Approved by the Board of Trustees on 11th June 2019
Contents of policy
Section 1 Place of worship / organisation details
Section 2 Prevention
Section 3 Practice guidelines
Section 4 Responding to allegations of abuse
Section 5 Pastoral care
This document is based on a Model Safeguarding Policy supplied by the Thirtyone:eight (previously known a CCPAS)
Details of the place of worship / organisation
Name of Place of Worship / Organisation: New Community Church SE London
Address: 24 Station Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 7DU
Tel No: 020 8300 0333
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Leader: James Silley
Safeguarding Coordinator: Melinda Lyons
Membership of Denomination/Organisation: New Ground, Newfrontiers, Evangelical Alliance
Charity Number: 1116023
Company Number: 5854630
Insurance Company: Ansvar Insurance
The following is a brief description of our place of worship / organisation and the type of work / activities we undertake with children and adults who have care and support needs:
The mission of New Community Church is to make Jesus known to our local community and to the nations. We believe God is calling us to impact our local communities, care for and develop our people, and connect, equip, train and send them into our neighbourhoods and the nations – filled with the power and presence of God.
There are many activities that take place at New Community Church Centre during the week, which include four Sunday meetings in three locations, Eltham, Sidcup and Welling. The two morning and one afternoon meetings include a kid’s ministry for ages 0-11 and 11-14. Mid-week there is a parent and toddler and parent and baby group (Oasis Tots, Oasis Babies), youth group, youth café, senior citizens group (Silver & Gold), Foodbank, initiative providing equipment and clothing for families in need (Love Bexley), a weekly community meal and Bexley Winter Shelter (November to January).
We work closely with a number of organisations including the Trussell Trust (Foodbank), Housing Justice (Bexley Winter Shelter), local social services and refuges (Love Bexley).
As a Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.” As a Leadership we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by Thirtyone:eight.
The Leadership undertakes to:
- Endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, in addition to the international conventions outlined above.
- Provide on-going safeguarding training for all its workers* and will regularly review the operational guidelines attached.
- Support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults with care and support needs.
- The Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.
* individuals who assist in providing\facilitating the activities covered by the Safeguarding Policy. “Workers” are usually volunteers, although they may alternatively be employed by New Community Church.”
Understanding abuse and neglect
Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.
In order to safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19:
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
- Those applying have completed a self-declaration form and where appropriate, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check has been completed
- The applicant has been given a copy of the Safeguarding policy and associated procedures and knows how to report concerns
- Appropriate supervision and support for staff, including undertaking safeguarding training has been provided where appropriate:
- Ensuring that staff are competent to carry out their responsibilities for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children/adults and creating an environment where staff feel able to raise concerns and feel supported in their safeguarding role;
- Ensuring a mandatory induction for all staff is undertaken, which includes familiarisation with child/adult protection responsibilities and procedures to be followed if anyone has any concerns about a child’s safety or welfare; and
- Ensuring that all staff have regular reviews of their practice and development
The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all relevant workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All relevant workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.
The Leadership will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.
Management of Workers
As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers have been issued with the Safeguarding policy for children, young people and adults with care and support needs.
As an organisation/place of worship working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded allegation. As well as a general code of conduct for workers we also have specific good practice guidelines for relevant activities we are involved in and these are in the appendices.
Working in Partnership
We have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement will have their own policy that meets Thirtyone:eight's and our safeguarding standards. We believe good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.
Responding to allegations of abuse
Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Follow procedure below:
The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to:
Melinda Lyons (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator")
Tel. no: 07971772001
The above is nominated by the Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.
In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to:
Lucy Hewitt (hereafter the "Deputy")
If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputy, then the report should be made in the first instance to:
The Safeguarding Co-ordinator may need to inform others depending on the circumstances and/or nature of the concern. For example: Chair or Trustee responsible for safeguarding who may need to liaise with the insurance company or the charity commission to report a serious incident. Police, Social services, Designated officer or LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) if the allegation concerns a worker or volunteer working with someone under 18.
Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from Thirtyone:eight.
The Leadership will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.
It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from Thirtyone:eight, although the Leadership hope that members of the place of worship / organisation will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.
