Safeguarding

Carey Youth Team Policy Document

 

Date of Issue:

April 2015

 

Date of last review:

September 2019

 

 

Section 1

Details of the place of worship / organisation

Name of Place of Worship / Organisation: Carey Baptist Church

 

Address: Carey Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6JS
The Carey Centre, Anstey Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 6JR
Tel No: 0118 9590058
Email address: office@careybaptistchurch.org.uk

 

Membership of Denomination/Organisation: Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches

 

Charity Number: 1126468

 

Insurance Company: Ansvar Insurance, Ansvar House, St Leonards Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3UR

 

  • Carey Baptist Church is an independent evangelical Baptist Church. It was established under the terms of a Trust dated 26 March 1870 for “the public worship of God and other religious or philanthropic purposes according to the principles and usages of Protestant non-conformists of the Particular or Calvinistic Baptist Denomination who hold and maintain the doctrines commonly known as Evangelical and who practice the rite of Baptism by immersion administered to believers only.”

 

  • All activities organised on behalf of Carey Baptist Church uphold the spiritual values established in the Trust and Basis of Faith of the Church.

 

  • Carey Baptist Church is committed to providing activities and programmes for children and young people in a caring and safe environment run within the framework of best current practice.

 

  • The aim of all our activities is to introduce children and young people to the Christian faith and to teach and apply the message of the Bible to them in a faithful and relevant way, in accordance with the Doctrinal Basis of the Church.

Our commitment

As a Church Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and vulnerable 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 (formally Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS)).

 

The Church 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.
  • ensure that the premises meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and all other relevant legislation, and that it is welcoming and inclusive.
  • support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and vulnerable adults.
  • file a copy of the policy and practice guidelines with CCPAS and the West Berkshire Local Safeguarding Board and any amendments subsequently published. The Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.

 

The Church Leadership will appoint an Elder to take responsibility for the Youth ministry of the church, referred to in this document as the Youth Team Elder. The Youth Team Elder will work closely with the Safeguarding Coordinator to ensure the implementation of this policy.

 

Section 2

Recognising and responding appropriately to an allegation or suspicion of abuse

Understanding abuse and neglect

 

Defining child abuse is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children 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 vulnerable 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 which states:

  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.

Definitions of abuse

 

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.

Child protection legislation throughout the UK is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Each nation within the UK has incorporated the convention within its legislation and guidance.

Physical abuse

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.

Emotional abuse

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 insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them, 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, although it may occur alone.

Sexual 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.

Neglect

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.

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional need.

Further Definitions of Abuse

Significant Harm

This relates to the degree of harm that triggers statutory action to protect a child. It is based on the individual child’s health or development compared to that which could reasonably be expected of a similar child, e.g. severity of ill treatment, degree and extent of physical harm, duration and frequency of abuse and neglect, premeditation. Department of Health guidance suggests that ‘significant’ means ‘considerable, noteworthy or important.’

Children in Whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced (formerly known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy)

This is a form of child abuse in which the parents or carers give false accounts of symptoms in their children and may fake signs of illness (to draw attention to themselves). They seek repeated medical investigations and needless treatment for their children. The government guidance on this is found in ‘Safeguarding Children in whom Illness is Fabricated or Induced’ (2002).

Spiritual Abuse

Linked with emotional abuse, spiritual abuse could be defined as an abuse of power, often done in the name of God or religion, which involves manipulating or coercing someone into thinking, saying or doing things without respecting their right to choose for themselves. Some indicators of spiritual abuse might be a leader who is intimidating and imposes his/her will on other people, perhaps threatening dire consequences or the wrath of God if disobeyed. He or she may say that God has revealed certain things to them and so they know what is right. Those under their leadership are fearful to challenge or disagree, believing they will lose the leader’s (or more seriously God’s) acceptance and approval.

Domestic Violence

The shared Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and government definition of domestic violence is: “any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality.” (Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.)

In 2004 the Government’s definition of domestic violence was extended to include acts perpetrated by extended family members as well as intimate partners. Consequently, acts such as forced marriage and other so-called “honour crimes”, which can include abduction and homicide, can now come under the definition of domestic violence.

The definition of domestic violence in Working Together 2010 states:

Forced marriage and honour-based violence are human rights abuses and fall within the Government’s definition of domestic violence. (Section 6.21)

Home Office (2009) What is Domestic Violence? London: Home Office defines domestic violence as “Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality?” Nearly a quarter of adults in England are victims of domestic violence. Although both men and women can be victimised in this way, a greater proportion of women experience all forms of domestic violence, and are more likely to be seriously injured or killed by their partner, ex-partner or lover. (Section 9.17)

Complex (organised or multiple) abuse

This abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abusers and a number of children. The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse children, sometimes acting in isolation, or may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse.

