Parish of St Mary’s Sheering

Child Protection Policy

The Parish of St. Mary’s Sheering recognises the importance of its ministry to children and young people and its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the church’s care. This Policy is for the various groups of our parish, including Sunday School, Youth Group, etc.

Mission Statement

As part of its mission the Church is committed to:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting children and young people as well as promoting their welfare and protection

  • Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the children’s/youth workers within the church

  • Adopting a procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse

  • Encouraging and supporting parents/carers

  • Supporting those affected by abuse

  • Giving pastoral support to those who have abused

  • Make links with statutory childcare authorities and other organisations if and when required.

Church Policy

The Parish of St. Mary’s Sheering recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children and young people. It also acknowledges that children and young people can be the victims of physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect. The PCC has therefore adopted the procedures set out in this Policy with references to the Diocesan Child Protection Policy. If and when required, the named nominated person, with support from the PCC, will work with the statutory agencies and other organisations if and when required.

This Parish is committed to on-going child protection training for all children/youth workers. All children/youth workers and any other parishioners who have contact with children/young people in the congregation will complete a CRB application form. The recruitment process will be in line with the Diocesan Child Protection Policy section 8. Anyone under the age of 18 years cannot be counted in the ratio as a helper and should never be left in charge of a group of children.

Responding to allegations of abuse

Under no circumstances should a church worker carry out their own investigation into the allegations or suspicion of abuse. The person in receipt of the information should do the following;

  • Write down what you have been told or seen as quickly as possible after the incident. Sign and date. Do not add your thoughts or feelings. This record must be factual and as accurate as possible. Use the words expressed by the individual.

  • Inform the nominated person as soon as possible. If this person is not available, speak to your incumbent (providing the allegation is not against them or a church warden).

  • If an allegation is made against anyone in the church (including the Incumbent) do not speak to this person about the allegation.

  • Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than the nominated person, incumbent or church warden.

  • If a referral needs to be made to Social Services, do not delay if the nominated person is not available.

  • Do not question the child/young person to enable you to obtain more information.

  • Notify the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser as soon as possible after the incident and when a referral is made to Social Services or Police.

The role of the nominated person is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information to Social Services and the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. It is Social Services task to investigate the matter under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989. Guidance on taking action is found in Section 3 of the Diocesan Child protection Policy

Appointment, Support and Training

This Parish will follow the guidelines in the Diocesan Child Protection Policy when recruiting new volunteers/employed people to work with children and young people.

Each person is expected to complete a CRB application form. Clearance from the CRB is required before the individual can begin working with children/young people.

Re-checking for CRB clearance will take place when advised by the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser. Portable CRB clearance is no longer acceptable. Each person working with children/young people must keep up to date with changes in legislation and attend any Diocesan training as required.

Safe recruiting guidance – Section 9 and CRB checklist Section 11 in the Diocesan Child Protection Policy.

Children’s Activities

Any planned activities must follow the good practice and health and safety guidelines contained in the Diocesan Child protection Policy- Section 8- for activities on and off church premises. The adult/child ratio must be observed for activities involving children under 8 years of age. Section 8.2. Where appropriate, parental permission must be given in written form.

Working with Offenders

Where a known offender is in the Parish, a written agreement must be in place outlining what this person is able to take part in and what is not suitable for them to take part in. The incumbent, a churchwarden, Child Protection Adviser and the nominated person will be required to monitor this situation. There will be regular meetings with the individual to establish that the agreement is being adhered to.

Support for those who have been abused

Pastoral care and working with statutory agencies as appropriate should be offered to these individuals. If it is not possible to offer this support the Diocesan Child Protection Adviser must be informed to establish pastoral support from another source.

If you have any concerns for a child/young person in relation to any child protection matter then speak to the nominated person or the incumbent for advice about what to do.

A copy of the Diocesan Child Protection Policy can be seen in the church office.

This Parish Child Protection Policy was endorsed by the PCC on 4th February 2008, re-adopted on 24 May 2010 and 16 May 2011, and will be reviewed annually.

Every adult working with children on behalf of this parish must have a copy of this policy.

Incumbent and nominated person

Incumbent: (Currently a vacancy) The Vicarage, Broomfields, Hatfield Heath; phone: 01279 730288.

Nominated person: Mrs Jane Potter; phone: 01279 734442.