1.1. This Safeguarding Policy has been prepared in accordance with the national policies of the Church of England as approved by the House of Bishops and is broadly based on the Safeguarding Policy issued by Coventry Anglican Diocese. It is in line with legislation, statutory guidance and national/local safeguarding procedures regarding the needs of children and adults at risk.
1.2. Every child or adult can be hurt, put at risk of harm or abused. The actions we must take to promote their welfare, and protect them from harm, are the responsibility of us all. Everyone who comes into contact with children or adults has a role to play.
1.3. ‘Looking the other way’ is not an option. Adopting and putting this policy into practice is essential for all of our parishes and church-related communities at every level.
Purpose and scope of this policy
This purpose of this policy is to set out the expectations placed on those working and volunteering for Warwickshire & Coventry Historic Churches Trust (WCHCT) and to provide information that promotes the safeguarding of all children and adults.
Definition of terms
1.6. This document uses the following definition of terms:
- Abuse – the violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. This includes physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, institutional abuse, financial or material abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and acts of omission.
- Child – anyone under the age of eighteen years;
- Adult at risk – a person aged eighteen years or over who: Has needs for care or support and is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse; and Is unable to protect him/herself against the abuse or the risk of it.
Where to find this policy and other safeguarding resources
The latest version of this policy can be downloaded from the Trust’s website at: http://warwickshirechurches.org.uk
Approval and review
This policy has been approved and ratified by the Trustees of WCHCT for immediate use. It will be reviewed annually by the Trustees at their Spring/early summer meeting.
2. Statement of Commitment
2.1. WCHCT is committed to protect and care for everyone with whom they come into contact, but especially children and adults at risk.
2.2. We recognise the legal principle that the welfare of children is paramount; and we extend this assertion to any adult who is suffering abuse or is at risk of abuse.
2.3. The Trustees will ensure safeguarding culture that:
- Creates an environment where there is awareness and vigilance about the signs, symptoms and impacts of abuse.
- Enables and encourages any concern or allegation to be raised in order to protect children and adults from harm.
- Ensures all those who work or volunteer on behalf of WCHCT with children and adults achieve the standards required by this policy.
- Holds to account those who disregard the safety and well-being of children and adults.
2.4. To bring this about we will:
- Respond without delay to every allegation that a child or adult may have been harmed.
- Listen to those who have been abused in the past and take their allegations seriously.
- Seek to offer informed pastoral care to any child or adult who has suffered abuse.
- Recognise all relevant local and national safeguarding guidance in developing best practice guidelines.
- Offer help to all children and adults to reduce risk and safeguard from harm (regardless of age, disability, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion, belief, sex, gender reassignment or sexual orientation).
- Carefully select all candidates for any paid or voluntary role or responsibility within the Trust in line with Coventry Diocese’s Safer Recruitment Policy and procedure. http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/safeguarding
- Monitor safeguarding practice at every level.
- Have robust and well managed risk assessment procedures.
- When appropriate Work in partnership with other organisations that protect children and adults from abuse and monitor known offenders in the community.
- Co-operate with other faith groups and denominations to protect and care for children and adults.
- Fully cooperate with statutory agencies during any investigation they make into allegations concerning members or Trustees of WCHCT
3. Safeguarding Adviser
3.1. The Trustee Board will appoint a suitably qualified Safeguarding Adviser (SA), directly accountable to the Trustee Board.
3.2. The safeguarding resources for use by parishes can be found on the Diocesan website. http://www.dioceseofcoventry.org/safeguarding
Such resources comply with the following national policies published by the Church of England and include:
- Protecting All God’s Children – a policy for safeguarding children, the 4th Edition published in 2010;
- Promoting a Safe Church – a policy for safeguarding adults, published in 2006;
- Responding to Domestic Abuse – published in 2006;
- Responding Well – to those who have been sexually abused, published in 2011.
3.3. The SA will ensure that an up-to-date copy of this Safeguarding Policy is published on this website. http://warwickshirechurches.org.uk/
3.4. The SA will ensure that all Trustees are DBS checked and renewed as appropriate
Managing safeguarding situations
3.5. The SA will take the lead in managing safeguarding situations which arise at Trust events or meetings. Where appropriate, this will include liaising with all appropriate people including statutory bodies.
4.0 The Trustee Board must:
- Formally adopt this policy and file a copy with their minutes.
- Review the implementation of this policy annually.
- Ensure that all those authorised to work with children and adults at risk are adequately supported and have access to the relevant policies and safeguarding resources;
- Ensure that every activity involving children or adults at risk which is run in the name of the Trust has:
o Appropriate insurance cover;
o An Activity Plan and Risk Assessment which is reviewed at least once a year.
- Comply with General Data Protection Regulations – specifically with reference to storing information about members and those taking part in events, including volunteers who have completed a confidential declaration and/or undergone DBS checks. The Trust’s GDPR, policy, procedures and regulations are on this website.
If in doubt about any aspect of this policy, please do not hesitate to contact the Safeguarding Adviser or the Hon Secretary. Contact details are available on the Trust’s website.
Approved by Trustees – May 2019