New Life Community Church is an inclusive, non- discriminatory Church welcoming all people from a diversity of backgrounds.
The purpose of this document is to inform those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults of our policy on safeguarding and safe practice and to advise them of the procedure to be carried out if abuse is suspected or disclosed to them.
This policy applies to all Group Leaders and Volunteer workers (over 16 years old) who minister (serve as a responsible person) to children and young people through their age-related groups. This relates to all New Life Community Church activity which currently includes NLCC kids, youth, Life and Community groups and events such as NewDay and Connect Festival.
The aims of the policy are to
- Promote the highest standards of welfare and protection for children, young people (0-18 years) and vulnerable adults
- Provide to all staff and volunteers clear safeguarding procedures, roles and responsibilities
- Ensure the use of safe recruitment procedures, supervision and training as a means to protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults
- Issue guidance on how to deal with disclosure or discovery of abuse
- Plan the work of the Church to minimise situations where the abuse of any sort could occur
- Establish a code of conduct and routine that protects those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults
- Establish a continuous rota of DBS completion and updating
Roles & Responsibilities
Everyone in the church is responsible for safeguarding our church community, and those people we interact with. This includes being aware of what is written in our Policy and helping put these principles into practice.
The Elders have overall responsibility for the Church and will have the final say in situations where the policy is not adhered to. Any situation will be reported to the Elders.
Any adult who is known to be on the Child Offenders Register should be brought to the attention of the Elders as quickly as possible and not communicated generally within the Church for reasons of privacy.
The Elders will agree, with the individual, the limits on participation within the Church and will also determine who else will need to be informed within the Church. This information would not generally be communicated to every church member for reasons of reasonable privacy.
An annual report is prepared by the Safeguarding Officer in September and presented for review by the Trustees at the next meeting.
The Nominated Elder for Safeguarding is Mr. Kane Hardy – contact 07770571450 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Where a completed form or returned DBS check indicates an offence the safeguarding officer will refer the information to the Safeguarding Elder for a decision.
Nominated NLCC Safeguarding Officer
The nominated Safeguarding Officer for NLCC is Mr. Paul Williams – contact 07814505107 or email@example.com)
Disclosure and Barring Service checking and DBS Form processing is Mrs Jenny Elbro
Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service are carried out on all NLCC employees and volunteers over the age of 16 years working with children, young people and vulnerable adults prior to taking up their roles or at the discretion of the Elders. The forms/link can be obtained from safeguarding policy coordinator, Mrs Jenny Elbro.
We currently use UCheck to process our Enhanced DBS requirements –
- First Floor, Chiltern House, Sigford Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter, EX2 8NL
- Enquiries: 0843 1780818*
- Customer Service: 01392 531268
- Company registration number: 7879166
Your responsibility as a volunteer
- To report any concerns to the Elder for Safeguarding or Safeguarding Officer and no one else!
- Not to divulge any information about a child, young person or vulnerable adult to anyone other than the designated people previously mentioned. This confidentiality is required even when workers are off duty.
- Children must be registered in the appropriate group with details of any medical issues or Special Needs. (Church registration sheet)
- Parents have full responsibility for their child/children at all times. This is particularly so before and after any Church activity.
Good practice guidelines for working with children and young people
All Volunteer Workers over the age of 16 years hold an enhanced DBS check which is regularly updated. Any volunteer under the age of 16 is supervised by a checked volunteer.
All volunteers work under the supervision of their respective leaders of that day.
Children and young people should be treated with dignity and respect in attitude; this includes language, tone of voice and body gestures. Volunteers should be mindful of the safety of children in all circumstances.
- As far as possible, volunteers should avoid being on their own with any child and should carry out all their activities where they can be seen.
- Never take a child/young person home on your own (always have another helper with you). In an emergency situation and where Parents have given consent to transport their child alone the child must sit in the back of the car.
- Never make a promise of confidentiality to children /young people
- Only people DBS checked are able to accompany any child/young person to the toilet.
- All nappy changes must be done by the Parent\Carer or with prior consent of the Parent\Carer. A signed consent of Parents is necessary for any intimate care for those with disabilities.
- Volunteers do not engage in rough physical games or play where language or behavior could be construed to be sexually provocative.
- Children/Young people should never be ridiculed, rejected or used as a scapegoat by volunteers.
- Volunteers never use physical punishment
- Where confidentiality is important (eg. Discipling a young person) ensure that another knows that the interview is taking place and that someone else is around in the building.
- Another person must be present at any mixed gender meeting.
Off site activities
- Any off site activity must have the prior consent of the Elder for Safeguarding.
- Any off site activity must be risk assessed by the Group Leader or Safeguarding Elder.
- For a specific event Parental consent must be given in written form with contact numbers and any medical needs recorded.
- The Activity must not deviate from the agreed plan without prior consent from the Elder for Safeguarding and Parent.
Responding to allegations or signs of abuse
If a child, young person or vulnerable adult makes a disclosure or makes an allegation of inappropriate behavior or abuse against them
- Thank them for telling you and reassure them that they have done the right thing.
- Tell them that to sort the problem out safely you will need to talk to one or two other people to get advice. (Never promise to keep it a secret or discuss it with the alleged perpetrator!)
- Try to write down the exact words used as soon as possible. Date and sign the account of what you heard and give this record to the Elder for Safeguarding.
- Never push for more information or question the child. Say things like ‘can you tell me more?’ -“is there any more you need to say?”
- Don’t comment or say things like ‘that’s dreadful’ ‘how shocking’
- Don’t begin to investigate!!
- Report your concerns to the nominated NLCC Safeguarding Officer
- Don’t discuss the conversation with anyone else.
What happens next?
If the disclosure is considered serious (as determined by NLCC Safeguarding Officer and NLCC Elders) then a Church report form is completed and the concerns will be passed for assessment to Hampshire County Council Child Services or Police. They will investigate and keep Church Leaders informed. If the concern does not need outside support then the Elder for Safeguarding will decide if pastoral intervention would be helpful.
Contact Telephone Numbers:
HCC Child Services: 0300 555 1384 (8.30am-5pm) : 0300 555 1373 (out of hours service)
Police : 999
Possible signs of abuse
The Church acknowledges that the following can be subjective. Training will be provided to all Volunteers working with children. Appropriate reference should be made to the policy if a Volunteer has any concerns.
Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual or neglect.
Physical – A form of abuse which may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness.
Emotional – The persistent emotional maltreatment of children, Young people or vulnerable adults so as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on emotional development. It may involve conveying that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on them. These may include interactions that are beyond their developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing them participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing them frequently to feel frightened or in danger. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse -Involves forcing or enticing a child, young person or vulnerable adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not they are aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or nonpenetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging them to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming them in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children.
Neglect – The persistent failure to meet basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
- Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment)
- Protect from physical and emotional harm or danger
- Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers)
- Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to their basic emotional needs.
Some things to look out for based on the four types of abuse:
- Bruising, unexplained injury or an injury that has not received medical attention
- self harm
- extreme changes in mood or behaviour (aggressive or withdrawn)
- over-sexualised behavior (verbal and/or physical)
- changed or inappropriate relationships with peers or adults
- undernourishment or inadequate care
If you have concerns over a fellow co-worker, the same procedure follows, document/report & take to your Safeguarding officer. The line of enquiry will be the same as previously explained.
- Report Form of suspected abuse
- Registration form for off site activity
- Church registration sheets (NLCC kids/Youth)
Attachment available from the church office: firstname.lastname@example.org