St Michael’s, Kingsteignton
St Peter & St Paul, Teigngrace
Parish Safeguarding Policy
The following policy was agreed at the PCC meetings held on:
St Michael’s - 30th March 2015; reviewed 15th March 2018
St Peter & St Paul’s – 21st May 2015; reviewed 5th April 2018
1 General Statement
As members of the PCC we commit our church community to the support, nurture, protection and safeguarding of all, especially the young and vulnerable. We recognise that our work with children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of the whole church community. We are fully committed to acting within current legislation, guidance, national frameworks and the Diocesan Safeguarding procedures. We will also act in an open, transparent and accountable way in working in partnership with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Children and Adult Social Care Services, the Police, Probation Services and other agencies to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. We welcome staff and volunteers who are recruited in accordance with House of Bishops’ Interim Guidelines on Safer Recruitment 2013. This means we will ensure that those who are employed or who volunteer to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults are suitable for the role, that they know what the role entails and that they are supported in carrying it out.
In line with the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy and Guidance for Parishes we are committed to being:
a Church for all – Ensuring that St Michael’s/St Peter & St Paul’s has a healthy culture of welcome and inclusion, which affirms personal value for all and where no one feels inappropriately judged;
a Church open to self criticism – We recognize that we can always do better, but only if we remain open to criticism and avoid complacency. We recognize too that this will help to avoid the dangers of denial and defensiveness if a complaint is ever made concerning safeguarding;
a Church with a healthy intolerance of behaviour that is unholy.
2 Groups of People With Whom We Work
· children aged 0-10 years;
· young people aged 11-17 years;
We recognize that each of these groups is vulnerable to abuse in different ways.
(a) Children and young people
The following definitions of child abuse are taken from Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) and represent the recognised categories of abuse that will be used across all organisations and agencies involved in working with children and young people:
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 the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in, a child.
Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as the overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying, causing children to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
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 and development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing or shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-givers, or the failure to ensure access to inappropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include the neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
Sexual Abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) 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.
Other forms of abuse that may be particularly apparent within a Church Community are, as follows:
Organised/Institutional Abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abusers and a number of children. The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse children, sometimes acting in isolation, or may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse.
Spiritual Abuse is similar to emotional abuse on many levels, in that inappropriate expectations may be imposed upon children and young people. It may involve conveying to children the consequences of sinfulness in an inappropriate manner causing them fear and manipulating them into accepting what someone is preaching /teaching /saying. To say “You won’t go the heaven if you get run over by a bus on your way home” is a form of bullying, exploitation of emotions, manipulation of young minds and a corruption of the Gospel message. For further information, see the relevant sections of national Church of England guidance, particularly Protecting All God’s Children’ and ‘Responding Well.
Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief is based in a belief in ‘possession’ and ‘witchcraft’ and is widespread throughout the UK. It is not confined to people from particular countries, cultures or religions, nor is it confined to new immigrant communities in the UK. Nationally, the number of known cases of child abuse linked to accusations of ‘possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ is small, but children involved can suffer damage to their physical and mental health, capacity to learn, ability to form relationships and self esteem. Such abuse generally occurs when a carer views a child as being ‘different’, attributes this difference to the child being ‘possessed’ or involved in ‘witchcraft’, and attempts to exorcise him or her – either by themselves or through a faith leader. A child could be viewed as ‘different’ for a variety of reasons, such as disobedience, independence, bedwetting, nightmares, illness or disability. The attempt to ‘exorcise’ may involve severe beating, burning, starvation, cutting or stabbing, and/or isolation (physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect) and usually occurs in the household where the child lives.
(b) Vulnerable Adults
In relation to vulnerable adults we have been guided by the Church of England publication Promoting a Safe Church (2006), which seeks to raise the awareness of members of the Church of England of the needs of adults both within society in general and more particularly within the church community. We recognize that this should be read in conjunction with the Church of England documents Protecting all God’s Children (2004) and Responding to Domestic Abuse – guidance for those with pastoral responsibilities (2006).
(i) What is Vulnerability?