Complex abuse occurs both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community, and within institutions such as residential homes or schools. Such abuse is profoundly traumatic for the children who become involved. Its investigation is time-consuming and demanding work, requiring specialist skills from both police and social work staff. Some investigations become extremely complex because of the number of places and people involved, and the timescale over which abuse is alleged to have occurred. The complexity is heightened where, as in historical cases, the alleged victims are no longer living in the setting where the incidents occurred or where the alleged perpetrators are also no longer linked to the setting or employment role. (Working Together 2010 Sections: 6.10 ? 6.11)

Child Prostitution

Working Together to Safeguard Children’ (2006) Section 6.2 stated:

“Children involved in prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation should be treated primarily as the victims of abuse, and their needs require careful assessment.”

See also ‘Safeguarding Children Involved in Prostitution (2000)

In Working Together to Safeguard Children (2010) it states:

New offences targeted at those who sexually exploit children and young people

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 introduced a number of new offences to deal with those who sexually exploit children and young people. The offences protect children up to the age of 18 and can attract tough penalties. They include:

  • paying for the sexual services of a child;
  • causing or inciting child prostitution;
  • arranging or facilitating child prostitution; and
  • controlling a child prostitute.

(Section 12.10)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The World Health Organization defined FGM as all procedures involving partial or total removal or stitching up of the female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.

Working Together (2010) states:

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for procedures which include the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia for cultural or other nontherapeutic reasons. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out and in later life. The procedure is typically performed on girls aged between four and thirteen, but in some cases FGM is performed on new born infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy. A number of girls die as a direct result of the procedure from blood loss or infection, either following the procedure or subsequently in childbirth.

FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 was passed. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 replaced the 1985 Act and made it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal. Further information about the Act can be found in Home Office Circular 10/2004 [Found at www.homeoffice.gov.uk].

FGM is much more common than most people realise, both worldwide and in the UK. It is reportedly practised in 28 African countries and in parts of the Middle and Far East but is increasingly found in Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily amongst immigrant and refugee communities. There are substantial populations from countries where FGM is endemic in London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff but it is likely that communities in which FGM is practised reside throughout the UK. It has been estimated that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK. [Available from Dorkenoo et al, 2007 FORWARD UK]. (Sections 6.14 – 6.16)

Bruising in children who are not independently mobile

Bruising is the commonest presenting feature of physical abuse in children. Bruising in children who are not independently mobile is of particular concern. The younger the child the greater the risk that bruising is non-accidental. Any bruising or a mark that might be bruising, in a child of any age, who is not independently mobile should be taken as a matter for inquiry and concern and should raise suspicion of maltreatment. It should result in an immediate referral to Children’s Social Care Services and an urgent paediatric opinion.

Signs and Symptoms

Common indicators of abuse and neglect may include:

Physical abuse:

  • Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them.
  • Injuries that occur to the body in places that are not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc.
  • Injuries that have not received medical attention.
  • Admission of punishment that appears excessive

Neglect:

  • Under-nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food,
  • Persistent tiredness
  • Inadequate hygiene, inappropriate dress
  • Failure to seek appropriate health care.
  • Low self esteem

Sexual abuse:

  • Allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse.
  • Excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour
  • Age-inappropriate sexual play, knowledge or language.
  • Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares,
  • Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia.
  • Repeated urinary infections
  • Genital injuries

Emotional abuse:

  • Changes or regression in mood or behaviour
  • Depression/aggression, extreme anxiety.
  • Obsessions or phobias.
  • Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults.
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Attention-seeking behaviour.
  • Developmental delay, particularly speech and language delay

 

There is no one definitive sign, symptom or injury. A series of seemingly minor events can be as damaging as one major event

How to respond to a child wishing to disclose abuse

Ensure the physical environment is welcoming, giving opportunity for the child to talk in private but making sure others are aware the conversation is taking place.

  • It is especially important to allow time and space for the child to talk
  • Above everything else listen without interrupting
  • Be attentive and look at them whilst they are speaking
  • Show acceptance of what they say (however unlikely the story may sound) by reflecting back words or short phrases they have used
  • Try to remain calm, even if on the inside you are feeling something different
  • Be honest and don’t make promises you can’t keep regarding confidentiality
  • If they decide not to tell you after all, accept their decision but let them know that you are always ready to listen.
  • Use language that is age appropriate and, for those with disabilities, ensure there is someone available who understands sign language, Braille etc.

 

Helpful responses:

  • You have done the right thing in telling
  • I am glad you have told me
  • I will try to help you

 

Don’t say:

  • Why didn’t you tell anyone before?
  • I can’t believe it!
  • Are you sure this is true?
  • Why? How? When? Who? Where?
  • I am shocked, don’t tell anyone else

Safeguarding awareness

The Church Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone.  All our leaders and helpers will receive induction training including completion of the e-learning module provided for use by Reading Borough Council.

