Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
At Pathfinder Church we take seriously the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. This page gives information and advice on what to do if you suspect abuse, and is particularly helpful if you are in a position of responsibility within the church.
You can download the Church of England’s policy document: Promoting a Safer Church (pdf)
Here is the official advice from the Diocese of Ely Safeguarding Pocket Guide:
What to do if…
You have concerns about possible abuse (including allegations):
• In an emergency, call emergency services 999.
• Otherwise, consult the person to whom you are responsible.
• Decide together whether to seek advice or to make an immediate referral to police or care services (see contact details below).
• Always contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
• Keep a record of what happened, your concerns and your actions.
• Tell your parish priest [in our context, this is the lead minister]
• Only tell others who need to know.
• Do not alert the alleged perpetrator.
A child, young person or adult wishes to disclose they have been abused:
• Listen. Keep listening. Do not question or investigate.
• Do not promise confidentiality; tell them we may need to share this.
• Assure them they are not to blame.
• Tell them what you are going to do and that they will be told what happens.
• Make careful notes of what is said, record dates, times, events and when you are told.
• Report it to the person to whom you are responsible and your priest or safeguarding representative [in our context, this is the lead minister and the safeguarding officer].
• Only tell those who need to know.
Things to remember:
• Treat everyone with respect, setting a positive example for others.
• Respect personal space and privacy.
• Ensure any actions cannot be misrepresented by someone else.
• Challenge unacceptable behaviour.
• Do not put anyone, including yourself, in a vulnerable or compromising situation.
• Do not have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with others.
• You must not keep allegations or suspected abuse secret.
Ely Diocese Safeguarding webpages: www.elydiocese.org/safeguarding
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: Rebecca Boswell; firstname.lastname@example.org; 01353 652731
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (Part Time): Sharon Gage; Sharon.email@example.com; 01353 652706
Diocesan Safeguarding Officer: Sarah King; firstname.lastname@example.org; 01353 652735
Your pirest and lead minister: Revd Dr Beth Cope; email@example.com; 01954 261 181
Church Safeguarding Officer: Michelle Kemp: firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Council Protection Office:
- For children: Tel 0345 045 5203
- For adults: Tel 0345 045 5202
- Dial 101
- Dial 999 in an emergency
- ChildLine (support and advice for children): www.childline.org.uk Tel: 0800 1111
- NSPCC (for adults worries about a child): www.nspcc.org.uk Tel: 0808 800 5000
- Stop it Now / Lucy Faithfull Foundation (for an adult worried about their own behaviour or another’s behaviour towards children): www.stopitnow.org.uk Tel: 0808 1000 900