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SAFEGUARDING  POLICY

 

FOR THE PARISH OF ST THOMAS À BECKET,  BOX

 

Adopted by the PCC 25 Nov 2014

 

The aims of our church include developing the spiritual and social life of young people and vulnerable adults ;  the provision of a secure environment for these people is vital. In adopting this policy the PCC, on behalf of the parish, recognises that we are all in need of protection from harm and that as a Christian community it is the responsibility of every one of us, not just parents, guardians or carers, to protect those less able to protect themselves.

 

The provision of this safe environment will be in accordance with the following principles:

 

  1. Procedures and formal processes, though essential, will not alone protect children and adults at risk. The community, including all its members, needs to be aware of the dangers and to be prepared to report concerns and take actions if necessary. 

 

2. Our church and parish are committed to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all.

 

3. The  parish will work within the safeguarding policies and procedures of the Diocese of Bristol. 

 

4. Volunteers for work with children, young people or vulnerable adults will be appointed by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in accordance with the Recruitment Procedure at Appendix A. 

Notes : 

a. Exceptionally, additional adults may help with children’s groups on an occasional basis without following the full procedure in Appendix A, but such people must be accountable to an appointed worker, must complete a Confidential Declaration, and be subject to a Risk Assessment agreed with the Parish Safeguarding Officer and the PCC.  If in doubt the PSO should consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer. If a person joins the team on a regular basis, even if only on a roster, then he/she must be properly recruited as in Appendix A. 

b.  Young people aged 16 or 17 may help with groups but must be supervised by an adult worker and cannot be counted as part of the staffing. Young people aged under 16 may act as helpers but should not have responsibility for children and must be supervised. 

 

5. When a DBS Disclosure is required this will sought via the CCPAS online system in accordance with diocesan policy and training. Details are given in the E-Bulk Guide for Applicants and the Recruiter’s Guide, both produced by CCPAS.

 

6. At least two vetted people will be responsible for and attend each meeting of young people. If only two vetted people, they should not be a couple.

 

7. The Health and Safety Policy is available for inspection and all groups will be run in accordance with the principles therein.

 

8. The PCC will appoint a Parish Safeguarding Officer, a Lead Recruiter and, if necessary, an additional Document Checker. The names of those so appointed will be advertised within the church, including making clear how anybody with concerns, including children, can contact the Safeguarding Officer.  The post holders will attend introductory training provided by the diocese and will be invited to attend refresher training every 3 years.  The responsibilities of the Parish Safeguarding Officer are listed at Appendix E. 

 

9. Details of how to contact external agencies such as CHILDLINE and the NSPCC will be displayed in church and areas of children’s activities. 

 

10. All activities will be adequately insured, in respect of both young people and leaders, preferably through the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s Church Insurance Policy.

 

11. Access to confidential information will be restricted to the Clergy, the Parish Safeguarding Officer, the Lead Recruiter, the Bishop and his representatives.  Such information will be stored securely and in accordance with Appendix B.  There is a secure cabinet in the vestry exclusively for safeguarding documents. 

 

12. We will respond without delay to any concern raised which suggests that a child or adult may have been harmed or is at risk.  When so doing we will comply with diocesan and statutory policies, informing all necessary authorities. 

 

  1. Provision for the safe upkeep of premises, for the training of leaders and helpers and for the general furtherance of this policy will be made by the PCC. 

 

  1. The PCC has adopted policies on the Fair Recruitment of Ex-Offenders and on the Handling of Disclosure Information.  Copies are at Appendices D and E for ease of reference. 

 

15. Arrangements are made for the PCC to review annually :

a. This Policy and the level of compliance with its stipulations.

b. What activities take place for children, what activities involve vulnerable adults, and what the safeguarding arrangements are for each.

c. The lists of volunteers with DBS disclosures.

d. Training requirements.

 

 

 

 

Date adopted by PCC            25 Nov 2014

Date due for next review        25 Nov 2015

 

Appendix A :  Recruitment Policy

B :  Retention of records

C :  Duties of the Parish Safeguarding Officer

D :  Fair Recruitment of Ex-Offenders

E :  Handling of Disclosure Information 

APPENDIX A

TO SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

RECRUITMENT PROCEDURE FOR VOLUNTEERS WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE OR VULNERABLE ADULTS

 

FOR THE PARISH OF ST THOMAS à BECKET, BOX

 

1. This recruitment procedure must be followed for all people who work with children, young people, or vulnerable adults as part of their church responsibilities.

 

2. The Priest-in-Charge, together with others responsible for the relevant post, will draw up a job description.  This should be presented to the PCC for approval.

 

3. All volunteers will be given a volunteer pack which will include:

· A Job Description.