All leaders and helpers will then undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.

The Church Leadership will also ensure that children 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.

Responding to allegations of abuse

Under no circumstances should a worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Following procedures as below:

  • The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible the Safeguarding Coordinator, who is nominated by the Church 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 Coordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Coordinator, then the report should be made to the Youth Team Elder. If the suspicions implicate both the and the Safeguarding Coordinator and the Youth Team Elder, then the report should be made in the first instance to Thirtyone: Eight (formally the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS)) PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0303 003 11 11. Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.
  • Where the concern is about a child the Safeguarding Coordinator should contact Children’s Social Services. The Local Authority contacted will be dependent on the postal address of the child about whom there is concerns.

Reading Children’s Single point of Access

Web form: www.reading.gov.uk/childrensreferralform

Phone: 0118 937 3641

Email: cspoa@brighterfuturesforchildren.org

 

West Berkshire Advice Assessment Service (CAAS)

Phone: 01635 503090

Email: child@westberks.gov.uk

 

Wokingham Children and Family Services

Phone: 0118 908 8002

Email: triage@wokingham.gov.uk

 

Out of hours contact:

Emergency Duty Team (which covers the whole of Berkshire): 01344 786543

 

Further information is available on website:

http://berks.proceduresonline.com/

 

  • Where required the Safeguarding Coordinator should then immediately inform the insurance company
  • Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.
  • Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Coordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Coordinator or Youth Team Elder should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from Thirtyone:eight.
  • The Church Leadership will support the Safeguarding Coordinator 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 CCPAS, although the Church 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 Coordinator /Youth Team Elder has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Church Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.

The role of the Safeguarding Coordinator is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.

Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:

Allegations of physical injury, neglect or abuse

If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Safeguarding Coordinator will:

  • Contact Children’s Social Services (or CCPAS) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child’s safety or if a child is afraid to return home.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Seek and follow advice given by CCPAS (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Children’s Social Services.

Allegations of sexual abuse

In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Safeguarding Coordinator will:

  • Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.
  • Seek and follow the advice given by CCPAS if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. CCPAS will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children

If an accusation is made against a leader or helper (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, Safeguarding Coordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker, also making a referral to a Safeguarding Adviser (SA) / Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Section 3

Prevention

Safe recruitment

The Church Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:

  • There is a written job description / person specification for the post
  • Those applying have completed an application form and a self-declaration form (See appendix 6)
  • Group Leaders have been interviewed by the Church Leadership
  • Safeguarding has been discussed at interview
  • Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate
  • A disclosure and barring check has been completed (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)
  • Qualifications where relevant have been verified
  • Suitable training is provided for the successful applicant
  • The applicant has completed a probationary period
  • The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns. They will also receive ‘Protecting children and young people’ good practice guide for children’s workers and leaders published by CCPAS

In addition:

  • No leader or helper will be appointed without the authorisation of the Church Leadership
  • All leaders and helpers should normally be Church members or associates (or be in the formal process of becoming a member or associate).
  • Leaders and helpers should be over 18 years of age. Church members under 18 years of age may serve as assistant helpers provided they are under adult supervision. Young people under 18 years of age may not be counted in the adult/child ratio. Assistant helpers will be expected to complete a CCPAS Junior Helper Form.

Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct

As a Church Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. The Church Leadership undertakes to follow the principles found within the ‘Abuse Of Trust ‘guidance issued by the Home Office and it is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues. The following guidelines are provided for all those working with children and young people:

  • It is unacceptable for Youth Team leaders or helpers to engage in any behaviour that might allow a sexual relationship to develop whilst the relationship of trust continues.
  • Leaders and helpers are expected to monitor one another to ensure that no relationships can be misconstrued by a Leader, helper or young person as being an exclusive or “special” relationship.
  • Leaders and helpers may not take advantage of the goodwill of young people, eg offers of free babysitting.
  • Any leaders or helpers who have concerns about relationships have a duty to report their concerns to the Safeguarding Coordinator.
  • Everything should be public. (A hug in the context of a group is very different from a hug behind closed doors.)
  • Touch should be related to the child’s needs, not the worker’s.
  • Touch should be age-appropriate and generally initiated by the child rather than the adult.
  • Any physical activity that is, or could be, construed as sexually stimulating to the adult or child should be avoided.
  • Children are entitled to determine the degree of physical contact with others except in exceptional circumstances, ie when they need medical attention.
  • Team members should take responsibility for monitoring one another in the area of physical contact. They should be free to constructively challenge a colleague if necessary. Allegations of abuse should always be reported.
  • Young people should be discouraged from engaging in public displays of affection with one another that may cause embarrassment to others or misunderstanding.

 

Section 4

Pastoral Care

Supporting those affected by abuse

The Church 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. Pastoral care and support through the Church’s groups and activities will be at the core of this. Matters will be dealt with on a confidential basis.

