Safeguarding Policy

Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy

St Briavels, Hewelfield and Brockweir Parish Churches welcome  children at all times however we would expect that children under  the age of 14 will be in the company  of a parent or recognised guardian while at churches of  St Briavels, Hewelfield and Brockweir is committed to the welfare of children and as part of that responsibility we will:

Ensure that staff and volunteers who work with youngsters are given support and training
Have a system for dealing with concerns about possible abuse
Maintain good links with the statutory child care authorities.
Respond to allegations of abuse, including those made against staff, volunteers or of St Briavels church.
Areas of policy

 

St Briavels, Hewelfield and Brockweir PCCs recognises that many young people today are the victims of neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Accordingly The PCC has adopted this policy to safeguard children and young people in the following areas:

 

 

Appointing staff and volunteers
Supervision of activities and practise issues
Helping victims of abuse
Having a child protection officer

 

For other policy concerning more general issues of safety and welfare see the Health and Safety policy.

 

Helping victims of abuse

 

We do consider the support of victims of abuse to be important and such victims will be referred to a social worker or their GP by the child protection officer.

 

 

Suspicions or reports of abuse from the past.

 

The PCC recognises that as a Church there may be an earlier history prior to attendance at the Church. We also recognise that dealing with such incidences will be beyond the knowledge and skill of any member of staff or Volunteer. In such an incident we would seek professional advice from an expert in that field.

 

Appointment of staff and volunteers

See recruitment and Induction policy under separate cover. However, this includes the requirement of The PCC s that all staff and volunteer appointments are subject to references and CRB checks.

Relationships of Trust

 

As a charity we undertake to follow the principles found within the Abuse of Trust guidance issued by the Home Office. It will therefore be unacceptable for those people in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop whilst the relationship of trust continues.

 

Procedures for Child Protection Officers

 

The PCCs  have an appointed Child Protection officer. All Staff, Volunteers will know who the appointed person is.

The Child Protection Officer is responsible for co-ordinating our child protection policy and monitoring it is implementation in each project. They will be responsible for taking any necessary action where abuse is seen or alleged. If an allegation is made, or concerns are raised they should always be brought to the attention of the Child Protection Officer.

 

Abuse: what to look for and what to do

 

Definitions of Abuse

 

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 feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill health to a child whom they are looking after.

 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on a 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 involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.

 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape and buggery) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

 

Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs. It may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food, shelter and clothing, failure to protect a child from physical harm or danger, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.

 

 

Organised Abuse

Organised or multiple abuse may be defined as abuse involving one or more abusers and a number of related or non-related abused children and young people. The abusers concerned may be acting in concert to abuse children, acting in isolation, or may be using an institutional framework or position of authority to recruit children for abuse.

 

 

 

Organised and multiple abuse occur both as part of a network of abuse across a family or community, and within institutions such as residential homes or schools.

 

(A child may suffer more than one category of abuse)

 

 

The following may be signs of abuse

 

Those who work with children and young people have a responsibility to be aware and alert to signs that all is not well with a youngster. It is important to keep an open mind and consider carefully what is causing concern.

Physical abuse: unexplained injuries or those that have received no medical attention, hidden injuries, signs of neglect;
Sexual abuse: allegations made by the child or young person, preoccupation with sexual matters, sexual activity through words, play or drawings, severe sleep disturbances with fears and phobias, being sexually provocative with adults;
Emotional abuse: regression of behaviour, nervousness, sudden under-achievement, inappropriate relationships with peers/adults, attention seeking, running away/stealing/lying, looking uncared for.
Other: unexplained reluctance of children to be left in the care of an individual – unexplained mood changes.

 

NB: physical abuse and neglect are difficult to hide. Sexual abuse can be almost impossible to identify and prove. Many symptoms of distress can point to abuse but there may be other explanations. It is important therefore, that the above signs are not taken as indications that abuse has taken place. They should be warnings, but not to jump to conclusions.

 

If a child or young person wants to talk about abuse

 

It is usually hard for a child or a young person to tell someone that they are being abused. So …..