· A Volunteer Application form to apply for the job.  The form can be downloaded by the Safeguarding Officer, Lead Recruiter or Document Checker from the CCPAS website by going to :  Members Area ; Safe and Secure Manual ;  Safer Recruitment ;  Application Form, and then the link to the pdf of the model form. It requires, among other things, the names of two referees.

· Instructions for obtaining Disclosure and Barring Service Check (for applicants over 18 yrs).  Effectively this means providing the candidate with a copy of the CCPAS E-Bulk Guide for Applicants in electronic or hard-copy form.

· Confidential Self Declaration form (as on pages 24-26 of the CCPAS E-Bulk Guide for Recruiters)

· A copy of the Safeguarding Policy.

 

4. The sequence for recruitment is as follows : 

· Writing of Job Description and Person Specification. 

· Advertisement (include a statement of whether the post is eligible for a DBS check).

· Issue and completion of a Volunteer Application form.

· Interview.

· Offer of the post subject to DBS and references (don’t start in role yet…).

· Completion of Confidential Self Declaration form.

· DBS check and references.

· Confirmation of appointment.

· PCC informed.

· Then induction, probationary period, training, supervision, 5 year DBS re check.

 

5. All new volunteers will be invited to meet with the person responsible for the activity with which they wish to be involved, in order to explore their potential role.

 

6. The Parish Lead Recruiter will ensure that two references for each applicant are taken up and reviewed.

 

7. If there is any cause for concern necessary action will be taken in discussion with the Priest-in-Charge and the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer.

 

8. Names of all those who have been through the full application procedure, including DBS clearance, will be brought to the PCC and recorded in the minutes, and a master list will be maintained by the Lead Recruiter.

 

9. All paperwork will be kept in as secure a manner as possible in accordance with provision of the Data Protection Act as summarised at Appendix B.  A secure cabinet exclusively for  safeguarding papers is in the vestry.

 

 

 

APPENDIX B 

TO SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

SAFEGUARDING RECORD RETENTION PERIODS 

 

Basic Record Description

Record Stored

If in the Parish, then where?

Retention Period

Final Action

Accident reporting book-Adults

Parish

Church safe

Date of Incident + 20 years

Destroy

Accident reporting book- Children

Parish

Church safe

Date child became an adult + 20 years

Destroy

DBS Disclosure certificate

Parish and Diocese

Locked filing cabinet in the vestry

6 months from issue

Destroy

Risk assessment and management plan  in the event of a non clear DBS Check 

Parish and Diocese

Locked filing cabinet in the vestry

50 years after employment ceases

Destroy

Records of safeguarding child or adult incidents either within the parish or within a family where the Parish was the reporting body or where it was involved in care or monitoring plans. Including any sex offender management agreements and risk assessments

Parish 

 

Additional record stored by Diocese where information shared

Locked filing cabinet in the vestry

50 years after conclusion of the matter

Destroy

Personnel records relating to lay employees not working with children and vulnerable adults: Including annual performance assessments, disciplinary matters, job descriptions, training and termination documentation.

Parish 

 

Additional record stored by Diocese where information shared

Securely within the Vicarage

6 years after employment ceases

(except as above)

Destroy

Personnel records related to lay employees with contact with children and / or vulnerable adults including all documentation concerning any allegations and investigations regardless of findings.

Parish

 

 

 

Diocese of Bristol

 

 

Diocese

 

 

 

 

Securely within the Vicarage

Parish: 50 years after conclusion of the matter

 

Diocese: Indefinitely after employment ceases

 

Bishops Staff: Minimum 75 years after employment ceases

Destroy

 

 

 

Destroy

 

 

 

Destroy

Parish agreement with the Diocese regarding DBS disclosures

Parish

Locked filing cabinet in the vestry

Last action + 5 years

Permanent deposit

 

 

APPENDIX C

TO SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

DUTIES OF THE PARISH SAFEGUARDING OFFICER

 

The Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) is responsible for: 

  • Acting as a focal point for any concerns with regard to safeguarding within the context of the parish church, and to lead the Safeguarding Team.
  • Being available for any child or adult to speak to regarding any concerns about a child or vulnerable adult. The PSO should make herself/himself known to all in the Church and have her/his contact details and picture displayed within Church premises. 

· Ensuring that the correct recruitment procedure for volunteers is followed. 

· Retaining any written records of concerns about a child or vulnerable adult. 

· Ensuring that all such records are kept confidentially and securely. 

· In conjunction with the Lead Recruiter, presenting the Safeguarding Policy to the PCC for review annually.

· In conjunction with the Lead Recruiter, presenting annually to the PCC the list of volunteers who have been cleared under the recruitment and DBS procedures. 

· Reporting to the PCC any information on policy & procedures, incidents and cases, training and any children subject to a child protection plan. (Made suitably anonymous).

