling, ridiculing, or rejecting a child or young person
Consider carefully the appropriateness of physical contact. Avoid physical contact if no one else is present. Use in a way that conveys appropriate concern but is least likely to be misconstrued. Be aware of the child or young person’s reaction and be prepared to be accountable to fellow workers.
Never enter into a sexual relationship with a young person, even if the young person in question is legally of an age to consent, or form a romantic relationship with a child or young person with whom you have a relationship of trust, as this would be an abuse of this trust.
Control and discipline children without using physical punishment.
Do not respond to or encourage excessive attention-seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature.
When a child first attends crèche or Little Stars, their parents/carers are to be asked whether they wish to be notified if their child needs a nappy changing or needs help with toileting, or whether the parent prefers to give express permission in advance to a named leader to deal with this. If the child’s parent or carer is not present make sure another adult is present with you, if necessary by changing the nappy in the crèche room. It is also necessary to ask whether baby-wipes can be used on the child’s face.
Do not plan your work in such a way as to be alone with children or young people where your activity cannot be seen by others. If there is an unplanned occasion when you find yourself alone in sole charge of children or young people:
- assess the risks of sending children home against the risks of being alone with them
- phone the Designated Person for Safeguarding to report the situation. (If the Designated Person is unavailable contact another suitable leader)
- make a written report of the situation and submit it to the Designated Person and Safeguarding Deacon.
Do not invite a child or young person to your home alone. It is acceptable for groups of children to be invited to a leaders home provided another adult is in the house and provided each parent/carer knows where their child is and at what time they should return home.
Do not give lifts to children or young people on their own, wherever possible. If they are alone, it is advisable to have another adult observe that the child/young person is seated in the rear of the car as it drives off. When giving lifts, boys and girls should be segregated wherever possible so that they are not sitting together on the back seat. Always insist that seat belts are worn when travelling and that appropriate child seats are used for children under 12. It is good practice to insist that the same children travel with the same adults on the outgoing and return journeys to minimise the risk of children going astray because of false assumptions that someone else has taken them.
Safe Electronic Communications
Direct electronic communication with children under the age of 11 is inappropriate and should be avoided.
Workers must seek the permission of the parent or carer as well as of the young person themselves, in order to have the email address, mobile phone number or other electronic means of communication with a young person.
Only workers who have been appointed under the church’s safeguarding procedures to work with children or young people should use any electronic means of communication to contact children or young people on behalf of the church.
Workers should be careful in their communications with children and young people so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation of their motives. Electronic communication should only be used between the hours of 8.00am and 10.00pm. Electronic communications, including mobile phone usage, with young people should generally be for information giving purposes only and not for general chatter. Text conversations should usually be avoided. Clear unambiguous language should be used, avoiding the use of abbreviations and ‘text language’ so that there is no misunderstanding of what is being communicated.
Should a young person in need or at a point of crisis use electronic communication to seek help from 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.
Workers should not share 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 part of their role.
The use of the phone camera should comply with the church’s policy on photos. No child may be photographed without the express permission of their parents/carers.
Workers should not retain images of children and young people from the church on their mobile phone.
Workers should not have children or young people from the church as friends on social networking sites.
First Aid Arrangements
A first aid kit is kept on the kitchen windowsill facing the Angus Room. All children’s workers need to know of this location.
Anyone using an item from the First Aid kit should notify Margaret Douglas, the person responsible for maintaining the kit, so that the item can be replaced as necessary.
Accidents are to be recorded in an accident book located with the first aid kit.
In the event of a medical emergency, the parents of the young person concerned should be notified immediately.
Parents should notify the co-ordinator of the relevant group or activity of any important medical information concerning their child.
Health and Safety Arrangements
The Church’s Health and Safety Procedures must take into account the needs of children and young people. This will entail ensuring that:
Access to the building is maintained in a condition which is safe and well-lit.
To ensure that no young children can escape and leave the building unsupervised, stair gates or furniture are used as necessary to keep small children in their designated room.
Strangers cannot get into the building during a children’s or young person’s activity without being noticed. Normal outside doors are locked to outside ingress. During services, the side door is locked and the key needed for access to the toilets is hung at the exit from the sanctuary.
Furniture is in a safe condition and of the appropriate size for the children or young people using it.
Any hazards (e.g. tools, cleaning equipment) are removed or out of reach of the children. Children must not be allowed to enter the lean-to store.
Rooms are maintained in a clean and tidy state, for example making sure that the floors are litter-free before, during and after use.
Sockets in the Angus Room and Hall have plastic protectors in place when not in use.
Children’s and Youth leaders and, where possible, the children and young people themselves, are consulted whenever refurbishment or redevelopment of rooms or buildings is planned to ensure that their needs are taken into consideration.
The Church will ensure that its insurance policies are adequate for the work it undertakes with children and young people on and off the Church premises.
Any concerns relating to the building should be notified to the deacon responsible or the minister.
Arrangements in the event of a Fire
Fire safety signs and exits must be pointed out to all children once a year during a communal activity. The following pointers will be helpful to adult members of the congregation:
- All church members and attendees are to be familiarised with the evacuation procedure in the event of a fire. This should be done through reminders during church notices or in the printed notice sheet. A copy of the fire procedure should be kept in each room.
- All church members should familiarise themselves with location of extinguishers and fire exits. On discovering a fire, the person concerned should shout ‘Fire’ repeatedly so that all present within the building are alerted.
