Safeguarding Policy for children and vulnerable adults.

Statement by Church Council on Safeguarding:-
As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God's purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community, of all ages. 

It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people.

St Paul's is also aware of and committed to the safeguarding of vulnerable and temporarily vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises.

All those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults should ensure that they have read, understood and full embraced the policy.





Safeguarding Policy


St Paul's Methodist Church


 Minister                                 Revd Francis Neil


Safeguarding Officers            Paul Hinton

                                                Dawn Teague


Date Adopted                          12 November 2009


The purposes of St Paul's Methodist Church 's Safeguarding policy are:
1. To ensure procedures are in place and people are clear about their roles and responsibilities in safeguarding, and
2. T
o promote children's welfare both in our care and using our premises.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Circuit and District Safeguarding Policies and "Safeguarding-a policy for good practice in the care of children and young people" (pub 2003)

 St Paul's is also aware of and committed to the safeguarding of vulnerable and temporarily vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. This policy and all associated documentation therefore refers not only to the protection of children and young people but also to the protection of vulnerable adults.


1.Connexional Statement


As the people of the Methodist Church we are concerned with the wholeness of each individual within God's purpose for everyone. We seek to safeguard all members of the church community, of all ages. It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people.


2. What is Abuse and Neglect?

'Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of a child. Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting; by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults or another child or children '

Working Together to Safeguard Children, HM Government, 2006.


There are four categories of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual and neglect.

Any child or young person under the age of eighteen can suffer abuse.


3.Clarification of terms

Within this Safeguarding Policy all those termed 'workers' includes paid and voluntary positions. A 'child' is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.


 4. Good practice guidelines:

 For good practice in our Church we should ensure that:

·         All children and young people are treated with respect and dignity as far as possible, children's and youth workers or anyone else, are not alone with a child where their activity cannot be seen, on church premises. This may mean leaving doors open, or two groups working in the same room.

·         In a pastoral situation with a child, where privacy is important, another adult knows the interview is taking place, and with whom it is taking place.

·         The church premises, and access to and from them, are safe and well lit.


All of us are responsible for observing the above good practice. The following guidelines are designed for those appointing Children's and Youth Workers and for those working with children and young people.


b) Appointing Children's and Youth Workers


The appointment of all workers is the overall responsibility of the Church Council.

All workers with children and young people must be able to provide a satisfactory disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau. This will include but is not exclusively limited to:

·         Children and youth workers.

·         Junior Church workers and Sunday School teachers.

·         Leaders of weekday groups (with under 18's), holiday clubs and residential weekends -  including leaders of Parent and Toddler groups, music groups, choirs and drama groups etc which include children.

·         Officers of youth organisations (eg. Girls Brigade, Boys Brigade)

·         Workers with under 5's

·         Ministers.

·         Lay employees, (where involved with pastoral work, children and youth work, or acting in a ministerial role only).

·         Those who supervise, manage or train those who work with children and young people.

·         Regular helpers.

·         Cleaners, caretakers and receptionists (where there are activities for children and young people taking place regularly).


The Church Council will ensure all sections of the relevant forms are completed and the Minister will retain copies in a secure place.

 For those people who already have a Disclosure via other organisations (portability):

The Church Council of St Paul's Methodist Church agrees that, providing safe recruitment procedures have been followed, then no further disclosures will be required for any new volunteer who is in possession of an enhanced disclosure for working with children, issued within the previous 12 months. 


Re-applying for Disclosures
It is the Co-ordinator's role to ask workers to re-apply for a Disclosure every five years or upon change of location, whichever is shorter.


Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA)

From October 2009 it will become a criminal offence knowingly to appoint someone (paid or voluntary), who is barred on the Independent Safeguarding Authority list to work from which they are barred. It will also be a criminal offence for someone listed to seek appointment with the relevant vulnerable group from which they are barred.

 There will also be a duty to report relevant information to the Independent Safeguarding Authority about a worker who poses a risk to children.

 If there is an allegation that a person who works with children has behaved in a way that has harmed a child or may have harmed a child or has possibly committed a criminal offence that indicates s/he is unsuitable to work with children the Safeguarding Officer must report it to the Local Authority Designated Officer.  

The Chair of District must be informed in all cases and the Connexional Safeguarding Adviser must be consulted about lay employees and ministers.


c) Good practice guidelines:-

for workers with children and young people:

·         At least two adults will lead any children's and young people's activities.

·         As far as possible, a worker will not be alone with a child or young person and never on a regular basis.

·         If a worker does find themselves on their own with children, eg. illness of another worker they must contact the co-ordinator to inform them and together undertake a risk assessment on what action to take; again this must not happen on a regular basis.

·         If privacy or confidentiality is required, another worker should be told, and doors left open.

·         All children should be treated with respect and without discrimination.

·         Avoid games whose rules do not prevent the possibility of physical aggression, or inappropriate touching.

·         Refrain from any sexually suggestive comments, ridiculing, or rejection of a child.

·         Avoid inappropriate touching of any form; exercise caution if comforting an injured or distressed child.

·         Manage children's behaviour without physical contact, or aggressive or intimidating behaviour.

·         Avoid, where possible, giving lifts to individual children; if this is unavoidable, ask them to sit in the rear of the car.