Working with offenders

When someone attending the place of worship / organisation is known to have abused children the Church Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep.

  • The Safeguarding Coordinator/Youth Team Elder will make contact with all relevant authorities (eg supervising probation officer, social services, police etc.)
  • The may also seek advice from other bodies such as The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service and the FIEC in drawing up a contract which will set agreed boundaries to the offender’s participation in any Church activities. The contract will be drawn up in accordance with the best advice at the time of writing.
  • The contract will be signed and reviewed by the Safeguarding Coordinator every six months unless there are changes in circumstances which may warrant a review before this.
  • Details about a convicted offender will be shared on a need-to-know basis which will include all the Church Leadership (the Elders) and all Leaders of church groups involving children and young people and the relevant Homegroups. The aim will be to ensure that the person concerned is not allowed contact with children.

 

Section 5

Practice Guidelines

As an organisation / place of worship working with children, young people and vulnerable adults 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 accusation.

As well as a general code of conduct for workers we also have specific good practice guidelines for every activity we are involved in and these are attached/will be developed.

Bullying

Children are sometimes the subjects of bullying by other children. This could be verbal or physical. Leaders and helpers must be alert to this. We are committed to providing a safe environment where all the children and young people who attend clubs and activities run by the church can participate in a secure atmosphere.

Bullying is not acceptable. If children report any incidents of bullying to leaders and helpers or if leaders and helpers are aware of bullying they should report incidents to the Group Leader.

The following actions should be taken: The leader or helper should:

  • Report verbally to the Group Leader exactly what they have been told, seen or heard.
  • Put this in writing as soon as possible on an incident form that should be given to the Safeguarding Coordinator. The leader and helper concerned will speak to the person being bullied and the alleged bully separately and privately. It is not appropriate to promise total confidentiality. Matters should be dealt with on a need-to-know basis.
  • Each person should be asked to explain what has happened and reasons why. (Leaders and helpers should avoid asking leading questions.) A factual record should be made of exactly what each person has said, avoiding any interpretation.
  • Reassurance should be given to the person being bullied that the matter will be dealt with. It must be explained that the leader will have to talk to the Safeguarding Coordinator and to their parents.
  • Explain that bullying is unacceptable.
  • If appropriate it may be possible to have a private meeting where the person who has bullied is asked to apologise. Do not do this without discussing this with the relevant Group Leader, who will act in consultation with the Safeguarding Coordinator/Youth Team Elder and parents.
  • After consultation with the Safeguarding Coordinator it may be necessary to take other action.
  • Speak privately to the parents of the person being bullied and explain the situation without naming the person who has bullied. Reassure parents about our policy and what is being done.
  • Speak privately to the parents of the person who has allegedly bullied, without naming the person they bullied. Explain that this behaviour is unacceptable and what steps have been taken. Refer parents to our policy.
  • After the incident has been dealt with monitor the situation to ensure that there is no repeat of the behaviour.

 

Sometimes the bullying is very serious. The following criteria should be considered:

  • The seriousness of the incident
  • The severity of the injury
  • The difference in age/power/status
  • The persistency of the incident
  • The intent of the incident
  • The incidents becoming more serious

 

If the above criteria are present the Group Leader should consider action under Child Protection procedures.

Care of Children: Parental Permission

Group leaders must ensure that parents or guardians of children and young people attending Church activities (whose parents are not present) are fully aware of all activities planned. Wherever possible, detailed, planned and printed programmes should be given to each parent at the beginning of each term. In the case of special events or camps, parents should be informed by letter or programme of the exact nature of all activities possible for the group. In the case of camps, as much information as possible should be given about transport, exact site of camp, facilities and accommodation. Where possible the approximate cost of any event should be printed on the programme or publicity leaflet.

  • Parental consent forms (See appendix 2 and 3) should be filled in by the parent or guardian of all children wishing to attend any event. No children should be allowed to take part in any activity without the written consent of the parent or guardian. Consent Form 1 should be used for activities where parents are not present. It is recognised that leaders require information about children taking part in an activity, even if their parents/ guardians are participating in activities at the same venue at the same time. In this case Consent Form 2 should be completed.
  • The leader or helper in charge of any event should be aware of any medical conditions that might have an effect on a child being able to join in with the activities that are planned.
  • An attendance register should be kept for every activity.
  • Parents are responsible for transporting children to and from the activities. No child is to be released to anyone other than the parent without that parent’s prior permission. The Youth Team Consent Form contains a section relating to parental permission.
  • If a child is not collected at the end of an activity and parents cannot be contacted then the l leader should phone the Safeguarding Coordinator for advice.

