The United Church Dorchester

United in faith, united in action

Safeguarding Policy

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United Church Dorchester

  Safeguarding Policy

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Safeguarding Principles Methodist & Church of England

 


Statement of Safeguarding Principles

 

Every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from the creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this potential as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.

 

Principles

 We are committed to:

•    the care and nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with, all children, young people and adults
•    the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults who may be at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect.
•    the establishing of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is informed vigilance as to the dangers of abuse.

We will carefully select and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration with 1 the relevant vetting and barring schemes.

We will respond without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed, cooperating with the police and local authority in any investigation.

We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with them an appropriate ministry of informed pastoral care.

We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.

We will seek to offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person, or adult who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.

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Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy for United Church Dorchester

This policy was agreed at a Council of Stewards (Trustees) held on 4 May 2017.

The Methodist Church, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity which comes directly from God’s creation of male and female in God’s own image and likeness. Christians see this as fulfilled by God’s re-creation of us in Christ. Among other things, this implies a duty to value all people as bearing the image of God and therefore to protect them from harm.

The United Church Dorchester is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults who may be at risk and affirms that the needs of children or of people when they are vulnerable are paramount.

The United Church Dorchester recognises that none of us is invulnerable but that there is a particular care for those whose vulnerability is increased by 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, but that it does not diminish our humanity and seeks to affirm the gifts and graces of all God’s people.

This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people, and adults who may be at risk. It is intended to be a dynamic policy. It is intended to support the Church in being a safe supportive and caring community for children, young people, adults who may be at risk, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.

The United Church Dorchester fully agrees with the Methodist Connexional statement reiterated in Creating Safer Space 2007:

As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God’s purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community of all ages.

The United Church Dorchester recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children, and adults who may be at risk and recognises that this may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect. It acknowledges the effects these may have on people and their development including spiritual and religious development. It accepts its responsibility for ensuring that all people are safe in its care and that their dignity and right to be heard is maintained. It accepts its responsibility to support, listen to and work for healing with survivors, offenders, communities and those who care about them. It takes seriously the issues of promotion of welfare so that each of us can reach our full potential in God’s grace.

The United Church Dorchester commits itself to respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, whether in the church or in another context. It commits itself to challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust.

The United Church Dorchester commits itself to ensuring the implementation of Methodist Connexional Safeguarding Policy; government legislation and guidance and safe practice in the circuit and in the churches.

The United Church Dorchester commits itself to the provision of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people that will ensure people are clear and confident about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults who may be at risk.

The United Church Dorchester affirms and gives thanks for the work of those who are workers with children and adults who may be at risk and acknowledges the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding adults at risk on our premises.

The United Church Dorchester appoints Mrs Heather Bland as Church Safeguarding representative for Adults and Mrs Janice Young as Church Safeguarding representative for Children and supports them in their role which is to:

i)    support and advise the ministers and the stewards in fulfilling their roles
ii)    provide a point of reference to advise on safeguarding issues
iii)    liaise with Circuit and District Safeguarding Co-ordinators
iv)    promote safeguarding best practice within the local church with the support of circuit ministers.

 

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a)    Purpose
The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for adults who may be at risk in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook (2010).

b)    Good Practice
We believe good practice means that:
i)    All people are treated with respect and dignity.
ii)    Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child or adult at risk where the activity cannot be seen unless this is necessary for pastoral reasons, in which case a written note of this will be made and kept noting date, time and place of visit.
iii)    The church premises will be assessed for safety for children and adults who may be at risk and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Council of Stewards in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Council of Stewards will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made more suitable.
iv)    Any church-organised transport of children or adults who may be at risk will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and insured and that the driver and escort are appropriate.
v)    Promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all God’s people to reach their full potential. The Council of Stewards will actively consider the extent to which it is succeeding in this area.

These things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may be at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect.

c)    Appointment and training of workers
    Workers will be appointed after a satisfactory DBS disclosure. Each worker will be expected to undergo basic safeguarding training, within the first year of appointment. The other training needs of each worker will be considered (e.g. food hygiene, first aid, lifting and handling, etc.) and each worker will have an annual review conducted by a named member of the Council of Stewards and another worker within the organisation.

d)    Pastoral visitors
    In terms of safeguarding, Pastoral Visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment.

e)    Ecumenical events
    Where ecumenical events happen on church premises, safeguarding is the responsibility of this Council of Stewards.

f)    Events with church groups off the premises
    Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events. Notification of the event will be given to Heather Bland.

g)    Other groups on church premises
    Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement [which will include agreeing to observing this policy or providing their own equivalent policy) will be given a copy of this policy. The Lettings Secretary will consider the various users of the building in making lettings 2

i)    Complaints procedure
    It is hoped that complaints can generally be dealt with internally by the organisations. However, a complaint may be made to a person who will be appointed by the Council of Steward.  At United Church Dorchester this will usually be the immediate former Senior Steward. If a complaint is made to another person, it should be passed to the immediate former Senior Steward who will arrange to meet with the complainant and attempt to resolve the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved, consideration will be given to invoking the complaints system of the Methodist Church which will involve initially speaking with the Local Complaints Officer who is Jane Fisher, Methodist District Safeguarding Officer (tel 07840 186814).

j)    Review
    This policy will be reviewed annually by the Council of Stewards. The date of the next review
is January 2018.

k)    Key concepts and definitions
i)    Adult at risk: An adult at risk of harm is defined as someone who has needs for care and support (whether or not the needs are being met), and is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves.
ii)    Safeguarding and protecting children, young people, or adults who may be at risk from maltreatment; preventing impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
iii)    Adult/child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. This refers to the activity which is undertaken to protect children/specific adults who are suffering or are at risk of suffering significant harm, including neglect.
iv)    Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, in a community and in an institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or adult at risk or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may be an infliction of harm or a failure to prevent harm.

Dated    
Signed Original Signed by Mary Martin as Snr Steward and Rev Stephanie Jenner


Chair of Council of Stewards/Minister

 

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[1]     Or membership of (PVG scheme Scotland). (return to paragraph)

[2]     Such as the code of practice or the pocket guide. (return to paragraph

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