Hazel Grove Baptist church

HGBC Child Protection Policy (Youth)

CHURCH DETAILS

Name:                  Hazel Grove Baptist Church,  (hereafter, "The Church")

Address:              Station Street, Hazel Grove, Stockport, Cheshire. SK7 4EX

Tel No:                  0161 487 3708    Email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                         

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The Church and its leadership recognise the importance of its ministry to children, young people and vulnerable adults and its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the church's care.

As part of its mission, the Church is committed to:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting children and young people and their diversity as well as promoting their welfare and protection.
  • Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the children's/youth workers and those working with vulnerable adults within the church.
  • Adopting a procedure for dealing with concerns about possible abuse.
  • Encouraging and supporting parents/carers.
  • Supporting those affected by abuse in the church.
  • Maintaining good links with the statutory childcare authorities and other organisations.

CHURCH POLICY

The Church Leadership recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children , young people and vulnerable adults  It also acknowledges that children and young people can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.  The Church Leadership has therefore adopted the procedures set out in this document (hereafter “the policy”).  It also recognises the need to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary child protection agencies.  The policy and attached practice guidelines are based on a model published by the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) and prepared in consultation with The Baptist Union and Stockport MBC Guidelines.  The Church Leadership undertakes to file a copy of the policy and practice guidelines with CCPAS and social services, and any amendments subsequently published.  The Church Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations. 

The Church Leadership is committed to on-going child protection training for all children/youth workers and will regularly review the operational guidelines that accompany this policy.

The Church Leadership also undertakes to follow the principles found within the Abuse of Trust guidance issued by the Home Office. It is therefore unacceptable for those in a position of trust to engage in any behaviour which might allow a sexual relationship to develop for as long as the relationship of trust continues.

RESPONDING TO ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE

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

  • Concerns must be reported as soon as possible to Mark Paddon (hereafter the "Co-ordinator") tel. no: 0161 483 0956 who is nominated by the Church Leadership to act on its behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities. The co-ordinator will share all such concerns with the Minister or in his absence a member of the Church Eldership.
  • The Co-ordinator may also be required by conditions of the Church Insurance Policy to immediately inform the Insurance Company. They may also be required as part of their denominational policy to inform strategic personnel within the denomination, namely North West Baptist Association, tel. no: 01942 221 595.
  • In the absence of the Co-ordinator, or if the suspicions in any way involve the Co-ordinator then the report should be made to Cathy Mackay (hereafter the "Deputy Co-ordinator") tel. no: 0161476 2504. If the suspicions implicate both the Co-ordinator and the Deputy Co-ordinator, then the report should be made in the first instance to the Minister and the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0845 120 4550 or alternatively Stockport Social Services’ Contact Centre Telephone 0161 2176028. The out of hours emergency telephone number for Stockport Social Services is 0161 718 2118. The Police Child Protection Team can also be contacted via the Police Switch board 0161 872 5050.
  • Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with church procedures and kept in a secure place.
  • Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Co-ordinator, the absence of the Co-ordinator or Deputy Co-ordinator should not delay referral to the Social Services Department.
  • The Church Leadership will support the Co-ordinator /Deputy Co-ordinator in their role, and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.
  • It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the child protection agencies or seek advice from CCPAS, although the Church Leadership hopes that members of the church will use the procedure above. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Co-ordinator /Deputy Co-ordinator has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Co-ordinator(s)as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Church Leadership demonstrates the commitment of the church to effective child protection.

The role of the co-ordinator/ deputy co-ordinator is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to the Social Services Department. It is Social Services task  to investigate the matter under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.    

ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL INJURY OR NEGLECT

If a child has a physical injury or symptom of neglect, the Co-ordinator /Deputy Co-ordinator will:

  • Contact Social Services (or CCPAS) for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child's safety or if a child is afraid to return home.
  • Will not tell the parents or carers unless advised to do so having contacted Social Services.
  • Seek medical help if needed urgently, informing the doctor of any suspicions.
  • For lesser concerns, (e.g. poor parenting), encourage parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of injury.
  • Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them. In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Social Services direct for advice.
  • Seek and follow advice given by CCPAS (who will confirm their advice in writing) if unsure whether or not to refer a case to Social Services.

ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Co-ordinator /Deputy Co-ordinator will:

  • Contact the Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.
  • Seek and follow the advice given by CCPAS if, for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Social Services/Police. CCPAS will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

ACCUSATIONS OF ABUSE AGAINST HGBC STAFF OR VOLUNTEERS

If anyone who attends HGBC (including members of staff or volunteer) is accused of abuse then HGBC will co-operate with other agencies in the enquiry.

During the course of the enquiry it is recommended that the person concerned is not involved in face to face youth and children’s work. Salaried staff and full time volunteers will take a period of special leave during which they will continued to be paid. If the enquiry is not concluded within two months this action may need to be reassessed.

HGBC staff and volunteers must report any allegation made about themselves or others to their supervisor or his/her delegated representative. The same would apply to allegations about anyone in the church, whether involved in children’s work or not.

VULNERABLE ADULTS

Workers with concerns regarding vulnerable adults should report these to the Co-ordinator who will refer to Social Services and share with the Minister or in his absence a member of the Church Eldership.

APPOINTMENT, SUPPORT, SUPERVISION & TRAINING OF LEADERS & WORKERS

The Church Leadership will ensure all workers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with the principles set out in government guidelines “Safe from Harm” ( HMSO 1993), the Criminal Records Bureau / Scottish Criminal Records Office / PECS Codes of Practice, CCPAS guidance and Church practice guidelines .  The same principles will be applied to those appointed to work with vulnerable adults.

All volunteers and staff members must attend Safeguarding training biannually. In additional any new volunteers or staff will receive training in the policy and guidelines during induction. The guidelines will be read through and questions raised within each group in September. This will allow everyone to refresh their knowledge and update on developments. DBS Checks will be carried out every 5 years.

SUPERVISION OF GROUP/CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES

The Church Leadership will provide details of the supervision for each specific activity in the church practice guidelines.

RISK ASSESSMENT

All activities and events away from church premises need to be risk assessed by the event’s leader.  This assessment should be signed by the event’s leader and countersigned by one of the following:  Child Protection Co-ordinator, Deputy Child Protection Co-ordinator or his/her delegate.   This should be submitted to the relevant person for insurance purposes

SUPPORT TO THOSE AFFECTED BY ABUSE

The Church Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with and support to those attending the church who have been affected by abuse.

WORKING WITH OFFENDERS

When someone attending the church is known to have abused children, the Church Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its commitment to the protection of children, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep in partnership with the statutory sector.  The Church Leadership will not allow persons convicted of offences against children to have any position which involves contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults. Where allegations have been made but no conviction has followed, the Church Leadership will take advice from the Statutory Sector regarding contact with children.

THIS DOCUMENT TO BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH HGBC's ECM GUIDLINES AND GOOD WORKING PRACTISE DOCUMENT AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

This document is reviewed annually and signed off by the Minister (Rev Billy Montgomery) and the Child Protection Coordinator (Mark Paddon)