Human beings are, by their very nature, subject to the chances and changes of this world. Each one has strengths and weaknesses, capacities and restrictions. At some time everyone will be vulnerable to a wide range of pressures, concerns or dangers. No one is ‘invulnerable’; some people may consider themselves to be strong but, when circumstances change, strengths can quickly disappear. Some people by reason of their physical or social circumstances have higher levels of vulnerability than others. It is the Christian duty of everyone to recognize and support those who are identified as being more vulnerable. In supporting a vulnerable person we must do so with compassion and in a way that maintains dignity. Vulnerability is not an absolute; an individual cannot be labelled as ‘vulnerable’ in the same way as a child is regarded as such. Childhood is absolute: someone who is not yet eighteen years of age is, in the eyes of the law, a child; this is not the case with vulnerability. Some of the factors that increase vulnerability include:
• A sensory, or physical disability, or impairment
• A learning disability
• A physical illness
• Mental ill health (including dementia), chronic, or acute
• An addiction to alcohol, or drugs
• The failing faculties of old age
* A permanent, or temporary reduction in physical, mental, or emotional capacity brought on by life events e.g. bereavement, trauma, or previous abuse
Within this policy, the term ‘Adult’ will be used to describe an individual for whom any or all of the above may be applicable and for whom the working definition below may be applicable.
(ii) What do we mean by ‘mistreatment’ and ‘harm’?
To help us focus on those people for whom the Church should have a particular care, Promoting a Safe Church offers this working definition of vulnerability:
Any adult aged 18, or over, who, by reason of mental, or other disability, age, illness, or other situation is permanently, or for the time being unable to take care of him or herself, or to protect him, or herself against significant harm, or exploitation.
Mistreatment is defined in No Secrets (2000) as ‘a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person, or persons’.
In the church this could be any misuse of a pastoral or managerial relationship, from the most serious to less severe behaviour, which lies at its root. The term covers abuse, bullying and harassment. Harm is what results from mistreatment and abuse.
We recognize the following definitions of abuse with regard to vulnerable adults (taken from No Secrets):
Physical Abuse may include hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication,
restraint, or inappropriate sanctions;
Sexual Abuse may include rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting;
Psychological Abuse may include emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment,
deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks;
Financial/Material Abuse may include theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits;
Neglect (and acts of omission) may include ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating;
Discriminatory Abuse may include racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment;
Institutional/Organised Abuse may occur where there is poor professional practice in a
setting. This may take the form of isolated incidents of poor or unsatisfactory professional
practice, at one end of the spectrum, through to pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct at the other. Repeated instances of poor care may be an indication of more serious problems.
(iii) Good Practice Principles for Working with Adults
When working with adults who are deemed to be vulnerable or at risk we will seek to apply the principles identified in The Exeter Diocesan Safeguarding Policy:
• presume capacity – that people are capable of making decisions, unless there is evidence otherwise;
• support individuals to make their own decisions – giving all practicable help before considering making any decisions on their behalf;
• distinguish unwise decisions – recognise that the person retains the right to make seemingly eccentric or unwise decisions;
• act in their best interests – in all decisions or activities on their behalf;
• take the least restrictive option – in any action that might affect their basic rights and freedoms.
In applying these principles, we recognize that a person who might be considered vulnerable has the right to:
• be treated with respect and dignity;
• have their privacy respected;
• be able to lead as independent a life as possible;
• be able to choose how to lead their life;
• have the protection of the law;
• have their rights upheld regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, impairment or disability, age, religion or cultural background;
• be able to use their chosen language or method of communication;
• be heard.
3 Recruitment, Management, Supervision and Support of Staff and Volunteers Who Work with Vulnerable People
We are committed to implementing the principles of Safer Recruitment, as specified in the joint Church of England/Methodist Church of Britain document Safer Recruitment Policy – 2014.
This means that we will “carefully select, support and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and barring schemes” and “follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice” (p3, Safer Recruitment Policy – 2014).
In order to fulfill this commitment concerning recruitment, we will follow the ‘10 Step Procedure for All Recruitment’, as outlined in Safer Recruitment Policy – 2014.
Where volunteers are already in post we will apply the procedure retrospectively using the following documentation (blank copies in Appendix 1):
Church of England Confidential Declaration Form.
Where Safeguarding Training is required, this may be provided in-house by suitably qualified Clergy, Reader or Church Officers, or volunteers may be required to attend that provided through the Diocese of Exeter or other appropriate training organisations. Where costs are incurred for such training, these will be met by the PCC.
4 Arrangements for Reporting Concerns
We will display notices on Church premises providing guidance on what to do when a person has a concern, together with the telephone numbers of:
- the Parish Safeguarding Representative;
When someone has a concern that a child or vulnerable adult may be suffering abuse or be at risk this should be reported to the Parish Safeguarding Representative. The Safeguarding Representative will then implement the process outlined in the ‘Flowchart for Responding to Concerns about a Child or Adult at Risk’, as published in The Exeter Diocesan Safeguarding Policy (copy of flowchart in Appendix 2 below).
