Safeguarding in the Parish
'A Safe Church'
The diocesan guide to safeguarding
policies and procedures
A recent audit has highlighted the need to clarify procedures that should be followed, if someone wishes to raise an allegation or concern, with regard to abuse or inappropriate behaviour. The procedures are clearly laid out in ‘A Safe Church’ which is a manual produced by the Diocese, containing policies and procedures which are formally reviewed and adopted by the PCC each year. If you wish to read this manual at any time, please ask one of the Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSO) or a member of the clergy, as a copy is accessible in church. Contact details for your PSO’s and Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) are now included in the contacts page.
With regard to an allegation of abuse disclosed or signs of abuse observed of a child or vulnerable adult, you should keep a record of the conversation and observation carefully, and then inform the Rector or PSO within the next 24 hours. They will in turn inform and seek advice from the DSA. In the case of an emergency situation, you should call emergency services if the child/vulnerable adult need medical help, in addition to informing as above. If the child/vulnerable adult cannot return home, contact Social Care or the police.
An allegation of abuse by a church officer, (which includes clergy, readers, SPA’s, churchwardens, servers, organists, those, paid and unpaid, who hold positions of responsibility and work with children) should be reported to the DSA immediately. They will in turn inform the diocesan Bishop and the Archdeacon.
Any complaints or grievances not relating to children or vulnerable adults should be raised and resolved at parish level, with problems being brought directly to the person(s) deemed responsible for that area. Complaints and grievances against clergy or licensed or commissioned ministers should be addressed to the Archdeacon.
This article is designed to give you more confidence and knowledge about how allegations and concerns would be managed, not to worry you. Please discuss with your PSO’s or the clergy if you have any queries about any of the details above.
Julia Knowles - Benefice PSO
Julia Knowles 01737 645762
Emma Moon 01737 645822
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Kate Singleton 020 7939 9423 (office hours),
07982 279713 (out of hours)