Incidents

Incident forms should be available to every group. Incident forms should be completed for the following:

  • Bullying
  • Violence toward other children or adults involved in the group
  • Damage or theft of property of the Church or individuals within the group
  • Verbal abuse directed at children or adults
  • Child or adult attending a meeting with a notifiable disease
  • Accident or injury that requires medical assistance to be sought
  • Racial abuse

Staff Ratios

Guidelines for staff ratios are based on NSPCC “Recommended adult to child ratios when supervising children” (NSPCC 2014)

Age of child (years) Number of adults Number of children
0 – 2 1 3
2 – 3 1 4
4 – 8 1 6
9 – 12 1 8
13 – 18 1 10

 

Off-site activities, in particular swimming, will require the adult: child ratio to be adjusted.

Age of child (years) Off-site Swimming
Number of adults Number of children Number of adults Number of children
0 – 2 1 2 1 1
2 – 3 1 2 1 1
4 – 8 1 4 1 2
9 – 12 1 6 1 6
13 – 18 1 8 1 8

 

When deciding on the number of adults required, it is important to bear in mind that these ratios are guidelines only: in certain situations it will be necessary to have a higher number of adults. If the group includes children or young people who have specific support needs, or a risk assessment identifies behaviour as a potential issue for the group or event, the number of supervising adults will need to be higher.

The aim for all activities would be that there should be at least 2 adults, comprising an adult of each gender who are not married to one another. The exception to this will be the crèche where all female helpers would be normal practise.

First Aid

The group leader should ensure the availability of first aid at all times (both personnel and kit). The exact location of a suitable first aid kit and the accident book should be known at the start of each meeting. For off-site activities an outdoor first aid kit should be taken. It is the leader’s responsibility to ensure that the first aid kit has been checked before being taken out. The Church has a designated person responsible for equipping the first aid kits. At least one leader or helper on site should have sufficient knowledge of First Aid procedures. (Where possible the Youth Team will be responsible for organising the relevant training at regular intervals. At present the one day Emergency Course (6 hours teaching time) is recommended, repeated every 3 years.)

  • In the event of an accident or other injury a qualified first aider should administer first aid.
  • Gloves should be worn when administering first aid. This is essential if dealing with body fluids.
  • When giving expired air resuscitation a mask should be used. These are available in all first aid boxes.
  • Details of the accident/injury should be recorded in the accident books to be found with the first aid box. The record should be completed as soon as possible – no longer than 24 hours.
  • To comply with the General Data Protection Regulations the completed page should be removed from the book and handed to the Church Administrator. The Church Administrator will send a copy of the form to the Safeguarding Coordinator and the Youth Team Elder.
  • Parents should be informed of the accident when the child/young person is collected.
  • If the accident or injury requires further medical treatment, ie an ambulance is called, a doctor is consulted or hospital treatment is required, then an incident form must also be completed. Parents must be contacted as soon as possible. A copy of the incident form should be given to the Safeguarding Coordinator within 24 hours.
  • If there is a health and safety issue involved, eg there is a fault in the fabric of the building that has caused the accident, a copy should also be given to the Health and Safety Elder.
  • Subsequent to emergency action (eg emergency aid, calling ambulance and police), if there is a death caused by an accident, the Safeguarding Coordinator must be informed immediately by phone and a written record made and accident and incident forms filled in. They will contact the Health and Safety Executive within 10 days. If there is an accident leading to a person being unable to work for more than three days the Safeguarding Coordinator must be informed in writing and the HSE informed. The Church solicitor’s and insurers should also be informed.

Health and safety

A risk assessment will be written annually for each children’s or youth ministry. This will be reviewed and signed by the Youth Team Activity Advisor, the elder responsible for Health and Safety or another individual appointed by the Church Leadership who has expertise in this field. It is expected that all leaders and helpers have read the risk assessment for the group in which they are involved. Leaders should also familiarise themselves with the Churches Health and Safety Policy. In addition:

  • The leader of each session should be aware of the position of the main stopcock, main power switch and gas meter so that supplies can be turned off in an emergency.
  • A plan for emergency evacuation of the building should be agreed by each group.
  • Leaders and helpers should be aware of the location of fire notices and appliances and emergency exists. Each group should hold regular fire drills, where possible once a term. Fire drills should be recorded on the groups register
  • All rooms to be used should be checked by leaders and helpers for hazards, eg stacks of chairs that may fall over, or blocked fire exits. When preparing for a meeting leaders must ensure that all fire exits are unlocked from the inside.
  • All entrances and exits should be checked to ensure that a child may not slip out unnoticed or a stranger gain access to the premises.
  • The maximum number of people allowed on the premises should not be exceeded at any time.
  • In planning activities it is the responsibility of the Group Leader to ensure that activities undertaken do not present any undue risk for children or leaders.