If an investigation is instigated following a concern being raised with the Parish Safeguarding Representative, the Clergy, Reader, Church Officers and PCC will co-operate fully with the Diocese and appropriate statutory agencies during any investigation into abuse, including
when allegations are made against a member of the church community.
If necessary and only after the Parish Safeguarding Representative has consulted the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor as per the Flowchart referred to above, the following organisations will be notified that a concern has been raised and is under investigation:
- Ecclesiastical Insurance or other parish insurer;
- the Disclosure and Barring Service;
- the Charity Commissioners.
5 Arrangements for the Provision of Pastoral Care to Children and Vulnerable Adults Alleged to be the Victims of Abuse and to any Member of the Church Community Against Whom an Allegation has been Made
(a) Pastoral Care of Alleged Victims of Abuse
We recognise that an adult (or indeed a child) disclosing abuse is in a vulnerable state. We acknowledge that such a person will need someone who will listen to them, and also believe them. We understand, too, that such a person may need to be ‘heard’ in different contexts and over several years.
Research evidence indicates that there is no quick fix for healing from abuse and that it is crucial that survivors:
· Are not pushed into forgiving their abuser too early, or on occasions at all. Forgiving the abuser is a complex process, (not a one-off event) and considerable damage can be done by treating forgiveness as something they must do unreservedly and now;
· Are not put in a position of feeling even more guilty than they already do. Survivors tend to feel that the abuse was all their fault (particularly when told this by the abuser);
· Are accepted as themselves, however full of anger they may be. Anger can be seen as one step along their journey towards healing;
· Are given a sense that those within the church community who know about the abuse are ‘with them’ along the road to recovery. The journey can be very long and supporters are essential.
Following this understanding we are committed to providing appropriate pastoral support for children and adults who are alleged to be victims of abuse. In order to do this we will seek and as far as possible will follow the guidance of the Diocese of Exeter Safeguarding Adviser.
(b) Pastoral Care of any Member of the Church Community Against Whom an Allegation has been Made
In the publication Practice Guidelines (Methodist Church 2010) the following guidance is provided:
“Challenging perpetrators to take responsibility for their attitudes and actions is part of demonstrating that the church considers domestic abuse unacceptable. However, working with perpetrators is extraordinarily difficult work, which ministers and deacons are not trained to do. Despite what a perpetrator might say, or sometimes a minister feeling that this is a part of pastoral care, it is better that work with perpetrators be undertaken by someone with specialist training, and a proven track record. Appropriate pastoral support can be offered in addition to this, from the presbyter or deacon preferably with the knowledge and co-operation of the specialist, or agency concerned. Pastoral care for perpetrators should be provided by a church and supporters who are not at the same time providing care and support for the victims or survivors” (p18).
With this guidance in mind we will work with the Diocese of Exeter Safeguarding Advisor to ensure the provision of an appropriate set of pastoral support arrangements for those who are the subject of an allegation of abuse.
6 Care and Supervision of Offenders within the Church
In line with The Exeter Diocesan Safeguarding Policy we are committed, in partnership with the Diocese of Exeter and other agencies, to provide (where it is possible and safe to do so) care and supervision for any member of our church community known to have offended against a child or vulnerable adult, or to pose a risk to them.
7 Review and Up-dating of this Policy
This policy will be reviewed by the PCC at least once a year and up-dated as necessary so as to take account of any changes in the relevant law or guidance.
Our Safeguarding Officer(s) is/are:
Name: Mrs Jackie Edwards
Address……114 Exeter Road, Kingsteignton………
………………Newton Abbot, TQ12 3LY……………………………………………
Telephone …01626 354932……email…… firstname.lastname@example.org …………
Signed Parish Priest/Incumbent…………………………………………….
CHURCH OF ENGLAND CONFIDENTIAL DECLARATION FORM
1. Have you ever been convicted of or charged with a criminal offence or been bound over to keep the peace that has not been filtered in accordance with the DBS filtering rules? (Include both ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions)
2. Have you ever received a caution, reprimand or warning from the police that has not been filtered in accordance with the DBS filtering rules?
3. Are you at present (or have you ever been) under investigation by the police or an employer or other organisation for which you worked for any offence/misconduct?
