The Exe Valley Mission Community is a community of nine churches and each church has a detailed Policy in place which meets the standard required by the Diocese.
All those who are involved in work with, or come into contact with, vulnerable adults or children are required to undertake training at the appropriate level. This includes Church Council (PCC) members, clergy and the Safeguarding Officers for each parish.
The training is provided by the Diocese and its aim is to set safeguarding in the context of the church, and to familiarise trainees with church and state legislation, policies and practice.
The Safeguarding Officer of each parish reviews the Policy every year and any changes are reported to the PCC.
A copy of the Policy is available from the Safeguarding Officer for the Mission Community, Cindy Trick, who can be contacted by phone on 01363 866621 or by email is firstname.lastname@example.org
General Policy Downloads:
- Promoting a Safer Church Poster (PDF)
- Diocesan Domestic Abuse - Policy Statement 2018 (PDF)
- Safeguarding - Mission Community (PDF)
- GDPR Policy Statement (PDF)
Holiday Club Downloads:
Diocese of Exeter
For more information and resources please see the Safeguarding page on the Diocese of Exeter website, as this will be kept up to date with the details of their team and the different agencies and services that you may need to contact: https://exeter.anglican.org/resources/safeguarding/safeguarding-team/
Exe Valley Mission Community Guidance on Safeguarding Procedures
This guidance sets out the procedures to be followed within the context of the Safeguarding Policy.
Church activities involving vulnerable children or adults
In the Exe Valley Mission Community there are a number of members of the congregation who are involved with children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable to abuse. Their tasks can include for example, home visiting, lift giving, and bell ringing where children or young people are involved, Praise Party, Holiday Club and Messy Church volunteers. It is important that individuals take care not to place themselves in a position where they might have an allegation made against them; for example when parents are present they should not undertake the toileting of young children unless a parent requests that they do so. It is also wise, if holding a one to one conversation, to do so within sight of other adults if possible.
Some of the factors which may increase vulnerability in babies, children and young people are:
- Single parent living in poverty
- Domestic violence at home
- Sensory, physical disability or impairment
- Low body weight or small stature
- Experiencing bullying at school
- Parent/parents who have mental health or physical health issues
- Parent /parents addicted to drink or drugs
- Learning difficulties
- Slow speech development
Some of the factors which increase vulnerability in adults are:
- Sensory, physical disability or impairment
- Learning disability
- Physical illness
- Mental ill health (including dementia) whether chronic or acute
- Addiction to alcohol or drugs
- The failing faculties of age
- Permanent or temporary reduction in physical, mental, or emotional capacity brought on by life’s events such as bereavement, trauma, or previous abuse
Abuse of children, young people and adults can come in many forms:
- Organized or Institutional
- Abuse that is linked to faith or belief e.g. belief in possession or witchcraft
Incidents of abuse, suspected or actual, including when allegations are made against a church member, should be reported to the appropriate authorities via the Rector and the Mission Community Safeguarding Representative Cindy Trick; they will consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Representative and notify the appropriate outside authorities where necessary. Among statutory authorities who may need to be informed are the Police, Probation Services and Adult and Social Care Services. In the event of anyone witnessing or being told about current abuse it is essential that a careful note is made immediately of what was seen or heard. No promises of total confidentiality can be given if there is risk to the child or adult, or to other children or adults. The advice is to explain what will happen to the information given and to reassure the person concerned that no blame is attached to them. Allegations or suspected abuse must never be kept secret.
Where allegations are made against a member of the clergy, the Diocesan Safeguarding Team must be informed:
Safeguarding Adviser - Charlie Pitman 01392 345909
Assistant Safeguarding Adviser - Phill Parker 01392 294969
The Rector and Safeguarding Representative will, in conjunction with the Church Warden, and on behalf of the PCC, provide information about the provision of pastoral care for children, and vulnerable adults and their families, and to any member of the Church against whom an allegation has been made, when this is required.