  • Attending appropriate training provided by the Diocese of Bristol. 
  • Being familiar with the Safeguarding Policy and procedures of the Diocese of Bristol. 
  • Being familiar with Local Authority safeguarding procedures and to know how to raise a safeguarding alert for a child or vulnerable adult with the relevant authority. 
  • Communicating to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser any safeguarding concern. 
  • Alerting the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser to the presence of any individual in the congregation who has a relevant conviction or caution or there is reason to believe that they may present a risk to vulnerable adults or children if this is made know to any Church Official. This will enable the DSA to support with a risk assessment and agreement if required. 
  • Ensuring appropriate steps are taken to satisfy insurers including recording names of all volunteers with children and young people in the PCC minutes. 
  • Ensuring that training is provided for anybody involved in Child and/or Adult safeguarding. 
  • Supporting anyone involved with safeguarding issues in the parish as necessary. 

 

In order to achieve these tasks the Parish Safeguarding Officer will be given access to PCC  minutes (if not already a member of the PCC) and be provided with access to safe storage for records.

 

APPENDIX D

TO SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

ST THOMAS A BECKET CHURCH, BOX

Fair Recruitment of Ex Offenders policy

As an organisation using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure Service to assess applicants' suitability for positions of trust, the PCC of Box Parish undertakes to comply fully with the DBS Code of Practice and to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information revealed.

We make every subject of a DBS Disclosure aware of the existence of the Code of Practice and make a copy available on request.

Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. It will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.

A Disclosure is only requested after a thorough assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure is required, all application forms, job advertisements and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered a position.

Where a Disclosure is to form part of a recruitment process, we encourage all applicants called for interview to provide details of any unspent criminal record at an early stage in the application process.

Unless the nature of the position allows us to ask questions about your entire criminal record, we only ask about “unspent” convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Where the nature of a position does allow us to ask questions about your entire criminal record excepting any “protected” information we will ask you to complete a “Self Disclosure Form” before asking you to apply for a DBS disclosure. (Further information about what information should be disclosed is available from DBS in their ‘DBS Filtering Guide’, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/266123/Filtering_guide_v2.3.pdf ). This enables us to discuss with you at an early stage any information which may cause you to be unable to progress to confirmation in role. We request that this information is sent under separate, confidential cover to the person within the organisation who is responsible for processing your DBS disclosure application and we guarantee that this information will only be seen by those who need to see it as part of a recruitment process.

Where a caution, conviction or additional information is disclosed by you or on a DBS disclosure your consent will be sought to forward a copy of the document to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA).

The DSA will make contact with you to discuss the information and the circumstances in which the caution, conviction or concern arose. The DSA may need to speak to statutory bodies or individuals and will seek your consent to do so. The DSA will provide a written risk assessment to the recruiter which includes a recommendation of safe to proceed, proceed with amendments to role or not safe to proceed. You will be provided with a copy of that assessment.

The recruiter will then communicate to you a decision regarding whether they are able to continue with the appointment process.

 

Failure to reveal information that is relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment or voluntary work. Failure to consent to risk assessment will result in any offer of employment or voluntary work being withdrawn.

 

Agreed by the PCC on 3 July 2014

 

APPENDIX E

TO SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

ST THOMAS A BECKET CHURCH, BOX

Policy on Handling of Disclosure Information

Storage and Access :DBS Disclosure Certificates must be stored separately in a secure, lockable, non-portable cabinet, with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties. Certificates must never be kept on an applicant's personal file, should there be such a file.

Handling: In accordance with Section 124 of the Police Act 1997, disclosure information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. A record should be kept of all those to whom Disclosures or Disclosure information has been revealed and it is a criminal offence to pass this information to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.

Usage: Disclosure information must only be used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant's full consent has been given.

A disclosure certificate must be for the correct workforce only and at the correct level. i.e. a person recruiting for a role in the child workforce at enhanced level should not ask to see a certificate for child and adult workforce at enhanced plus level as the certificate may include information that the recruiter is not entitled to see.

Retention: Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, a disclosure certificate should not be kept for any longer than is absolutely necessary. This is generally for a period of up to six months, to allow for the consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep Disclosure information for longer than six months, consultation should be made with the umbrella body CCPAS. Advice can then be given regarding the Data Protection and Human Rights of the individual. The above conditions regarding safe storage and strictly controlled access would still apply in these circumstances.

Disposal: Once the retention period has lapsed, Disclosure certificates must be suitably destroyed by secure means, i.e. shredding, pulping or burning. Whilst awaiting destruction, Disclosure certificates must not be kept in any insecure receptacle (eg waste bin or confidential waste sack). No copies of the Disclosure certificate may be kept, in any form. However, a record can be kept of the date of the issue of a disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of disclosure requested, the position for which the disclosure was requested, the unique reference number of the disclosure and the details of the recruitment decision taken.

 

 

Agreed by the PCC 3 July 2014