St Peter's Church Balsall Common
The following Numbers and e-mail addresses may be useful:
In Case of Need:
Childline - 0800 1111 or 0870 336 2917
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
Solihull Child Protection Unit 0121 788 4300
Solihull emergency care line: 0121 605 6060
Bishops’ Safeguarding Officer (Diocesan Child Protection advisor)
– 07342 993 844
St Peter’s Safeguarding Officer –
Dr Mark Johnson – 01676 532389 or e-mail email@example.com
NOTE: All church officers are expected to undertake appropriate training. To book - click on this link- or go to the Church of England Birmingham Safeguarding pages and follow the link to Training there.
Our Policy on Safeguarding and Child Protection
All our PCC Members and Officers, and most of the helper volunteers (if their role involves 'regulated activity' with vulnerable people or children) at our activities have been 'DBS' checked in keeping with these policies. They are also expected to have attended 'C2' level training, and as a minimum, to have undertaken basic levels of safeguarding training provided by the Church of England nationally. These requirements are being strengthened in line with the new Pastoral Measure approved by Synod in Spring 2021 following the report of the IICSA.
If you have any concerns or questions, send an e-mail to us on firstname.lastname@example.org ... we shall respond as soon as possible
We also have a strong policy regarding the use of 'recreational' and illegal drugs - basically, these are not permitted on our premises, and their use or abuse or trading, will be reported appropriately.
The Church was charged, from its foundation, with the responsibility of helping children to discover God in Christ, and with supporting them according to their needs. Churches are still seen as places where those who are vulnerable can find loving care, but it is also increasingly being recognised that this can be a place where that trust may be abused. The Church needs a policy and procedures which protect young people and those who work with them. This may also assist young people who are abused elsewhere.
In drawing up a statement of policy for local use we have been conscious that other bodies and our fellow churches locally and nationally are also active in their response to the challenge of safeguarding children. The procedures laid out here reflect the guidance of the Home Office, Church of England Board for Social Responsibility and House of Bishops, and the Diocese of Birmingham, the Solihull Area Child Protection Committee and the Methodist Church. We have also been able to consider the work of the ecumenical committee on safeguarding children in the Diocese of Coventry, in which our partner churches in Balsall Common and Berkswell are involved.
Statement of Policy
It is clear from all of the above that all church members who work with children, or who act in any way as representatives of the church should be aware of, and able to respond to, issues regarding the protection of children, or vulnerable adults. This includes recognising when people are being abused, by neglect, physical injury, or sexual and emotional abuse. In such cases, it is essential to make proper records of all concerns and evidence, and to alert the appropriate authorities. The Church will nominate a person who can co-ordinate, support and if necessary act for its members in this respect (see below for contact details).
For the protection of children, the Church, and those who work for or represent the church congregation and its activity groups, all those who are working with, or likely to come into contact with children, must sign up to the policy and registers adopted by the Church in keeping with the recommendations of the Board for Social Responsibility. Part 2 of this document details the procedures adopted for use in St Peter's Church, Balsall Common.
As Christians and adults, we recognise the unique value of children and childhood, and the priority that Jesus gave to their protection. All who work with children, paid or unpaid, in any capacity within the Church, have a special responsibility to exercise the trust placed in them properly.
The law also states that the welfare of the child, in any situation, should be paramount. The Church will collaborate fully with any authorised agency in this respect and not seek to act alone
All those working or seeking to work with children will be properly recruited, trained, supported and supervised as may be appropriate
St Peter's Church commends the study of the documents referred to in this paper, which are available from the Vicar, to all those who may work with children, and will provide periodic opportunities for training in the issues raised for its members.
It is seen by many agencies as good practice that all those who may be seen to represent the Church, including members of the PCC, should sign up to the child protection policy. So doing will facilitate joint working, in particular with partners in other Churches and voluntary agencies locally. Those who cannot in conscience make such a declaration will be able to discuss this matter with the Vicar and/or the individual responsible for child safeguarding, in confidence.
The ‘Registration’ process for those deemed to require it will follow the procedures laid down from time to time by the Diocese of Birmingham and the national ‘Vetting and Barring’ (DBS) Service.
ST. PETER'S PARISH POLICY ON THE RECRUITMENT AND SUPPORT OF PAlD STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS ENGAGED IN WORK WITH CHILDREN
All those working with children will be given copies of the Parish Policy on Safeguarding the Welfare of Children together with the Schedule hereto appropriate to the work which they are to do and required to endeavour to comply with the same.
(1) In the appointment of Clergy & Accredited Lay Ministers the Bishop or his representative will be requested to confirm that the procedure in Annex 1 B of the House of Bishops "Policy on Child Protection" has been followed.