Appointments to paid or voluntary posts Applicants for any job or task, whether paid or voluntary, should be given clear explanations as to what this job or task involves and made aware of the level of support they can expect. Applicants must be committed to
- Treating individuals with respect
- Recognizing individual abilities and their potential development
- Promoting their rights to make decisions unless unsafe to do so
- Ensuring welfare and safety
- Promoting justice, responsibility and respect for others
- Never passing on personal information except to the person to whom they are responsible
All those who apply for, or are asked to participate in, activities which bring them into contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults should receive the appropriate DBS checks before they can be employed. Such checks are undertaken by the Parish Safeguarding Representative who will determine the level of check required. Before the check is made, the individual will be required to fill in the Confidential Declaration Form. DBS checks must be renewed every 5 years. The Safeguarding Representative will also advise on the level of training required for the relevant activity; and training must be refreshed every 3 years.
Dealing with ex sex offenders who may wish to join the Church
Ex-offenders, including sex offenders, have the right to join the Church but only after conversation with the Rector or Safeguarding Representative and after consultation with the Diocesan Adviser. Such consultation will probably lead to the drawing up of a document stating the conditions under which this may happen and signed by the person concerned. If family members of the person concerned are members of the congregation, it will probably be necessary to direct the ex-offender to another church which is willing to have him/her in their congregation. An ex-offender should not be given any post within the Church which might be regarded as giving him/her authority and the appearance of being a trusted person.
Undertaking new projects
There should always be a careful analysis of any safeguarding issues likely to arise out of a new project if children, young people or vulnerable adults are likely to take part. This should include practical safety issues such as those which arise from the positioning and construction of the font. Those who participate in the project should be considered for DBS checks and safeguarding training, and any queries raised with the Rector or the Safeguarding Representative.
Storage handling, use, retention and disposal of disclosures and disclosure information As an organization using the DBS service to help assess the suitability of applications for positions of trust, the Church has undertaken to comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, storage, retention and disposal of disclosure information.
Exe Valley Mission Community Parish Safeguarding Policy Statement
Statement of Safeguarding Principles
The nine parishes of the Exe Valley Mission Community fully recognises and accepts the House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy Statement “Promoting a Safer Church 2017”, and commits to complying with the current Church of England and Diocesan safeguarding policies and practice guidance. In so doing we will comply with the secular multi-agency safeguarding procedures relating to children and young people and adults experiencing or at risk of harm, abuse or neglect.
We are committed to:
- Promoting a Safer environment and culture within our Parish and in our Parish activities by adhering to safe working practices and acknowledge the principle that safeguarding is everyone’s business.
In addition, we will ensure that any individual organization renting/using our premises for activities involving children, young people or vulnerable adults is aware of this, our Safeguarding Policy, and aware of their own individual responsibilities to have appropriate safeguarding policies and processes in place, including safer recruitment.
- Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibilities related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church in accordance with the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment: Practice Guidance 2016.
We will ensure those appointed are aware of the Diocesan and Parish Safeguarding Policies and are aware of their roles and responsibilities. We will support them by ensuring they receive Diocesan safeguarding training commensurate with their role and that they are fully aware of and have access to the practice guidance.
- Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation in accordance with the statutory child and adult safeguarding procedures and the House of Bishops’ safeguarding practice guidance.
We will ensure that any complaint made regarding a vulnerable person, who may have been harmed or is in significant danger, will be reported immediately and we will fully cooperate with statutory agencies during any investigation into allegations concerning a member of the church community or any other person.
- Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons.
We will seek to offer informed pastoral care and support to anyone who has suffered abuse, developing with them an appropriate ministry that recognizes the importance of understanding the needs of those who have been abused, including their feelings of alienation and/or isolation and provide them with details of local and national support agencies.
- Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
We will work with others to ensure the appropriate support for them and those affected. Where that person is considered to pose a risk to others, we will work with the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor to mitigate any identified risk.
- Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.
We will endeavour to offer pastoral care and support whilst ensuring any risk has been assessed and is being managed in accordance with House of Bishops’ policy and guidance and in collaboration with the statutory agencies and the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor.
We will ensure that there is an identified person/s to be the Parish Safeguarding Representative/s who will be suitably recruited and trained, and is aware of their role and responsibilities, and who will be the point of contact for any concerns.
We have appointed Cindy Trick as our Mission Community Safeguarding Representative. Guidance Copies of Diocesan and parish guidelines and procedures are held by Cindy Trick, Safeguarding Representative email@example.com
This policy will be formally reviewed annually and a copy shared with the Archdeacon at the time of the Visitation.