Thirtyone:eight Telephone 0845 120 4550 / 01322 517817. Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.
The Safeguarding Co-ordinator should contact the appropriate agency or they may first ring the Thirtyone:eight helpline for advice. They should then contact social services in the area the child or adult lives.
Bexley Safeguarding Children Service: 020 8303 7777
Bexley Adult Safeguarding Team: 020 8303 777
Greenwich MASH team: 020 8921 3172. If out of hours call: 020 8854 8888.
Greenwich adult social care: 020 8921 2304. If out of hours call: 020 8854 8888.
In an emergency call 999
The Police: 101 (for non-emergencies)
The role of the safeguarding co-ordinator/ deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies that have a legal duty to investigate.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:
Definitions of abuse:
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child 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.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only in so far as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child 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 children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as
overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to:
● provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment);
● protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger;
● ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or
● ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.
Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child.
Allegations of abuse, neglect or emotional abuse or sexual abuse
If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:
Contact Children’s Social Services (or Thirtyone:eight) for advice if concerned about a child's safety or if a child is afraid to return home or is at likely risk or at risk of significant harm. Not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so, having contacted Children’s Social Services. Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions and contact emergency services in case of an emergency. For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of significant harm. Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them. In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services direct for advice.
Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult at risk is in need of protection:
An adult at risk is defined as:
A person aged 18 years or over; with care and support needs by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
Suspicions or allegations of abuse or harm including: physical, sexual, organisational, financial, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, forced marriage, modern slavery, domestic abuse.
Definitions of adult abuse:
Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions
Including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse, so called ‘honour’ based violence
Including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
Including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliations, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bulling, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks
Financial or material abuse
Including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuses or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forces labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
Including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion
Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care sitting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in ones; own home. This may range from one off incident to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure policies, processes and practices within an organisation
Neglect and acts of omission
Including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care and support or education services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and healing
This covers a wide range of behaviour including neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. People who neglect themselves can often be at risk of other forms of neglect and exploitation
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people
If an allegation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will:
- Make a referral to a Designated officer/Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) whose function is to handle all allegations against adults who work with children and young people whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.
- Make a referral to Disclosure and Baring Service for consideration of the person being placed on the barred list for working with children or adults with additional care and support needs. This decision should be informed by the LADO if they are involved.
Allegations of abuse against a person who works with adults with care and support needs.
The Safeguarding Co-ordinator will:
- Liaise with Adult Social Services in regards the suspension of the worker
- Make a referral to the DBS following the advice of Adult Social Services
The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide not the church.
Supporting those affected by abuse
The leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship/organisation.
Working with Persons posing a risk to children
- Definition of a person posing a risk to children / adults at risk Those found guilty of an offence under schedule 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933
- Individuals known to have been cautioned / warned / reprimanded in relation to an offence against children
- Individuals against whom there is a previous finding in civil proceedings e.g. Sexual Harm Prevention Orders or care proceedings
- Those about whom there has been a previous S.47 enquiry which came to the conclusion
- that there had been abuse
- An individual who has admitted past abuse of a child
- Others whose past or present behaviour gives rise to a reason to suspect that a child may be at risk of significant harm e.g. a history of domestic violence and other serious assaults
- Reports of low-level allegations or those with inconclusive findings
- Offenders against adults who are notified to the local authority, because the prison or probation services are concerned about the possible risk to children
- Offenders who come to the attention of the MAPPA (Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements)
When someone attending the place of worship/organisation is known to have abused children, is under investigation, or is known to be a risk to adults with care and support needs; the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults with care and support needs, set boundaries for that person, which they will be expected to keep. These boundaries will be based on an appropriate risk assessment and through consultation with appropriate parties.
When someone attending New Community Church is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to adults the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, in addition, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of everyone who may be at risk of harm, will set boundaries which may include a contractual agreement, for that person which they will be expected to keep.
Adoption of the policy
This policy was agreed by the leadership and will be reviewed annually on: 30th June 2020
Signed by: James Silley Position: Lead Elder
Signed by: Melinda Lyons Position: Safeguarding Coordinator/Trustee
Date: 14th June 2019