Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Policy Statement

St Mary Without-the-Walls Church, Overleigh Road, Handbridge, Chester CH4 7BB

Objective:

The Church’s safeguarding policy outlines the commitment, arrangements and responsibilities for providing and maintaining a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults involved in activities organised and run by groups under the influence of the PCC.

Scope:

This policy applies to all groups run under the direct influence of the PCC. Other groups using the church or church buildings, but are not part of the Church management structure must work within the policy guidelines as set out by their own organisations.

Versions: 1 in 2023 (this version revised 17.10.23)

Revision frequency: Annually, to be reviewed by the PCC in line with the APCM(AGM)

Next Revision Due: May 2024

Revision history: Revision 4, October 2023, updated diocesan contact
information, out of hours support services and PCC member responsibilities.

References:

The Diocese of Chester Safeguarding Children Policy and Procedure 2011.

Protection of Freedoms Act, 2012.

Policy Content:

1. At St. Mary’s we recognise that children and young people are an important part of our Church life and that they have much to give as well as to receive. We will listen to them and will respect their wishes and feelings as we nurture them in worship, learning and in community life.

2. We adopt the principles of the Church of England’s Safeguarding Policies for Children and for Vulnerable Adults as authorised by the House of Bishops.

3. We acknowledge that the Church has much to offer children and young people and the adults who care for them, and that our work with them is the responsibility of the whole Church. With this in mind we look to providing a safe, trusting environment in which all may grow in the love of God.

4. It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people and to report any abuse discovered or suspected. The approach is one of “informed vigilance”.

5. We are committed to supporting all those who work with children and young people in either a paid or voluntary capacity. This includes all matters relating to recruitment, supervision, training and review.

6. As a parish we are committed to good practice in Child Protection, following the guidelines and procedures set down by the Diocese, in partnership with the CCPAS (the Churches’ Child protection Advisory service). This includes full compliance with the requirements set out by The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). All DBS disclosures (formerly known as CRB clearance) obtained on behalf of volunteers and children’s staff in the Parish shall be renewed every five years. Members of the PCC will also undertake training and obtain DBS clearance. The Child Protection Advisory Group for the Diocese is an additional source of support.

7. Volunteers and staff working with and alongside children and young people at St Mary’s are expected to undertake basic and foundations safeguarding training as directed. They are also expected to uphold the Good Practice Guidelines as recommended by the Diocese.

8. All Group Leaders will liaise with St Mary’s designated officer for safeguarding.

The St Mary’s Designated Officer for Safeguarding is:

Ms Gemma Parisi
+44 (0) 7754 894748
safeguarding.stmaryschester@btconnect.com

The St Mary’s Safeguarding Representative (PCC) is:

Lynne Jones and David Gilburt (Churchwardens)

The Diocese of Chester Safeguarding Team:

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser

Sean Augustin
safeguarding@chester.anglican.org

Diocesan Safeguarding Training and Policy Officer

Stephen Ellis
01928 718834 x 261
stephen.ellis@chester.anglican.org

Diocesan Safeguarding Administrative Support

Mims Harrison
01928 718834 ext 266
mims.harrison@chester.anglican.org

Out of Hours Safeguarding Advice

Thirtyone:eight (support service): 0303 003 1111

Safe Spaces (support service): safespaces@splitz.org or 0300 303 1056.

Local Social Care Services

Name of Authority: Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC)

CWAC Safeguarding Children’s Partnership:

Tel: Office Hours: 0300 123 7047 (the Integrated Access and Referral Team)
Tel: Emergencies Out of Office Hours: 01244 977277

Adult Services:

Tel: Office Hours (Community Access Team): 0300 123 7034
Tel: Out of Office Hours (Emergency Duty Team): +44 (0)1244 977 277

Police:

Emergencies: 999
Non Emergencies: 101

National Helplines:

NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
Childline: 0800 1111
Stop It Now: 0808 1000 900
NAPAC: 0808 801 0331
Samaritans: 116 123
Family Lives: 0808 800 2222
National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Action On Elder Abuse: 080 8808 8141

Things to remember:

  • Treat everyone with respect, setting a positive example for others.
  • Respect personal space and privacy.
  • Ensure any actions cannot be misrepresented by someone else.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour.
  • Do not put anyone, including yourself, in a vulnerable or
    compromising situation.
  • Do not have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
  • You must not keep allegations or suspected abuse secret.

What to do if you have concerns about possible abuse (including allegations):

  • In an emergency, call emergency services 999.
  • Otherwise, consult the Designated Officer for Safeguarding.
  • Decide together whether to seek advice or to make an immediate
    referral to police or care services (see back page for contacts).
  • Always ensure that the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser is contacted
    (the Designated Officer for Safeguarding will usually do this).
  • Keep a record of what happened, your concerns and your actions.
  • In consultation with the Designated Officer for Safeguarding, tell the
    person to whom you are responsible and the Incumbent.
  • Only tell others who need to know.
  • Do not alert the alleged perpetrator.

What to do if a child, young person or adult wishes to disclose they have been abused: Listen. Keep listening. Do not question or investigate.

  • Do not promise confidentiality; tell them we need to share this.
  • Assure them they are not to blame.
  • Tell them what you are going to do and that they will be told what
    happens.
  • Make careful notes of what is said, record dates, times, events and
    when you are told.
  • Report it to the person to whom you are responsible and your
    Designated Officer for Safeguarding or Principal.
  • Only tell those who need to know.

The Diocese of Chester follows the House of Bishops’ Policy and Practice
Guidance. These are published by the Church of England and can be found
here.

Safeguarding

Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business

The Church of England and the Methodist Church work in partnership with other Christian Churches and agencies in delivering safeguarding. In doing
so the Churches subscribe to the following principles, which, in partnership, St Mary’s also subscribes to:

  • Promote a safer environment and culture
  • Safely recruit and support all those with any responsibility related to
    children and vulnerable adults within the Church
  • Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
  • Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected
    persons
  • Care pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or
    allegations of abuse and other affected persons
  • Respond to those that may pose a present risk to others.

Therefore, St Mary’s is committed to:

  • The care and nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children, young people and all adults
  • The safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and all
    adults
  • The establishing of safe, caring communities which provide 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.

In particular, St Mary’s aims to:

2.1 Reduce the risk of significant harm to vulnerable people (children and
adults) from abuse or other types of exploitation, whilst listening to and
supporting individuals

2.2 Ensure safeguarding is everybody’s business, with this institution playing
its part in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse

2.3 Ensure arrangements are in place locally to protect those least able to
protect themselves.