- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- HAVING A POLICY SAFEGUARDING OUR CHILDREN
- SAFER RECRUITMENT
- APPENDIX 1 GUIDANCE FOR VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF
- APPENDIX 2 HOW WE WILL RESPOND TO CONCERNS OR DISCLOSURES OF ABUSE
- APPENDIX 4 MANAGING THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED CHILDREN
- APENDIX 5 CHECKLIST FOR IMPLEMENTING OR REVIEWING CHILD PROTECTION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
- APPENDIX 6 LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND REFERENCES
Those of us who are part of a faith community know how important it is to share our beliefs with others and to receive help and encouragement from fellow believers. The nurture and teaching of our children plays a large part in our lives so we recognise that our children need to have a positive experience and be kept safe from harm. Our church is open to all, which can make us vulnerable to people abusing our welcome. We also need to make sure that all those working with or in contact with children are beyond reproach.
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) states that, Faith-based organisations need to have appropriate arrangements in place for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
Every congregation needs to have a child protection policy so that everyone knows what is expected of them. The policy should include:
• A statement committing the congregation to safeguarding its children
• A clear procedure to use if there are concerns about a child or the behaviour of an adult.
• A named person who children or adults can talk to if they have concerns. That person should also be responsible for passing on concerns to the Police or Social Care Services and for making sure that all activities, that are the responsibility of the congregation, are conducted safely.
• A procedure on careful recruitment including how to vet people’s background using the Disclosure and Barring Service.
• Advice on practical ways of conducting child and young people’s activities safely.
• Ensure that the nominated CP person is made known to the congregation.
The Child Protection Policy; including information about the Child Protection Coordinator should be prominently displayed in the place of worship.
Having a policy for safeguarding our children
This Policy applies to all volunteers and any person engaged by NCC&SMC to render any service to children attending the church. It is about safeguarding any child, that is: promoting their welfare and protecting them from harm or exploitation. All employed/volunteer staff will receive frequent training on safeguarding matters and procedure as part of their induction. Each staff’s safeguarding roles and responsibilities will be routinely discussed in supervision to ensure an understanding commensurate with their duties to children under our care. This policy will be reviewed annually in line with changes in policy, guidance and regulation.
The Chairman of the Board of trustees, Mr D. Ayerume has lead responsibility for safeguarding arrangements at NCC&SMC. Ms. A Tytler is the Safeguarding Lead and will be report directly to Mr. D Ayerume.
The purpose of this policy:
Protect children under our care.
Provide procedures for promoting safeguarding, preventing abuse and protecting children, adults at risk.
Provide a clear procedure for taking appropriate action when safeguarding concerns are raised involving children and adults within our church, or those who attend our activities and events.
Provide staff and / volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding.
The church believes that a child should never be subjected to abuse of any kind and we have a duty to promote the welfare of children at all times and to keep them safe.
The church is committed to working in a way that protects all children and young people with whom we come into contact.
A child or young person:
Anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education, is a member of the armed forces, is in hospital or in custody in the secure estate, does not change his/her status or entitlements to services or protection. (Working Together, 2015)
A form of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by others (e.g. via the internet). They may be abused by an adult or adults, or another child or children
Child abuse occurs in all cultures, religions and classes. Within faith communities harm can be caused by the inappropriate use of religious belief or practice. This can include; the misuse of the authority of leadership or penitential discipline, oppressive teaching, or obtrusive healing and deliverance ministries, any of which may result in children experiencing physical, emotional or sexual harm. If
such inappropriate behaviour becomes harmful it should be referred for investigation in the usual way. Careful teaching, supervision and mentoring of those entrusted with the pastoral care of children should help to prevent harm occurring in this way. Other forms of spiritual harm include the denial to children of the right to faith or the opportunity to grow and develop within their own faith community.
A form of abuse which 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
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 a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond a child’s developmental capability, as well as 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 (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently 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 alone.
Involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
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. 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:
Disclosures or suspicions of abuse could be raised by any staff, young person, consultant or any other person connected with the young person. Disclosures could be made about a staff member or representative. Anyone receiving such information has a duty to pass this on immediately to their relevant safeguarding lead..
The church operates safe recruitment procedures in relation to staff/volunteers and any person employed/engaged by NCC&SMC to render any service to children. The church operates a robust recruitment procedure for all prospective staff/volunteers and one of the primary objectives is ensuring the children in our care are properly safeguarded. All staff/volunteers Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks and the two referees for successful candidates are contacted directly to verify their references or provide written references. In the case where this is not possible, the relevant volunteer will not work on a one to one basis with any child, they will always be joint working with at least one staff who has had a DBS.
The Church will:
Assess all clergy, employees and volunteers to decide whether the
position that they hold should be subject to child protection recruitment procedures – that is, all adults who are regularly caring for or training children and young people to whom they are not related and all positions where adults could have unsupervised contact with children and young people.
• Take up two references which should include questions as to whether any allegations or concerns have been raised about the applicant that relate to the safety and welfare of children or young people or behaviour towards children or young people, and the
outcome of those concerns.
• Interview all applicants.