- Each person is to evacuate the building by the nearest available exit. Parents are not to collect their own children if they are in the care of other leaders. Young people’s leaders are to ensure the safe evacuation of the young people under their care.
- A 999 call should be made immediately (using the office telephone or a mobile) in every case unless the fire is immediately extinguished.
- If the risk is not too great, the person who has discovered the fire should enlist the help of such adults as necessary to help to put the fire out.
- On leaving the building, everyone should assemble in the car park at the front of the church. Young people’s leaders are to check off people with the register to ensure that all have left the building safely.
- All outside groups using the church premises should be notified of the fire procedure.
Ensuring a safe community: prevention of bullying
Coordinators of children’s and young people’s groups will involve the children and young people in agreeing a code of behaviour which makes it clear that bullying is unacceptable.
Children and young people will be informed that they can report any incidents of bullying to any of their leaders.
Any allegations of bullying will be treated seriously, carefully checked and investigated, and 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, and the action taken, will be recorded by the leaders dealing with the allegation/incident.
Ensuring a safe community: supervision and pastoral care of offenders
Those known to have abused a child or young person in the past will nevertheless be given a welcome in the church and receive the love and friendship of the church community, provided that there is an explicit understanding that they are willing to avoid situations involving contact with children/young people, as appropriate. They will be offered appropriate support and pastoral care.
Those who have offended against children/young people in the past will not be given positions of trust with respect to children/young people within the church, though they will not be debarred from other active involvement in the life of the church.
Where appropriate the church will seek to work in partnership with other agencies, for example, in liaison with a probation officer, where one has been appointed.
Where appropriate, particularly in cases where the past offence has been of a sexual nature, a discussion will be held, normally between the minister or church leader, the Designated Person and the person concerned, in which clear boundaries are established for their involvement in the life of the church. This will be formalised by a written contract identifying appropriate behaviour which the person will be asked to sign. Arrangements will be made as appropriate to monitor and enforce this contract. If it is broken, sanctions will be considered, for example, to further restrict the person’s attendance at events where children are present or to disclose appropriate information to more people in order to ensure a higher degree of supervision of the person. Ultimately it might be necessary to ban a person from attending the church.
Annexe B: Referral of concerns and disclosure
Who should I refer to if:
- I have a concern about a child or young person?
- I have a concern about the behaviour of a fellow worker or other adult in the church with respect to children and young people?
- A child or young person has made a disclosure of some kind of possible abuse?
First port of call
The Designated Person for Safeguarding - This is Nicki Davies-Jones
Second port of call
If this person is not available, the second port of call is either:
- The Minister - This is Pete Jorysz
- The Safeguarding Deacon - This is Lizzie Hodgson
Third port of call
If these people are not available, the third port of call is either:
- The Youth Work Coordinator This is Tim Knight
- The Children’s work Coordinator This is Jo Knight.
If you have not managed to make contact with anyone at this point you need to decide whether a child is in any imminent danger of harm.
Imminent danger of harm
If a child is in imminent danger of harm you should make a referral without delay to either:
- The Police Ring 999
- Social Services - Ring Hexham Children Services on 01434 603582 or 0845 600 5252 (24 hours line)
Not imminent danger of harm
If you do not believe a child is in imminent danger of harm you should still report your concern to the Designated Person within 24 hours.
If you feel you need more urgent advice you can try to contact:
- An elder, deacon or other experienced youth or children’s worker in the church.
- The Northern Baptist Association’s Safeguarding Officer. This is Lynn Fletcher.
- The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) 24 hours helpline. Ring on: 0845 120 4550
In all cases: You must also make a written record of your concern using the standard incident report from and report your concern to the Designated Person within 24 hours.
Annexe C: Model Interview Structure – areas to cover:
Experience, gifts and motivation
What past experience do you have of working with children and/or young people? What age groups have you worked with? What gifts and abilities can you bring to your work with children/young people? Why do you want to work with children/young people at SBC? (Do they have a sense of call to the role?) Why do you want to move on from previous work with children/young people (if appropriate)?
The Role in question
Have you seen the role profile for this role? Do you have any questions about any aspect of the role?
Consider anything in from the person’s application form that gives cause for concern (e.g. employment record, gaps in their history, church involvement). Why is it important that we have safeguarding policies and procedures? How aware are you of the content of our policy and procedure? Do you have any questions about their content? Have you ever been suspected of harming children or young people in any context? Have you ever had children removed from your care?
Training and Support
Go through what will be expected of the volunteer in terms of attending training, regular meetings etc. What training do you think would be useful to you in this role? Go through arrangements for support and supervision of the volunteer. Ensure they know who they are accountable to. Explain arrangements for a probationary period.
Any other questions?
Annexe D: Model structure for conversation at the end of the probationary period.
- What has been good about working in this role?
- What have been the highlights?
- How do you feel that you are developing in your relationships with the children/young people?
- How have you found preparing for the sessions you have been involved in?
- Have the materials you have used been helpful?
- Have you had sufficient time to prepare?
- Have you felt well prepared?
- What have been the most difficult things about the role?
- Are there any things we could do to support you more in this role?
- Have you identified any further training which would benefit you?
Feedback any observations about the volunteer in the light of the way in which they have:
- engaged with children/young people
- cooperated with other workers
- engaged in training
- worked within the boundaries of the safeguarding procedures