Food and Drink

Group leaders should familiarise themselves with the Church’s Food Policy which sets out the safe use of the kitchen facilities and standards for food preparation. Consideration should also be given to the following:

  • Children’s allergies should be taken into account when providing any food or drink.
  • Children under the age of 11 should not be allowed in the kitchen. There may be circumstances where older children and young people may be allowed in the kitchen under the supervision of an adult
  • Food handlers should be aware of the need for personal cleanliness and should not be involved in food preparation if they are suffering from any infections likely to cause food-borne disease.
  • Cuts and sores should be covered with coloured waterproof dressings

Off-site Activities

The aim of all departments of the Youth Team is to introduce the children and young people who attend to the Christian faith. In addition, we offer interesting and stimulating activities to cater for the whole person. In planning activities leaders are asked to keep in mind the age range and abilities of the children in each group. Children should never be expected to engage in activities unsuitable for their developmental stage or abilities.

When planning programmes leaders are asked to keep in mind financial constraints. Expensive outings may discriminate against certain children being able to attend. In case of any known hardship leaders may contact the Youth Team Elder/Deputy in confidence. Financial help may be available from the Church Fellowship Fund. As a rough guide it is suggested that no group hold more than two weekends away in a calendar year and no more than three costed outings per year.

For all off-site activities the following should be actioned:

  • Two weeks prior to any planned off-site outing, activity or camp the Group Leader must complete the first draft of the Youth Team Risk Assessment Procedure. This must be discussed as soon as possible with the Youth Team Activity Adviser before a complete Risk Assessment form is logged with the Safeguarding Coordinator. The Safeguarding Coordinator must read and sign the form BEFORE the planned event. Completed Risk Assessment forms will be retained in the Carey Office.
  • In the case of activities held at Leisure Centres or Outdoor Centres, it is the responsibility of the leader to check any printed literature before booking the event to ensure that the Centre has adequate insurance cover for the event (including special insurance for children with special needs) and that the Activity Leaders are adequately trained and that equipment used is checked regularly for safety. It is essential that Leaders ensure that all relevant safety equipment is worn at all times by children and adults, eg cycle helmets, life-jackets, etc.
  • If children are taken swimming or to participate in any other water sport, details as to whether the child can swim 50 metres should be included on the consent form. Written permission is required from parents for all water activities.
  • Leaders and helpers should take mobile phones to ensure quick access to emergency services.
  • Leaders should establish a Home Contact Link. This should be someone who is not related to any member of the party. The designated Home Contact should be given names, addresses, telephone numbers and details of parents or guardians of all children on the outing. In the event of a serious accident, or serious travel delay, the leader should contact the Home Contact whose duty it is to inform the Church Leadership and the parents about the event and how matters are being dealt with. This leaves leaders and helpers free to deal with the emergency.
  • When planning off-site activities it may be necessary to check with the Church Insurers that the activity is covered by the Church Insurance Policy.
  • Consent form 3 should be completed by parents/ guardians prior to the activity/ trip

Transport

  • All vehicles used for transporting children must be registered, taxed and properly maintained.
  • All vehicles must have at least third party insurance. Drivers should not travel with more passengers than their insurance allows.
  • Leaders driving minibuses must be over 25 years of age. Minibus drivers must ensure full compliance with minibus regulations. There must be adequate supervision. As well as the driver, another responsible adult should be present. All drivers and helpers must have undergone the Church’s selection procedure.
  • Leaders using private cars to transport children should have possessed a full driving licence for at least three years.
  • Only those who have gone through the Church appointment procedures for workers should transport children. If parents are asked to help with transport a leader or helper should also travel in the car.
  • All drivers should have read the Youth Team Policy and the Risk Assessment Procedure for that particular activity or outing and agree to abide by these.
  • Parental consent should be given and all journeys should be carried out with the knowledge of the leadership. (This does not apply to private arrangements made by the parents themselves.)
  • Seat belts should be worn, the driver should have adequate insurance and the vehicle should be road-worthy.
  • Drivers should not spend unnecessary time alone in a car with a child. If a child wants to talk to a driver about something and has waited till other children have been dropped off, the driver should explain that it isn’t convenient to talk and then arrange to meet with the child/young person at a location where there can be other adults around. (Remember a child/young person may want to talk to the driver about an abusive situation.)
  • Having checked drivers (application form, interview, references etc) it is reasonable to expect that they may be alone with a child for short periods, eg dropping off the last child. Ensure a discussion takes place as to the most suitable child to be dropped off last and plan routes accordingly. Sit the last child in the back of the car.
  • At collection or dropping off points do not leave a child on their own. Make sure that an appropriate adult collects children.
  • Leaders and helpers should look at instances where it may be unwise for a particular driver to transport a child, (eg where they have had a disagreement that evening). Arrange for someone else to transport the child/young person.
  • Leaders, helpers and drivers should not administer travel sickness tablets without written parental consent. In an emergency the parent should be contacted by phone and another leader or helper should be present in order to hear the parent’s verbal suggestions or consent.
  • Legislation regarding the use of car seats for younger children should be complied with.

