St John’s Dukinfield Safeguarding Policy Statement
St John’s Dukinfield acknowledges safeguarding to be an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church. We have a duty to provide a safe environment for all people connected or coming into contact with St John’s, and to ensure an effective and sensitive response to any suspected or reported incidences of harm to vulnerable people.
Our approach to safeguarding comprises the following elements:
A robust policy and set of procedures
Clear lines of accountability and responsibility for ensuring our policy and procedures are put into practice
Training and promotion
Relationships and information-sharing with external agencies
Monitoring and review.
2.Policy and Procedures
The Parish Safeguarding Officer gave a presentation on the subject of safeguarding to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) at its meeting on 23 July 2015. At the meeting the PCC agreed to adopt the policy and procedure document ‘Safe in Our Care’ produced by the Diocese of Chester. The diocesan policy document, which is part of its Parish Resource Pack, has been developed to comply with legislation and current guidance, and forms the basis of our approach to safeguarding across all areas of our ministry.
The policy relates to children below the age of eighteen and to adults who, for varying reasons, may have higher levels of vulnerability than others. This increased vulnerability may be permanent or temporary and can include, but is not exclusive to, physical disability or impairment; learning difficulty; physical illness; mental health (including dementia), chronic or acute; substance addiction; failing faculties due to the ageing process; permanent or temporary reduction in physical, mental or emotional capacity brought about by life events, for example bereavement or previous abuse or trauma.
Within our policy we adopt the definition of ‘harm’ used by statutory agencies ie ill treatment or impairment of health or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development). Ill treatment includes sexual abuse.
3.Responsibility and Accountability
All adults within the Church of England have a responsibility to act and intervene in supporting children and adults at risk to achieve their full potential, and to ensure their protection from exploitation, abuse and maltreatment. Within the Church of England structure, the Incumbent has ultimate responsibility for safeguarding within St John’s parish. He works with the PCC to ensure that the church is meeting its obligations to children and vulnerable adults, and is complying with the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures.
The PCC has appointed a Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) who is responsible for advising within the parish on all matters of safeguarding. This is a key position, and the responsibilities associated with it include:
Initiation of referrals to statutory agencies
Liaison with the Diocesan Vulnerability & Safeguarding Officer (DVSO) in ensuring that policy is implemented, that diocesan support and resources are fully utilised, and that the DVSO is informed in the event of a referral to a statutory agency
Provision of support, including safeguarding training and briefings, to the Incumbent, PCC,
ministry leaders and other ministry team members, as determined by the Incumbent/PCC
Annual and interim reporting to the PCC on the implementation of the policy; completion of the Independent Safeguarding Audit and the Archdeacon’s Report.
In addition, ministry team leaders have a responsibility to ensure that their team members are recruited appropriately and receive the training and support stipulated by the PCC. In particular, all those required to work with children must be recruited according to diocesan safer recruitment practices.
4.Training and Promotion
In terms of its safeguarding policy, the PCC has prioritised the following ministry areas:
St Albans homelessness project.
It will be mandatory for everyone involved in these ministry areas to have attended a safeguarding training session provided by our PSO.
Lower levels of risk have been identified in relation to Foodbank and Toddler Group. Training will be mandatory for team/ministry leaders in these areas
Contact details for the Parish Safeguarding Officer will be displayed at the church centre, together with Childline telephone numbers (placed at children’s height) and the Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer’s details.
5.Relationships and information-sharing with external agencies
We will act in an open and transparent way in working in partnership with the statutory agencies to safeguard those at risk and bring to justice anyone who has harmed a child or adult. Any person who raises concerns about a possible safeguarding issue will be treated with respect and their issue will be taken seriously. All concerns will be dealt with in a timely manner in accordance with our procedures.
The church’s PSO will ensure that referrals to statutory agencies take place in accordance with Diocesan policies, which incorporate the principles of Working Together 2013. Appropriate pastoral care will be made available to children and their families and to other relevant people where there have been concerns or allegations expressed.
6.Monitoring and Review
The Incumbent, Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator and relevant ministry leaders will work together to complete an annual self-audit. This will form the basis of an annual action plan. Both the self-audit and proposed action plan will be reported to and agreed by PCC.
Reviewed November 2021