Policies and Legal Information
Policies and Legal Information
Hope Church meets weekly on Sunday mornings in our main church hall with a congregation of adults, families, and children. During the service, we run a Sunday School, open to children from 5 to 16, for children of members of the congregation, and children from the local area; and a crèche for children under five.
In addition, during the week we run after school clubs and youth groups on the church premises for children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16 from the local community. We are also involved providing support to run clubs and children’s activities on local school premises. Children have the opportunity to play games, take part in sport and craft activities as well as music, dance and drama. In the summer holidays we provide our young people with the opportunity to join residentials run by organisations with long experience in providing fully risk assessed adventurous and other play activities.
Our aim is that young people attending our groups have fun and have the opportunity to learn more about the Christian way of life, as well as gaining life skills, based on sound moral and ethical values.
We have both paid and volunteer children’s workers who are subject to the safeguarding policies described in the rest of this policy.
This policy is based on the CCPAS Model Safeguarding Policy © CCPAS 2009
We recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and vulnerable adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.
We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.”
We have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).
Hope Church undertakes to:
published with CCPAS and the local authority (Nottingham City Council Children’s Play Services). The Church Council agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.
Understanding abuse and neglect
Defining child abuse or abuse against a vulnerable adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution, or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or vulnerable adult.
In order to safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19 which states:
Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5 which states:
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Detailed definitions, and signs and symptoms of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included here in our policy.
Hope Church is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.
Hope Church will also ensure that children and vulnerable adults are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.
Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Rather you must follow the procedures set out below:
Nottingham Children’s Social Services
Office telephone number (office hours) is: 0115 915 1006
The out of hours emergency number is: 0115 915 9299
Nottingham Adult Social Services
Office telephone number (office hours) is: 0115 883 8460
The out of hours emergency number is: 0115 883 8460
The Police Child Protection Team telephone number is: 0115 967 0999
It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from CCPAS, although Hope Church hope that individuals will use this procedure.
If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Hope Church Trustees have not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with Hope Church Trustees as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct.
We hope by making this statement that Hope Church demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.
The role of the Hope Church Trustees is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.
Our detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child are described below:
If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Hope Church Trustees will:
In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Hope Church Trustees will:
If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Hope Church Trustees, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker, also making a referral to a Safeguarding Adviser (SA) / Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
Note: Working Together 2006 Sections 6.20 – 6.30 [Allegations of abuse made against a person who works with children] states that local authorities should have a designated officer to manage cases where an accusation is made against someone working with children (whether working in a paid or voluntary capacity). These individuals are often known as Safeguarding Advisers or Local Authority Designated Officers. Where accusations involve a worker then speak to social services and the police and ask whether the individual needs to be referred.
In addition to this, whether or not there are such mechanisms in operation, consideration should be given to whether a referral should be made to the ISA Vetting and Barring Scheme lists of those people deemed unsuitable for working with children or vulnerable adults. Where you are liaising with a SA / LADO discuss with them about the need to refer to the ISA.
If a vulnerable adult has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse the Hope Church Trustees will:
Hope Church will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
The code of conduct and all applicable Policies and Procedures apply to all employees and volunteers of Hope Church working with Children and Vulnerable Adults.
Hope Church undertakes to follow the principles found within the ‘Abuse Of Trust ‘guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.
Hope Church is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship / organisation.
When someone attending the place of worship / organisation is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to vulnerable adults the Church Council will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep.
Recruitment of Ex-Offenders
The Hope Church criminal records policy applies to all employees and volunteers working with Children and Vulnerable Adults.
As an organisation /place of worship working with children, young people and vulnerable adults we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false accusation.
The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.
We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations which will be considered non-negotiable. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement will have their own policy that meets CCPAS’ safeguarding standards.
Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and vulnerable adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.