• Ask all those to be appointed to provide a self-declaration of any criminal background.
• Check the above information by using the Criminal Records Bureau.
• Ensure all those appointed receive child protection training and are conversant with your own child protection policy, procedures and guidelines for good practice
In addition, the church:
Provides appropriate supervision and support for staff/volunteers, including undertaking safeguarding training. The safeguarding lead will undertake monthly group supervision with all the unit heads and will have at least supervision with the BOT Chairman on a quarterly basis, however will provided consultation as and when required.
Ensures that staff/volunteers are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and creating an environment where staff/volunteers feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role by providing regular training and supervision on a monthly basis undertaken by the unit head
Undertakes a mandatory induction for all staff/volunteers, which includes familiarisation with child protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare; and ensures that all staff/volunteers have regular reviews of their practice and development renew all DBS checks upon expiry
Date of Review 9th October 2016
Date of next review 12th September 2017
Name of reviewing officer Abimbola Tytler
GUIDANCE FOR STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS OF OUR CHURCH
All clergy, paid employees and volunteers should always:
Abide by the child protection policy
• Behave in a mature, respectful, safe, fair and considered manner at all
• Provide a good example, and a ‘positive role model’ to children
• Observe other people’s right to confidentiality (unless you need to report
• Treat all children equally; never build “special relationships” or favour
individual children, unless this is part of an agreed plan for the child.
• Learn to control and discipline children without physical punishment, this
must never be used even if they have the parent’s explicit permission for
• Ensure that another adult is informed if a worker needs to take a child to
the toilet. Toilet breaks should be organised for young children.
• If known in advance, a parent’s permission must be sought if a child or
young person is to be seen on his or her own, another adult must be
nearby and the child or young person must know this.
• Ensure that if possible each group has a gender balance of helpers.
• Ensure that children and young people know that they can speak to an
independent person in the congregation, or contact “ChildLine”, if they
need to talk to someone. Have the “ChildLine” telephone number
prominently displayed. tel. 0800 1111
Clergy, paid employees and volunteers should not:
• Behave in a manner that could lead a reasonable person to question their
conduct, intentions or suitability to care for other people’s children.
• Touch children in a manner which is, or may be considered sexual,
threatening, gratuitous or intimidating
• Discriminate either favourably or unfavourably towards any child
• Make arrangements to contact, communicate, or meet children outside of
approved church activities, unless this has the prior approval of the Child
Protection Coordinator as well as their parent
• Develop personal or sexual relationships with children
• Make inappropriate remarks or jokes of a personal, sexual, racial,
discriminatory, intimidating or otherwise offensive nature
• Intentionally embarrass or humiliate children, for example by using
sarcasm or humour in an inappropriate way
• Give or receive (other than token) gifts unless agreed with the Child
• Allow, encourage or condone children to act in an illegal, improper or
unsafe manner e.g. smoking or drinking alcohol
• Undertake any work with children when they are not in a fit and proper
physical or emotional state to do so.
• Use their position to make relationships with children away from the
church or their families
• Invade a child’s privacy whilst washing or toileting.
Play rough physical or sexually provocative games.
• Be sexually suggestive about a child or to a young person even in fun.
• Give lifts to children or young people on their own. If this is unavoidable
ask the child or young person to sit in the back of the vehicle.
• Share sleeping accommodation with young people.
• Invite a young person to the worker’s home alone.
• Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing,
• Allow unknown adults access to children. Visitors should always be
accompanied by a known person.
Be prepared for your colleagues to remind you if you forget any of the
requirements for good practice and be prepared to help a colleague by
advising them in return.
HOW TO RESPOND TO CONCERNS OR DISCLOSURES OF ABUSE
If any staff and/or any person engaged by NCC&SMC to render any service to children has any concerns about a child, or a child or a staff/volunteer makes an allegation of abuse this information must be shared with the safeguarding lead immediately. In the case of an emergency, a staff/volunteer should contact the appropriate emergency service, e.g. police or ambulance and seek immediate assistance and then contact the safeguarding lead.
If the incident involves a member of staff the safeguarding lead shall consider whether it is appropriate to suspend that member of staff and shall take such emergency measures (for example, but without limitation, informing the police or seeking medical assessment/treatment) as it deems appropriate to the situation. The church will preserve any evidence, as far as is practicable, but will not commence any investigation until authorised to do so by the Council. If the abuse is by any person employed by the company or their family is alleged or suspected, the above procedure would be followed. The church whistle blowing policy and complaints procedure may also apply.
The safeguarding lead will refer the concern/allegation to the Council’s Local Authority Designated Officer for discussion of the action to be taken. The safeguarding lead must write an accurate, factual and contemporaneous note of any incident and provide copies to the Council’s LADO within twenty-four (24) hours of such occurrence
If the church decides to suspend or dismisses a member of the staff/volunteer by reason of an allegation or finding of abuse, or failing to safeguard a Young Person, the church shall follow recognised safeguarding guidance (by the way of example, London Safeguarding Children Board Procedures and Practice Guidance and other relevant professional bodies). The church shall keep full and detailed records of all such suspensions and dismissals (which shall include but is not limited to the name and address of the dismissed, or suspended member of the staff; the nature of the allegation or finding; the names and contact details of the victim and any witnesses; and any relevant evidence) and the company shall immediately notify (and in any event within twenty four (24) hours) the Council and any other interested supervisory body of such suspension or dismissal.
