Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk
The care and protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults/ adults at risk involved in Church activities is the responsibility of the whole Church. Everyone who participates in the life of the Church has a role to play in promoting a Safer Church for all.
The Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) across the Watersmete Benefice take seriously their responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. The PCCs will embed the Church of England Policy which is based on 5 foundations and 6 overarching policy commitments alongside the Diocese Safeguarding policy and procedures.
We are guided by the following 5 foundations:
- Gospel – being faithful to our call to share the gospel compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of: preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has
- Human Rights and the Law – safeguarding work is undertaken within a legislative framework supported by government guidance
- Core Principles – welfare of the child, young person and vulnerable adult is paramount
- Good Safeguarding Practice – includes: leadership commitment; safeguarding policy; clear lines of accountability; clear reporting procedures and record keeping and effective information sharing/ working with partner agencies
- Learning from the past – statutory reports and independent reviews into abuse that have involved the Church of England highlight past errors and significant lessons learnt to improve safeguarding
Based on the 5 foundations outlined above we commit to the following 6 overarching policy commitments:
- Promoting a Safer environment and culture
- Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church
- Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
- Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
- Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
- Responding to those that may pose a risk to others
A copy of the Church of England’s ‘Promoting a Safer Church’ – Safeguarding policy statement for children, young people and adults can be found here:
Our Safeguarding Policy can be read below:
Parish Church Safeguarding Policy
1. Promoting a safer environment and culture
We will strive to create and maintain environments that are safer for all, that promote well-being, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church for children, young people and vulnerable adults. Our Church Officers will respect all children, young people and vulnerable adults and promote their well-being.
2. Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church
We will select and vet all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church, in accordance with the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance. We will train and equip Church Officers to have the confidence and skills they need to care and support children, young people and vulnerable adults and to recognise and respond to abuse.
3. Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
Anyone who brings any safeguarding suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or non-current abuse to the notice of the Church will be responded to respectfully and in a timely manner, in line with statutory child and adult safeguarding procedures and the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance.
4. Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
We will endeavour to offer care and support to all those that have been abused, regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred. Those who have suffered abuse within the Church will receive a compassionate response, be listened to and be taken seriously
5. Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
The Church in exercising its responsibilities to suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations of abuse will endeavour to respect the rights under criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law of an accused Church Officer including the clergy. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and Church inquiry processes. The Church will take responsibility for ensuring that steps are taken to protect others when any Church Officer is considered a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
6. Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others
The Church, based on the message of the gospel, opens its doors to all. We will therefore endeavour to offer pastoral care and support to any member of the church community whom may present a known risk. The Church will ensure that any risk has been assessed and is being managed in a safeguarding agreement in accordance with House of Bishops policy and practice guidance.
Approved by Nassington PCC April 2022