Visiting Children at Home

Leaders and helpers may need to visit children and their families at home from time to time. The parents may or may not be church attenders. We recommend the following guidelines:

  • Inform the relevant group leader of the proposed visit
  • Never go into a child’s home if no parent is present
  • Keep a record of the visit, noting date and purpose (eg in a record card system, register, etc)
  • If the parent/carer is absent, leave some means of identification/explanation that can be handed to them if the child is at home alone/with other children
  • Provide information about your group to the parent/carer – to include contact telephone numbers, etc
  • Leaders should visit in pairs.

 

Additionally, it may be appropriate to consider the following:

  • The possibility of carrying some form of identification authenticated by the Church which can be shown to the child’s parent/carer
  • In appropriate circumstances, maintaining a more detailed written record of the visit, giving such details as:
  • Purpose of visit
  • Time and length of visit
  • Who was present
  • Record of discussion

Children visiting from the local area

Sometimes children playing outside or wandering the streets with no adult supervision may wish to join in Church-organised activities without the knowledge of their parents. The following is recommended:

  • On arrival, welcome the child/children and attempt to gain some factual information about them, ie name, age, where they live, telephone number, and record in a register.
  • Enquire if the child’s parents are aware of where they are, and whether they are expected home at any particular time. If they are and this is before the end of the meeting, encourage the child to return home, suggesting that their parent might be willing for them to come to the group the following week.
  • Ring parents to inform them of where the child/ young person is and check that they give permission for the child to stay.
  • When the child returns home provide them with a consent form and programme to be completed by a parent before they attend again.

Discipline

Discipline is necessary to ensure a safe and caring environment. As far as possible discipline should be aimed at encouraging positive behaviour. The aim will be to reward and encourage positive behaviour. Groups will adhere to the standards of discipline outlined in this document. (If groups write an additional Code of Practice in order to reflect the different age ranges of the children, these must be approved by the Safeguarding Coordinator before being distributed.)

 

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

  • Swearing
  • Fighting
  • Racism/sexism
  • Leaving the building without permission
  • Dangerous behaviour
  • Bullying
  • Teasing/name calling
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Disrespect to people
  • Disrespect of property
  • Refusal to follow behaviour code
  • Refusal to follow instructions from leaders
  • Deliberate disruption of meetings/activities.

 

In the event of persistent negative behaviour the following is suggested: (The leader must ensure this is consistent and age-appropriate.)

  • Verbal warnings and time-out: these give time for the child to cool down. Challenge the child to change, explain clearly the consequences (should their action persist) and encourage them in their strengths. The suggested duration of a time-out is one minute per year of age.
  • Withdrawal of privileges (eg tuck shop).
  • Exclusion from the rest of the event or the next event: the relevant Group Leader should decide the exclusion. This is for persistently unacceptable behaviour over a period of time or a serious disciplinary offence. In the event of a child being sent home, the leader or helper must check if their parent/guardian is at home and the parent/guardian should be asked to collect them. If the child cannot be collected and there are sufficient leaders and transportation, two leaders or helpers should accompany the child home. The child will not be allowed to leave unattended and, if necessary, another Church member will be contacted to help. Where there is no parent/guardian at home, the child must be kept at the activity venue until the activity ends.
  • Longer-term exclusion: this is a last resort and is best done by also meeting with the parent/guardian to explain the reasons for the exclusion – it may be helpful for the Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder to attend this meeting. The decision to use this option should be taken after discussion with the Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder.

 

When discipline in a residential setting (eg on a camp or a weekend away) requires sending a child home, such a decision should be taken by the leader or outing supervisor of the event and should be reserved for only the most serious of cases. The process for such action would be as follows:

  • Where possible, the group leader consults with the Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder.
  • The group leader sits down with the child involved and explains the reasons why the action is being taken.
  • The group leader phones the parent/guardian and asks them to come and pick up the child.
  • The group leader and the Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder meet with the parent/guardian following the event.
  • An incident form is filled in.

 

When applying discipline:

  • In accordance with biblical principles, a leader or helper should discipline out of love, not anger. So, where possible, someone else should apply the more serious sanctions if a particular leader or helper has become frustrated and emotionally involved.
  • Consistency is important. Leaders and helpers should ensure that they carry out what they say and that all leaders and helpers treat all the young people in the same way.
  • Physical contact should be avoided. The only exception to this should be when a child is deemed to be a danger either to themselves or their peers. In these cases, minimum restraining force should be used.
  • The Safeguarding Coordinator /Youth Team Elder and parent/guardian should be involved in discussing an exclusion (after the event) so that the potential for misunderstanding is minimised and opportunities are given to help the various people involved. A secondary aim would be to obtain parental backing for the handling of the situation.
  • It is important that all incidents are recorded on an incident form. Records should be kept of all incidents or exclusions and passed to the Safeguarding Coordinator to be securely retained.