The Council will decide on the appropriate response and inform the church as soon as possible of their intended response. If no acknowledgement is received, either in writing or via a noted telephone response from the relevant local authority, within 3 working days, the referrer/safeguarding lead should contact them again. Failure to adhere to these timescales can (and should) be referred to the relevant Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) in the relevant area in which the child lives. The church will maintain a log of all referrals made under Safeguarding Procedures together with the contact details of the Council’s Authorised Officer to whom information was sent to.
How should I respond to a child or young person if they are making an allegation or telling me something concerning?
Listen to what the young person has to say and reassure the young person that you have listened very carefully and understand what he/she say.
Explain to the young person that you need to let the safeguarding lead or their representative know what has happened and that they will then talk to their local authority social worker about it. Ask them if there is anyone they would like to talk to themselves.
Write down in detail exactly what the young person has said using the young person’s words as much as possible and record the time and date that you have received the information.
Share the information with the safeguarding lead or their representative as described above.
Where can I find out about local processes and procedures?
This will be available in the church secretariat as well as the church’s website.
Information can also be sought from Haringey Council.
What happens after the referral has been made?
The safeguarding lead will take due diligence to ascertain if threshold is met to report concerns to the Council, Police. Feedback will be made available to the referrer within a week of the report being made. However it is of note that the protection of the child is paramount always and steps will be taken to ensure the child’s safety.
Referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service
If the church removes an individual (paid worker or unpaid volunteer) from work such as looking after children (or would have, had the person not left first) because the person poses a risk of harm to children, the church will make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.
MANAGING THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED CHILDREN
The church understands that the congregation may have children and adults who have been harmed and also people who have abused in the congregation. We understand that we have a special responsibility for all those who worship here, it is therefore important to have procedures to use when it is known that someone might be a risk to children or young people. The addictive nature of sexual offending makes it necessary to take such offences very seriously.
• Sexual offenders or others deemed to be a risk to children Will not work with children or hold positions of trust within the church where it may appear their behaviour is being condoned.
• Offenders should not normally attend the same congregation as their victim.
• An agreement should be made between those in authority in the congregation and the offender setting out what religious or other activities the person may attend.
• The offender should be aware of who in the congregation knows about the offence and in what circumstances others might be informed.
• The highest level of confidentiality should be upheld.
• Where adults who have offended are receiving support from professional agencies it is important that the Child Protection Coordinator works closely with these agencies
A Checklist for Implementing or Reviewing Child Protection Policies,
Procedures and Good Practice our church
Child protection co-coordinator appointed
Copies of the child protection policy available to all groups with children or young people.
Appropriate identified people have signed to say that they understand and
will comply with the Child Protection Policy
All confidential information is kept securely and is compliant with the
Data Protection Act
Agreements in place for all known offenders
List of any outside groups using premises
Child protection policies of outside groups seen and agreed.
List of all children’s, young people’s and mixed age groups for whom the
Governing body (BOT) is responsible
Ofsted notified of any under 8s groups
that need to be registered.
List all leaders, helpers and adult’s in mixed age activities who have regular
contact with children when the parents are not present.
List any others in positions of trust who may have unsupervised contact with
children e.g. Readers, caretakers, Drivers, contractors etc. Append List
All the above have completed a Confidential Self Declaration form
All the above have a CRB disclosure appropriate for the position held
The BOT has agreed arrangements for appointing new volunteers/paid staff
Name of person trained to validate CRB applications
Check that insurance cover is adequate for both activities and volunteers/paid staff.
Check that each activity has sufficient adult help and that consideration has
been given to the gender balance
All premises checked for health and safety
All groups have an attendance register
for adults and children and up-to-date registration forms Append list
Strategy agreed to publicise the child
protection policy to the congregation.
A policy statement is prominently
displayed on a notice board. State where displayed
Training for clergy and Co-ordinator Give dates of last
Training for volunteers Give date of last
training event provided
Supervision of volunteers Give dates of planned and unplanned
Drink and drugs policy agreed
This policy has been drawn up based on law and guidance that seeks to protect children and with reference to Safeguarding Children. Relevant legislation and guidance is below:
The London Child Protection Procedures, 5th Edition, October 2015;
Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015);
Children Act 1989; The 2004 Act including the specific requirements under Section 11;
Mental Capacity Act (2005) and the Deprivation of Liberty Standards;
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Data Protection Act 1998 and Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
Working Together 2015 contains the following definition which is used throughout this policy:
What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused
Department of Health 2003
Child Protection in Faith-Based Environments
The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain 2006
Positively Safe: a guide to developing safeguarding practices
Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of “Possession” and “Witchcraft”
Department for Education and Skills 2006
Safe and Secure, Ensuring the well-being of children and young people within
the church community.
Churches Child Protection Advisory Service
Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006