(2) Existing and future paid or voluntary workers having opportunities for unsupervised contact with children, if eligible under the current regulations, will be required to complete the processes of the Vetting and Barring system in place at that time.
The Vicar will consider with the Bishop's Representative any matters of concern following upon the completion of such Declaration or of the said search.
3. The Organisation of Work:
(1) All those supervising, coordinating, or leading those working with children in any particular field of work will be required to have follow the guidelines and statutory regulations issued by the Home Office and Diocese and contained in "Safe from Harm" and subsequent updates in determining how that work is to be organised and how those so working are to be supervised, trained, and supported.
(2) The organisation of the particular work to be done with children and the safeguards for the protection of children from abuse shall be in accord with the appropriate Schedules hereto which shall initially be compiled by those engaged in the respective activities.
(3) The Schedules and this Policy will be reviewed annually by the PCC.
(4) Each volunteer will be provided with a written outline stating what is expected of them and stating:
(a) the person to whom the volunteer is accountable:
(b) the person or persons whose work they will supervise:
(c) the work they will undertake with reference to the guidelines in the appropriate Schedule hereto:
(d) their duty to prevent the abuse of any child in contact with the Church:
(e) the action which is to be taken if abuse is discovered, alleged, or disclosed.
4. Children’s Advocate:
St Peter’s has designated Dr Mark Johnson as the Parish Safeguarding Officer, who is available for confidential discussions – Tel: 01676 532389 e-mail email@example.com (confidential email address)
All those who work with children will be responsible to make the children aware of the availability of the appointed person and of how he or she may be contacted.
5. Discovery, Allegation, or Disclosure of Abuse:
(1) Any person receiving an allegation of abuse is to make a detailed written and dated record of the same and of their response thereto. The record is to be given to the Vicar and/or the Parish Safeguarding Officer and retained by him.
(2) If an allegation of abuse is made by or on behalf of a child the person receiving the same is immediately to report the allegation to the Child Protection Unit of Solihull Social Services Department. In this he or she may seek the support of the Vicar, Parish Safeguarding Officer or Independent Person nominated by the Bishop's Representative.
(3) If the allegation is of abuse which has been committed by a member of the clergy, accredited lay minister, paid employee of the Church, or a voluntary worker authorised by the Church then in addition to the action in paragraph 5 (1) the allegation is to be reported at the same time to the Bishop and the Bishop's Representative.
(4) Those receiving such an allegation must be conscious of the need to minimise harm and distress both to those who may have been abused and to those against whom an allegation is made. They shall refrain from disclosing the fact of the allegation having been made other than to the above-mentioned or to other appropriate statutory bodies.
From time to time formal training sessions will be provided to those working with children. The training will include guidance in recognising and responding to signs of child abuse.
PCC Trustees and other officers of the church will be expected to take advantage of the free training provided by Church of England – Birmingham, including the online Awareness courses and the more advanced training for specialists in more sensitive roles at an appropriate level.
PROCEDURE FOR APPOINTMENT OF PAID STAFF AND VOLUNTARY WORKERS HAVING OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNSUPERVISED CONTACT WITH CHILDREN.
The Church will follow the agreed ‘Safe Recruitment’ procedures agreed by Church of England - Birmingham
Each applicant for such a post shall be required to provide 2 written references:
(1) one of these references shall relate to their personal qualities:
(2) the other shall relate to previous work (if any) with children or young people.
The Vicar or his representative will:
(1) confirm that the references are genuine;
(2) seek clarification of any vagueness or ambiguity in the same.
Each applicant will undergo a formal conversation with the Vicar or his representative. The conversation will be in respect of the applicant's previous work with children or young people: his or her abilities and aims; and his or her understanding of the work to be performed.
Any applicant believed to be suitable for appointment subsequently will be required to complete the Diocesan DBS declaration and to undertake the Vetting and Barring procedures
The Vicar/Safeguarding Officer will retain the said declaration in a file confidential to himself and to the Bishop's Representative.
The Vicar will consider with the Bishop's Representative any matters of concern following upon the completion of such Declaration or of the said DBS search.
Any such matter of concern will be discussed by the Vicar with the applicant.
The decision as to the appointment of the applicant will be made by the Vicar together with the Bishop's Representative in cases where matters of concern have been raised by the said Declaration or search.
Each new appointment will be made only for a probationary period.
(1) The length of the said period shall be determined by the Vicar or his representative;
(2) The decision whether to confirm the appointment at the end of the period shall be made by the Vicar or his representative after discussion with the applicant.