Buxton United Reformed Church Safeguarding Policy for Children, Young People and Adults Who Are Vulnerable
The purpose of this policy is to ensure procedures are in place and all adults are clear about roles and responsibilities for the protection of children and adults who are vulnerable working in or on behalf of Buxton United Reformed Church. It is supported by the detailed overarching Safeguarding Policy of the East Midlands Synod and the national URC Safeguarding Guidelines.
Statement of Safeguarding Intent
Buxton United Reformed Church seeks to serve the needs of our members and community.
In doing so, we take seriously the welfare of everyone who comes onto our premises or who is involved in our activities.
We aim to ensure that they are welcomed into a safe, caring, Christian environment with a happy and friendly atmosphere.
We acknowledge that the serious issue of the abuse of children, young people and adults who are vulnerable may happen anywhere. It may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, psychological, online, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect. We acknowledge the effects these may have on people and their growth and development, including spiritual and religious development.
The whole church accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained.
We have a responsibility to listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders, communities and those who care about them.
We will respond appropriately to all concerns and allegations of abuse, including referring to the statutory authorities if necessary.
We will co-operate with the statutory authorities in any investigation, will follow multi-agency decisions and will maintain confidentiality of any investigations to those directly involved.
Church commitment – children and young people (under 18years)
Buxton United Reformed Church is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all of its children and young people.
All adults working with children must be perceived by those children as safe and trustworthy. DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks are made for adults working with children and young people in church activities.
All leaders who work with children and at church based activities will have undertaken safeguarding training.
Safe practice ensures that children and young people are safe, and that all adults:
- are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions
- work in an open and transparent way
- discuss and/or take advice from the named Safeguarding Link Person (SLP) over any incident which may give rise to concern. Where the SLP is unavailable the Synod Safeguarding Officer should be contacted.
We are committed to working with parents and carers positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents/carers are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents/carers’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information unless we have permission or it is necessary to do so in order to protect a child.
Church commitment – adults who are vulnerable
Buxton United Reformed Church recognises that all its members and congregation may be vulnerable at times in their lives and there needs to be particular care taken for those whose vulnerability is increased by certain situations, by disabilities or by reduction in capacities. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible.
Church Commitment – groups using our premises
Buxton United Reformed Church is pleased to welcome other users of our building. We will establish with all our regular user groups that, where relevant
- they have their own safeguarding/ risk assessment policy
- they have DBS checks for at least some of their staff/ volunteers
- they know where to find information about the Church’s Safeguarding Link Person.
Our ‘Code of Conduct’ will be circulated to all members at the Annual Church Meeting each year.
Buxton United Reformed Church will undertake to keep records which will ensure:
- that DBS checks are made and renewed for those members requiring them
- that regular user groups are aware of our Safeguarding policy.
It is not the responsibility of the church to investigate welfare concerns or determine the truth of any disclosure or allegation. However, all adults have a duty to recognise concerns and maintain an open mind. Accordingly all concerns regarding the welfare of children will be reported and discussed with the Safeguarding Link Person.
The Safeguarding Link Person, working with the East Midlands Synod, commit themselves to respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or an adult who is vulnerable may have been harmed during any church based activity of whatever type. They commit themselves to challenge the abuse of power by anyone in a position of trust.
Allegations regarding person(s) working in or on behalf of church
Where an allegation is made against any person working in or on behalf of the church that he or she has:
* behaved in a way that has harmed, or may have harmed, a child or vulnerable adult
* possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or vulnerable adult
* has behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children
* has behaved in an unsuitable manner towards an adult who is vulnerable.
Detailed records will be made to include decisions, actions taken, and reasons for these. All records will be securely retained. Whilst we acknowledge such allegations may be false, malicious or misplaced, we also acknowledge they may be founded. It is therefore essential that all allegations are investigated properly and in line with agreed procedures.
- The person who has received an allegation or witnessed an event will immediately inform the SLP and make a record. Where the SLP is unavailable the Synod Safeguarding Officer should be contacted.
- In the event that an allegation is made against the SLP, the East Midlands Synod Safeguarding Officer will be informed.
- The SLP may need to clarify any information regarding the allegation, however no person will be interviewed at this stage.
- Consideration will be given throughout to the support children and their parents/carers and to the families of adults who are vulnerable.
- The SLP will inform East Midlands Synod and ask for support if necessary.
USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS:
Buxton URC safeguarding link:
Jennie Gill 01298 73647
The Synod Safeguarding Officer:
Jane Henderson 07572 291007
Starting Point (Mon-Fri 8-6)/ Call Derbyshire:
Local Area Designated Officer (LADO):
Police Central Referral Unit:
Policy to be reviewed and approved at the Annual Church Meeting
Policy approved: March 2017
Due to be reviewed: March 2018