4. Has your name ever been placed on either of the barred lists previously maintained by the ISA and now maintained by the DBS, barring you from work with children and/or vulnerable adults?
5. Has a family court ever made a finding of fact in relation to you, that you have caused significant harm to a child and/or vulnerable adult, or has any such court made an order against you on the basis of any finding or allegation that any child and/or vulnerable adult was at risk of significant harm from you?
6. Has your conduct ever caused or been likely to cause significant harm to a child and/or vulnerable adult, and/or put a child or vulnerable adult at risk of significant harm?
7. To your knowledge, has it ever been alleged that your conduct has resulted in any of those things?
If yes, please give details, including the date(s) and nature of the conduct, or alleged conduct, and whether you were dismissed, disciplined, moved to other work or resigned from any paid or voluntary work as a result.
8. Has a child in your care or for whom you have or had parental responsibility ever been removed from your care, been placed on the Child Protection Register or been the subject of child protection planning, a care order, a supervision order, a child assessment order or an emergency protection order under the Children Act 1989, or a similar order under any other legislation?
I declare the above information (and that on any attached sheets) is true, accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge
Full Name………………………………..Date of Birth………………………………..
Please return the completed form to ……………………………………………………………………………….
This is a simple model application form template for a volunteer which can be used, amended or substituted by a local model as required.
Name of Church
Application form for voluntary workers with children and / or adults who are vulnerable.
Application for the post of:
Date of birth
Previous experience of working with children or adults who are vulnerable-continue overleaf if necessary
How long have you lived at the above address?
If less than 12 months
How long there?
Name of Minister
Please provide two references one of which should be from current employer or previous church
Policy Statement on the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders
As an organisation assessing applicants’ suitability for positions which are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order using criminal record checks processed through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), the Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace undertake to comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice and to treat all applicants for positions fairly. The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace undertake not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a criminal record check on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace can only ask an individual to provide details of convictions and cautions that the Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace are legally entitled to know about. Where a DBS certificate at either standard or enhanced level can legally be requested (where the position is one that is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 as amended, and where appropriate Police Act Regulations as amended), the Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace can only ask an individual about convictions and cautions that are not protected.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace are committed to the fair treatment of their staff, potential staff or users of their services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, which is made available to all DBS applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace actively promote equality of opportunity for all with the right mix of talent, skills and potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates, including those with criminal records. The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace select all candidates for interview based on their skills, qualifications and experience.
An application for a criminal record check is only submitted to DBS after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a criminal record check is identified as necessary, all application forms, job adverts and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that an application for a DBS certificate will be submitted in the event of the individual being offered the position.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace ensure that all those in the Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace who are involved in the recruitment process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of offences. The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
At interview, or in a separate discussion, the Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace ensure that an open and measured discussion takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace make every subject of a criminal record check submitted to DBS aware of the existence of the DBS Code of Practice and makes a copy available on request.
The Parochial Church Councils of St Michael’s Kingsteignton and St Peter & St Paul’s Teigngrace undertake to discuss any matter revealed on a DBS certificate with the individual seeking the position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
 See National Action Plan for Tackling Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief , the Department for Education, 2012.
 No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, Department of Health, 2000
 You do not have to declare any adult conviction where: (a) 11 years (or 5.5 years if under 18 at the time of the conviction) have passed since the date of the conviction; (b) it is your only offence; (c) it did not result in a prison sentence or suspended prison sentence (or detention order) and (d) it does not appear on the DBS’s list of specified offences relevant to safeguarding (broadly violent, drug related and/or sexual in nature). Further guidance is provided by the DBS and can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/filtering-rules-for-criminal-record-check-certificates and www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-filtering-guidance
 Please note that the ‘rehabilitation periods’ (i.e. the amount of time which has to pass before a conviction etc. can become ‘spent’) have recently been amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Since 10 March 2014, custodial sentences greater than 4 years are never ‘spent’. For further guidance in relation to the ‘rehabilitation periods’, please see http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/spent-now-brief-guide-changes-roa/
 You do not have to declare any adult caution where: (a) 6 years (or 2 years if under 18 at the time of the caution, reprimand or warning) have passed since the date of the caution etc. and (b) it does not appear on the DBS’s list of specified offences referred to in footnote 1 above
 ‘Significant harm’ involves serious ill-treatment of any kind including neglect, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or impairment of physical or mental health development. It will also include matters such as a sexual relationship with a young person or adult for whom you had pastoral responsibility or were in a trusted role or position.