Let them know that you will listen to anything they have to tell you, but that there are some things so serious that you have to tell someone else. Do not promise confidentiality.
Accept what the child or young person says, keep calm and look at them directly;
Listen carefully and do not stop a young person who is revealing painful events;
Never push for information or ask leading questions;
Be aware that the child or young person may have been threatened;
Reassure the child or young person they were right to tell you;
Let the child or young person know what you are going to do next and that you will let them know what happens;
Make notes as soon as possible, writing down exactly what was said and when he/she said it. Record the date, time
and location and whether other people were present. Keep the hand written record.

 

What to do if you suspect abuse

 

The person who first suspects or is told of alleged abuse is responsible for ensuring that his/her concern is taken seriously.
Suspicion may vary from a vague disquiet about possibly inappropriate behaviour to clear evidence of serious abuse with many intermediate levels.
Information may reach you from a variety of sources

A child or young person claiming that he/she has been abused

Another child or young person who is concerned

A member of the child’s family

A fellow worker of the suspect

Someone who believes he/she is the object of malicious or unfounded rumour

Your own concerns

If you feel abuse or inappropriate behaviour is suspected, inform the named Child Protection Officer who will log a child welfare concern with the Safeguarding Children Service and if appropriate take further action..

 

Reporting Child Protection Concerns
In the event of a complaint the Child Protection Officer must take a report of:
Name of the child
Parent’s/carer’s details
The child’s address
Relevant phone numbers
What is said to have happened or what was seen
When it occurred
Who else was there
What was said by those involved
Whether there is any actual evidence e.g. bruises, bleeding, changed behaviour
Who has been told about it
Who was concerned
Was the child able to say what happened?
Whether the parents have been advised

Responding to Allegations of Abuse by Staff or Volunteers at St Briavels Church

 

Allegations of this nature will be treated with the utmost seriousness.

Allegations against staff should be dealt with by the r assuming they are not implicated by the allegation, if the is implicated is must be dealt with by the

The Child Protection Officer will have a duty to be informed
A record must be held by the Child Protection Officer

The allegation must be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer on 01452 426994, who will keep a record and if necessary call a multi agency strategy meeting If the LADO is unavailable, a referral should be made to the Children & Families Helpdesk on 01452 426565. If there is immediate danger to the child it should be reported to the police on 0845 0901234/999

The Child Protection Officer will take a report as for General Allegations.
The member of staff should not be interviewed without first speaking to the Local Authority Designated Officer as to do might interfere with a police investigation.
An allegation of this nature must be reported to the Board of Trustees and if necessary a special board meeting must be held.
Complaints procedures

Any complaints of suspected or actual abuse towards a child or youngster being put at risk must be taken seriously and acted upon immediately. The child protection officer will be responsible for reporting any concerns to the Gloucestershire’s Children and Young People’s Directorate .

 

Finally it is important to remember that in any case of alleged child abuse doing nothing is not an option, consultation and investigation is always important.

 

Anti-bullying policy

Bullying is not easy to define, taking many forms and is usually repeated over a period of time. The three main types of bullying are: physical (e.g. hitting, kicking), verbal(e.g. name calling, racist remarks, threats) and emotional (e.g. isolating a child). They will include:

deliberate hostility and aggression towards the victim
a victim who is weaker than the bully/bullies
an outcome which is painful and distressing for the victim

 

it may also include:

other forms of violence
sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing or theft
tormenting, ridiculing, humiliation
racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
unwanted physical contact or abusive/offensive comments of a sexual nature

 

The church will endeavour to take bullying seriously and investigate any incidents that take place on the premises.

 

If such an incident is reported the Child Protection Officer who will talk to all parties separately. They will decide on the appropriate action which may include:

obtaining an apology from the bully/ies to the victim
inform parents
insist on the return of items of property
insist on compensation by the bully/ies to the victim

Safeguarding Officers

 

St Briavels Meurig Greening 5 St Annes Way, St Briavels

Hewelsfield and Brockweir Pauline SIDDONS Law Hill, Hewelsfield GL15 6UT

 

https:www.gloucester.anglican.org/about-us/safeguarding