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What is required

compliance

Organisations who work with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults have a responsibility to ensure that they have appropriate measures in place to safeguard them. These systems should be proportionate; sufficient to be effective within our context. This means that each individual church should consider the activities that it engages in and develop systems that work in their context. There is no “one size fits all” answer to the systems and processes that are needed.

As churches, we face the same challenges as other organisations, however there are additional challenges that we need to take into account. On this site there is information about the range of issues that need to be considered. In this section we will consider what might be needed for a proportionate response in line with the national guidance.

There are 3 areas that we need to consider:

  • Our policies
  • Our procedures and systems
  • The culture within our churches

Policies:

We need to have a range of policies. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • A safeguarding policy
  • A recruitment (safe recruitment of staff and volunteers) policy
  • A social media / technology policy
  • A health and safety policy and risk assessments
  • A radicalisation / FGM policy
  • A code of conduct statement
  • A complaints / concerns policy
  • A whistleblowing policy
  • A management of offenders policy 

We need a range of procedures and systems. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Safeguarding procedures that comply with the Local Safeguarding Board policies and procedures
  • Safe recruitment systems (for volunteers and staff)
  • A structure for managing safeguarding
  • A Designated Safeguarding Lead (and a deputy)
  • A confidential and secure record keeping system
  • A clear process to provide accountability
  • Effective support for and supervision of staff and volunteers
  • Effective induction and ongoing training and development for staff and volunteers
  • A clear process for handling allegations or concerns about a member of staff or a volunteer 

We also need to think carefully about the culture that we want to establish. This would include but is not limited to such things as:

  • A commitment to safeguarding from the leadership team throughout the church
  • A culture that places children at the centre and listens to their views and concerns and involves them in decisions that affect them
  • A culture of vigilance and taking personal responsible reporting
  • A culture of working effectively with organisations that have the responsibility for safeguarding 

For some churches, the list above may feel daunting, however, our aim is to help churches understand what a proportionate response may look like in their context. We have a range of services, including training that will help churches to understand the requirements and to address them effectively and practically.