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Safeguarding

St Peter’s Wellesbourne
           Safeguarding Statement

As part of the Christian Church living in the spirit of the Gospel, we are committed to protect and care for everyone in the church community, but especially adults at risk and children.

We are committed to:

·      The care of, the nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with all children and adults.

·      The safeguarding and protection of all children and adults.

·      The establishing of a safe, caring community which provides a loving environment where victims of abuse can report or disclose abuse and where they can find support and best practice that contributes to the prevention of abuse.

To this end we will:

·      Carefully select, support and train all those with any responsibility within the church, in line with the Church of England’s Practice Guidance for Safer Recruitment.

·      Respond without delay to every complaint made that a child or adult may have been harmed, cooperating with the police and local authority in any investigation.

·      Seek to offer informed pastoral care and support to anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with them an appropriate ministry that recognises the importance of understanding the needs of those who have been abused, including their feelings of alienation and/or isolation.

·      Seek to protect survivors of abuse from the possibility of further harm and abuse.

·      Seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of respect and responsibility, where they are trusted by others.

·      Seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision, and referral to the appropriate authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child or adult.

In all of the above:

·      We will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.

·      We will monitor and regularly review our safeguarding procedures.

If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact…

Parish Safeguarding Officer:          Linda Mitchell     07523 088522 or 01789 471573: safeguardingwellesbourne@gmail.com

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser:    Carol Clarke       02476 521345   or   safeguarding@covcofe.org

For more information about safeguarding…

Please contact either of the above people, or visit www.dioceseofcoventry.org.uk/safeguarding


St Peter’s Church Wellesbourne
Responding to a
Safeguarding Concern or Allegation

There are many situations whereby a member of the church may have concerns, or be made aware of concerns, regarding a child, young person and adult.  For example:

·      A child, young person or adult discloses abuse;

·      Someone discloses concern for a child, young person or adult;

·      Someone notices signs of potential abuse of a child, young person or adult;

·      A child, young person or adult makes a disclosure about their own behaviour towards another child, young person or adult;

·      Someone witnesses concerning behaviour during a church activity or during a home visit.

The concern or allegation might relate to someone at church or to someone elsewhere (e.g. at home, work or school).  It might be a current situation, or something that happened in the past.

This procedure must be followed by all church officers[1] and it is strongly recommended for all other church members.

 

The PCC of St Peter’s Church have agreed that all Church officers should read, own and sign to say they accept this policy. The Vicar and Safeguarding Team will ensure that all new Church officers will do likewise.

If a concern is raised during a group activity, this must be raised first with the Activity Leader unless the concern is about them. The activity leader will then speak with the Parish Safeguarding Officer at the earliest possible opportunity about this concern.    

Listen carefully

Whenever anyone reports that they are suffering or have suffered significant harm through abuse or neglect, or have caused or are causing harm to others, the initial response should be limited to listening carefully.  If someone makes a disclosure this might be the only time they will tell someone about what is happening.

Please…

·      Listen.

·      Take what is said seriously.

·      Remain calm.

·      Take into account the person’s age and level of understanding.

·      Offer reassurance that disclosing is the right thing to do.

·      Explain that information will need to be shared with the appropriate people.

·      Only use open questions.[2]

·      Establish only as much information as is needed to be able to report what is believed to have happened, when and where.

·      At the end, check that you have understood everything correctly.

·      Check out what the person hopes to result from the disclosure.

·      Tell the child or adult what you are going to do next.

However…

·      Do NOT make promises that cannot be kept (e.g. that you won’t share the information).

·      Do NOT make assumptions or offer alternative explanations.

·      Do NOT investigate.

·      Do NOT contact the person about whom allegations have been made.

·      Do NOT carry out a physical or medical examination.

·      Do NOT share with anyone other than those persons mentioned on the previous page.

Make a record…

·      Make some very brief notes at the time, if appropriate, and write them up in detail as soon as possible.

·      Do not destroy your original notes in case they are required by the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser or the statutory authorities.

·      Record the date, time, place and how the person appeared to you.  If possible, try to record the actual words used, including any swear words or slang.

·      Record facts and observable things, not your interpretations or assumptions.

·      Don’t speculate or jump to conclusions.

Report promptly…

Never do nothing.  Always follow the procedure below.

 

[1] A church officer is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.

[2] Open questions begin with words like: who, what, when, where and how.  They cannot be answered with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.