Children and Young People with Special Needs and Disabilities

All groups are asked to make arrangements to welcome, include and support children with disabilities or special needs who attend meetings.

The following adult : child ratios should be used as a guide but will need to be considered for each individual depending on the nature of the child or young person’s disability.

Adult : Child Ratio
Physical disability Severe Learning Disability Profound multiple learning Disability
On-site 1 : 3 1 : 4 1 : 2
Off-site 1 : 2 1 : 3 1 : 1
Residential 1: 1 1 : 2 1 : 1

 

Provided there are sufficient adults to comply with the above ratios, all children with special needs in any of the Carey Youth Team Groups should be able to take part in all activities, provided parents or guardians give permission. For some activities it may be necessary to check with the Activity or Leisure Centre to see if they have their own internal guidelines. (For example, riding stables only offer riding to people with disabilities through a special insurance policy through “Riding for the Disabled” and may have their own restrictions.)

In the case of swimming, any child who has epileptic fits should have an adult helper assigned to them.

Children with special needs may require physical help. If a child needs help with dressing or undressing to take part in an activity at least two adults should be present and the following guidelines considered:

  • When a child/young person joins a group or activity, enquiries should be made from the person/their parent/carers about expectations of meeting personal care needs. A helper should be nominated by the Group Leader to assist when necessary.
  • If one person is needed to assist a child/young person, another worker should be informed.
  • If a child needs help with toileting, it is preferable that a worker of the same gender assists.
  • Parents should be asked to provide written permission if their child needs help with toileting (and showering or bathing when at camp or overnight stay).

Filming or Photography

Written parental permission will be obtained of all children and young people who will appear in a photograph, video or webcam image BEFORE the film or photograph is taken. Permission will be sought as part of the Youth Team consent form. Photographs of children will not be used on the church website, nor used for publicity purposes, nor stored by the church in a permanent filing system without written permission from parents.

Social Networking

Social networking sites are very popular with children and young people. They are increasingly being used by children and young people to communicate with one another. It is recognised that social media can be used constructively for information sharing however, there are dangers which should be avoided. The following recommendations are provided to ensure safe use of social media:

  • All communication should be accessible to others, unless it needs to be private, eg if someone is mentoring a young person, in which case another leader should be copied in to correspondence.
  • Ambiguous language/ terminology should be avoided
  • Leaders must ask parent’s permission if they are communicating with their children on social networking sites.

Medication

Parents may request that medication is given to a child/ young person during an activity. In this circumstance:

  • A medication request form should be completed. (see appendix 5)
  • The medication should be given to the Group Leader in charge or another leader designated by them.
  • Medication should be kept in a safe place according to the instructions given on the medication request form.

 

Appendix 1

Leadership Safeguarding Statement

The Leadership of Carey Baptist Church recognises the importance of its ministry /work with children and young people in need of protection and its responsibility to protect everyone entrusted to our care.

The following statement was agreed by the leadership/organisation on: _____________________

This place of worship/organisation is committed to the safeguarding of children and young people and ensuring their well-being.

Specifically:

  • We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
  • We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy. We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
  • All children and young people have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.
  • We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
  • We recognise the personal dignity and rights of vulnerable adults and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
  • We believe all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of the place of worship/organisation unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.
  • We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and vulnerable adults.

We are committed to:

  • Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and good practice recommendations.
  • Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring that workers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
  • Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
  • Following any denominational or organisational guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults in need of protection.
  • Supporting the safeguarding co-ordinator/s in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/vulnerable adults.
  • Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this place of worship/organisation.
  • Supporting parents and families.
  • Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and young people .
  • Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.
  • Supporting all in the place of worship/organisation affected by abuse.
  • Adopting and following the ‘Safe and Secure’ safeguarding standards developed by the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service.

We recognise:

  • Children’s Social Services (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child. Adult Social Care (or equivalent) has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a vulnerable adult.
  • Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
  • Where working outside of the UK, concerns will be reported to the appropriate agencies in the country in which we operate, and their procedures followed, and in addition we will report concerns to our agency’s headquarters.
  • Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.

If you have any concerns for a child then speak to one of the following who have been approved as safeguarding co-ordinators for this place of worship/organisation.

Paula Gibbs                 Child Safeguarding Coordinator

Telephone: 0118 942 7150/ 07803 293792

James Muldoon                       Youth Team Elder

Telephone: 0118 958 8893

David Magowan                       Deputy Youth Team Elder

Telephone: 0118 957 5120

A copy of the full policy and procedures is available from the Church Office

 

A copy of our safeguarding policy has been lodged with CCPAS