YATE METHODIST CHURCH
The Methodist Church in Yate is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and vulnerable adults and affirms that the needs of children, young people or vulnerable adults are paramount.
This church recognises that none of us is invulnerable but that there is a particular care for those whose vulnerability is increased by situations, disabilities or reduction in capabilities. It is recognised that this increased vulnerability may be temporary, permanent, visible or invisible.
This policy addresses the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. 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 and vulnerable adults, for survivors of abuse, for communities and for those affected by abuse.
This Church recognises the serious issue of the abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults and also recognises that this abuse may take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, financial, spiritual or institutional abuse or neglect.
This Church commits itself:
To respond without delay to any allegation or cause for concern
To challenge the abuse of power of anyone in a position of trust
To ensure the implementation of Connexional Safeguarding Policy
To ensure the implementation of government legislation and guidance
To safe practice within the Church
To the provision of support, advice and training for lay and ordained people
The Methodist Church in Yate affirms and gives thanks for those who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults and acknowledges the shared responsibility of all of us for safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults who are on our premises.
The purposes of this safeguarding policy are to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for children, young people and vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises.
Whilst this policy cannot anticipate every eventuality of church life, there are some indicators of good practice of which all members of the Church should be aware. When working with children and young people, it is vitally important that individuals do not work alone. There should always be at least two adults present in activities, and there should be careful planning made, especially for groups working with young children in terms of ensuring proper supervision of toilet visits. Pastoral Visitors and other members of the Church working with the vulnerable elderly should likewise be aware of the importance of ensuring that their contact is as open as possible. This may include meeting somebody in a more public space than a person’s home or room in a residential home, and may also include perhaps, where it is felt necessary, two Pastoral Visitors being present during the visit.
Any residential activities or activities involving outings will require careful planning and in all cases a risk assessment should be drawn up prior to the event taking place. Leaders will need to ensure that they have appropriate medical information about each person in the party, as well as up to date contact details and family information to ensure rapid communication in the case of an emergency. The requirements for the proportion of people holding current DBS Checks are different for residential activities than for non-residential activities, and these should be carefully noted, by reference to the Methodist Church’s Connexional Safeguarding Policy.
We believe that good practice means that:
All people are treated with respect and dignity.
Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet or work alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult 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.
The Church premises will be assessed for safety for children, young people and vulnerable adults and the risk assessment report will be given annually to the Church Council in written form. This will include fire safety procedures. The Church Council will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable, on the advice of the Property Stewards.
Any Church organised transport of children, young people or vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and that the driver and escort are appropriate.
Promotion of Safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks which enable all God’s people to reach their full potential. The Church Council will actively consider the extent to which it is succeeding in this area.
Appointment and Training of Workers
“Workers” refers to anyone holding a position of authority within the church, whether paid or voluntary.
Workers engaged in regulated activity will be appointed after a satisfactory DBS disclosure. All workers will be expected to undergo basic safeguarding training within the first year after appointment and regularly updated thereafter. The other training needs will be considered eg food hygiene, first aid, lifting and handling, etc. All workers will have an annual review conducted by the Minister and another worker within the organisation.
Pastoral Visitors will be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training upon appointment and with regular updating thereafter.
When ecumenical events take place on Church premises, the Church Safeguarding Representative shall ensure that this policy is applied.
Events with Church Groups off the Premises
Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events and Church Council will be notified of these events.
Other Groups on Church Premises
Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement will be given a copy of this policy and will return a signed copy to the safeguarding officer.
It is the responsibility of all members of the Church to recognise when children, young people and vulnerable adults are showing signs which may lead to concern. This may be a change in behaviour, a sudden desire for privacy or a rejection of friendship and offers of help. Obvious signs of injury which are unexplained or for which an evasive response may be given, are also important indicators of abuse. Under these circumstances it is important that these concerns are reported promptly and confidentially to the Church Safeguarding Representative, who will then consult with the Minister, the Circuit and the District Safeguarding Officer. In cases of suspicion of serious abuse, it is important that prompt action is taken and the appropriate statutory authorities are informed. A balance has to be struck to ensure that such action is warranted, and that in all cases the advice of the Safeguarding Officer should be sought promptly, particularly where there are concerns relating to possible further danger for either children, young people or vulnerable adults. The safeguarding officer should always be notified in cases of concern, whether or not action is required.
This policy will be reviewed annually.
Key Concepts and Definitions
Any adult aged 18 or over who, by reason of mental or other disability, age, illness or other situation is permanently or for the time being unable to take care of him or herself, or to protect her or himself from significant harm or exploitation.
Safeguarding and protecting children, young people or vulnerable adults from maltreatment; preventing the impairment of their health and ensuring safe and effective care.
Adult/child protection is part of safeguarding and promoting welfare.
Abuse and neglect may occur in a family, community or institution. It may be perpetrated by a person or persons known to the child or vulnerable adult or by strangers; by an adult or child.