·         Follow Methodist Church guidance on camping and residential trips, residential settings and youth meetings at home.


 Amongst children's and youth workers:

 ·         Workers should support one another in ensuring these guidelines are followed.

·         If a worker has a concern about the behaviour or suitability of a colleague, they must speak to the leader /co-ordinator/safeguarding officer.

·         Workers must be given regular opportunity to meet and review the work they have done and plan future work.

·         Leaders/co-ordinators should discuss with workers their role and any concerns they have about their work with children - this is supervision.


 5. What to do if you are concerned about a child.

A worker or member of the church community may be concerned about a child for a number of reasons:

·         A child has made an allegation about abuse or neglect.

·         Information has been received from a third party.

·         Observation, for example, of changed behaviour or unexplained injury.


If a child makes an allegation about abuse or neglect:


·         Listen, try not to question and never push for information.

·         Accept what is being said calmly.

·         Reassure the child they were right to tell you. Let them know you will need to pass the information on, don't promise confidentiality, and let them know what you are going to do next.

·         Record concerns as soon as possible, including name/s of child/ren, age, date of birth, names of parents/carers, record factual information, write down exactly what was said/heard/observed/ injuries, names of other witnesses, date, time, location action taken and people contacted, their response, any action, author to sign and date it.

·         Discuss your concerns with the Safeguarding Officer.

·         Make a decision together about what will happen next, record this. The Safeguarding Officer will sign and date record of concern.

·         Safeguarding Officer to decide whether Incident Report Form needs to be completed (Appendix).  If yes, keep a copy of the Incident Report form in a secure place and send a copy to the District Office, marked 'Safeguarding Referral'.


There are visual, verbal and behavioural signs and indicators which could alert you to a child who may be being abused. These include: 


·         unexplained or untreated injuries or bruising

·         sexually explicit language or actions

·         a child describing an abusive act to you

·         unexplained changes in behaviour

·         a change observed over a long period of time

·         a distrust of adults.


This list is not exclusive and the presence of one of more indicators is not necessarily proof that abuse is actually taking place. If you are concerned about a child record concerns as soon as possible, and use procedure as above.


The safety of the child is paramount, sending the form should not delay any action.

If a child alleges sexual abuse or you believe he/she is at risk of significant harm you must make a referral to Children's Social Care.

To make a referral to Children's Social Care, call 01422 353279.  It may also be the case that you need advice about what to do next in a situation. It is also possible to phone Children's Social Care for advice and consultation on the above number. The Emergency Duty team for out of hours help is 01422 365101.


For further information see


6. Training

Safeguarding training is available through the District Safeguarding Group. Creating Safer Space, the Connexional Training Framework for Safeguarding will be implemented in a three year programme during which all ministers, lay employees, children's and youth work volunteers and officer holders will be required to undertake training.


In addition to this, St Paul's requires all leaders in child/young person's organisations to undergo safeguarding training.  This may be as part of their own organisation policy, (we are aware of the robust attitude of the Scout and Guide organisations), or through a Methodist Church training session. Proposed new appointees should contact the Circuit Office to be advised of the date of the next planned course.


7. Other groups and activities on church premises

Groups hiring the church where children are present should be asked to sign our appropriate Form (E), informing of our policy.  This is the responsibility of the Lettings Secretary.

Leaders of Scouts and Guides will obtain Disclosures through their own organisations.

When any ecumenical (or other partnerships, agencies, colleges, mission events) activities take place on the church premises it is the Church Council's responsibility to ensure that workers have satisfactory CRB Disclosures and all personnel see and understand the procedures in this policy.


8. Access for Safeguarding Officers

Safeguarding Officers have the right to attend, at their own discretion and without prior notice, any meeting held on church premises for the purpose of ensuring that appropriate activities are taking place. This extends to all hirings of the premises, meetings of church groups or church sponsored groups. The right also includes the authority to attend meetings of church or church sponsored groups which take place away from church premises. The Safeguarding Officer has the right to suspend any person from their role, pending enquiry into and clarification of any concerns.


9. Monitoring and evaluation

This policy will be reviewed annually at a Church Council meeting. The date of the next review is November 2016.


St. Paul's Church Council   


Date  12 November 2009


Useful telephone numbers:

Revd Francis Neil                    01422 615910

Safeguarding Officers
Paul Hinton                            01422 831431
Dawn Teague                         01422 357772

Childline:                             0800 11 11
(A private and confidential service for children and young persons up to the age of 19)

NSPCC Helpline:                    0808 800 5000
(A ready source of advice when perhaps unsure about a situation)

Calderdale Social Services:
Northgate House,
3rd Floor
Halifax HX1 1UN
   ( )

Multi Agency Screening Team (MAST):      01422 393336
Emergency Duty Team (EDT):                  01422 288000

Local Authority Designated Officer, (Cheryl Baxter, LADO)
                                                             01422 394156




The following form is to be completed in the case of safeguarding concern:-                                                                                       


St Paul's Methodist Church

Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults




Record of Concern


Name/s of child/children / vulnerable adult



Age:                  D.O.B. (if under 18)






Name/s of parents/carers (if under 18):







Record here exactly what happened/was heard/observed/what was said:











People contacted/action taken:








Signature of author:                            Signature of Safeguarding Officer


Print name:                                                Print name:


Date:                                                 Date: