Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy
This policy was agreed at Church Council on 27th February 2018
THE METHODIST CHURCH, along with the whole Christian community, believes each person has a value and dignity that 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 protect them from harm.
Midge Hall Methodist Church is committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people & vulnerable adults and affirms that the needs of children, or of people when they are vulnerable, are paramount.
Midge Hall Methodist 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 by reduction of capacities. It is recognised that 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 that safeguarding of children, young people & vulnerable adults. It is a dynamic policy and is intended to support the Church in being a safe, supportive and caring community for children, young people, vulnerable adults, survivors of abuse, communities and/or those affected by abuse.
Midge Hall Methodist Church fully agrees with the Connexional statement reiterated in CREATING SAFE SPACE 2007:- As people of the Methodist Church, we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God’s purpose for everyone and we seek to safeguard all members of the church community of all ages.
Midge Hall Methodist Church recognises the serious issue of abuse of children and vulnerable adults 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 responsibility to support, listen to and work for helping 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
Midge Hall Methodist Church 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 ensuring the implementation of Connexional Safeguarding Policy; government legislation and guidance & safe practice in the circuit and the churches.
Midge Hall Methodist Church 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 vulnerable.
Midge Hall Methodist Church affirms and gives thanks for the work of those who are workers with children & vulnerable adults and acknowledges the shared responsibility of us all for safeguarding all such persons on our premises.
Midge Hall Methodist Church appoints ANN CHRISTINE STAFFORD as CHURCH SAFEGUARDING ADULTS REPRESENTATIVE and CHURCH SAFEGUARDING CO-ORDINATOR FOR CHILDREN and supports her in her role which is to:-
i support and advise the ministry team and the stewards in fulfilling their roles.
ii provide a point of reference
iii liaise with Circuit and District Safeguarding Officers
iv promote safeguarding best practice within the church with the support of circuit ministerial team
The purpose of this safeguarding policy is to ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for children, young people & vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the District and Circuit Policy and with the latest edition of the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook, a copy of which is available on the Methodist Church website: www.methodist.org.uk and follow the link to Safeguarding.
b Good Practice
We believe good practice means:-
i All people are treated with respect and dignity.
ii Those who act on behalf of the Church should not meet with or work alone with a child or vulnerable adult where 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 Church premises will be assessed for safety for children & vulnerable adults and the Risk Assessment Report will be given annually to the Church Council in written form. This should include fire safety procedures. The Church Council will consider the extent to which the premises and equipment are suitable or should be made suitable.
iv All church-organised transport of children & vulnerable adults will be checked to ensure the vehicle is suitable and insured and that the driver and passenger assistant are appropriate.
v Promotion of safeguarding is recognised to include undertaking those tasks that will 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 respect.
All these things are to safeguard those working with children, young people and those adults who may be vulnerable
c Appointment and Training of Workers, both paid and voluntary
Workers will be appointed after completion of SAFEGUARDING FORM A&X and a satisfactory DBS disclosure. Each worker will be expected to undertake Creating Safer Space Foundation Module Training WITHIN THE FIRST 6 MONTHS OF APPOINTMENT. Other training needs of each worker will be considered ( e.g. Food Hygiene, First Aid, Moving and Handling etc). Each worker will have an annual review conducted by a named member of the Church Council & another worker within the organisation.
The SAFEGUARDING FORMS & DBS shall be held, safely and securely, by the MINISTER ( at Midge Hall this is Deacon Ellen Monk-Winstanley)
d Pastoral Visitors
Pastoral Visitors shall be supported in their role with the provision of basic safeguarding training on appointment
e Guidelines for working with Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults
Leaflets will be obtained (from Connectional Resources) and reviewed annually (with this Policy) and will be given to each worker with children, young people & vulnerable adults.
f Ecumenical Events
Where ecumenical events happen on church premises, safeguarding is the responsibility of the Church Council and those organising Circuit events held on these premises should follow the policy & procedures of the Circuit and of this Church.
g Events with Church Groups OFF premises
Adequate staffing will be ensured for such events. Notification of the event shall be given to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator.
h Other Groups ON Church Premises
Where the building is hired for outside use, the person signing the letting agreement ( Standard Licence Agreement , available from Methodist Property Office, for those who use the premises MORE than 3 times a year and SAFEGUARDING FORM E, for those using the premises UP TO 3 times a year.) shall be given a copy of this policy and Methodist Safeguarding Pocket Guide. The Lettings Officer will consider the various users of the building when making lettings.
i COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
It is hoped that complaints about the wording and/or working of this policy can, generally, be dealt with internally by the Church & organisations concerned. However, a complaint may be made to a person who will be appointed by the Church Council and this, currently, is CHRISTINE STAFFORD. If a complaint is made to another person, IT SHOULD THEN BE PASSED TO CHRISTINE 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 and will involve speaking, initially, with the Circuit Complaints Officer who is GRAHAM KAY.
j Review of this Policy
THIS POLICY WILL BE REVIEWED ANNUALLY BY THE CHURCH COUNCIL AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING.
The next review will be in February 2018. (Annual General Meeting)
k Key Concepts and Definitions
i Children & Young People: anyone under the age of 18 years.
Ii Vulnerable Adults: 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 care for him/herself or to protect him/herself from significant harm or exploitation.
Iii Safeguarding & Protecting Vulnerable Adults : 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 vulnerable adult, or by strangers; by an adult or by a child. It may an infliction of harm OR a failure to prevent harm.