Child Protection Policy

 

 

United Reformed Church

Broadway

 Safeguarding children, young people and

vulnerable adults from harm and abuse.

  12th June 2009  

Updated February 2013

Acknowledgements

Special Thanks

  This document has been developed with the advice and patience of the following people to whom we would like to say a special thank you.

              Chris Burgham, URC, WM Synod

Children�s and Youth

Training Development Officer

Claire Chittenden   Worcestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services

Revd. Kathryn Louch, former Minister, URC, Broadway

Officers and helpers, Broadway PILOTS

And for their commitment to the role of safeguarding Link Coordinator

Roger Harrington, Chris Walters, Les Griffin Megan Thomas

References

Safeguarding children and young people, 3rd edition         

URC

Safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm and abuse                   

Lea Road URC

Compass

Pilots Desk URC

Keeping children and young people safe

WCVYS

Managing allegations against people who work with children and young people

WCVYS

Worried about a child or young person

WSCB

Safeguarding children and young people

WSCB

What to do if you�re worried a child is being abused

HM Government

  URC = United Reformed Church.
  WCVYS = Worcestershire Council Voluntary Youth Service.
  WSCB = Worcestershire Safeguarding Children's Board.

Contents

Safeguarding Policy Statement

 

4

Confidentiality

5

 

Referral guidelines

 

6

Referral Checklist

 

8

Guidelines for when a child or young person wants to talk about an abusive experience

9

 

Adults who disclose abuse from childhood

 

10

Offenders

 

10

Support for victims

10

 

Child abusers

10

 

Racial and cultural considerations

11

 

Children or young people with special needs

11

 

Third party allegations

11

 

Staff safety

 

11

The Disclosure and Barring Service

 

12

Safeguarding children where the concerns are difficult to substantiate

 

12

Photography

 

13

Transporting Children

 

13

Parental Responsibility

 

14

Physical Abuse

 

15

Neglect

15

Sexual Abuse

 

16

Emotional Abuse

17

Appendices

 

Safeguarding concern form 1 : Safeguarding incident form

 

19

Safeguarding concern form 2 : Safeguarding referral record form

 

20

PILOTS registration form

 

21

Permission form

22

Contacts

23

 

Child Protection Policy 

Safeguarding Young People and Children

As one of its major activities the United Reformed Church, Broadway seeks to serve the needs of young people, promoting holistic development

We take seriously the welfare of all young people, children and vulnerable adults who come onto our premises or who are involved in our activities

Our underlying principles are:

Safeguarding Link Coordinators

If you have any concerns about a child protection matter, then speak to one of the following who have been approved as Child Protection Link Coordinators for this United Reformed Church, Broadway.

Roger Harrington

 

Chris Walters

 

Megan Thomas

Les Griffin

 

A FULL SAFEGUARDING POLICY IS AVAILABLE IN THE CHURCH

CONFIDENTIALITY

In matters relating to Safeguarding  it is vital that everyone (child/young person, carers, helpers) shares the same view of what this means i.e. that any information given will be treated with respect and not shared indiscriminately with other people who do not need to know about it.  However, in order to protect the child or young person, information may need to be shared with professionals from agencies who can give help and protection.  Therefore we must never promise that what we are told will go no further, as we can never know in advance how serious a matter we are dealing with.

All carers need to be aware that the United Reformed Church, Broadway and the organisations operating on its premises have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe from harm, and that in some cases this may require referral to those agencies which have a primary duty to protect children such as Social Services.  If an incident of child abuse is reported, carers also need to be aware that the investigative agencies will be involved as a constructive measure.  This is not a matter of choice, but the responsibility of United Reformed Church, Broadway to put the child or young person�s welfare first, as required by the Children Act 1989 and The Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

 

REFERRAL GUIDELINES

Anyone concerned about a child or young person should record those concerns as soon as possible, using Forms One or Two (or both), and discuss the matter without delay with one of the Safeguarding Link Co-ordinators.  Written information should be passed on at the time of discussion.  There are copies of the forms in this Safeguarding pack.

 Where there are allegations or suspicion of harm, the Safeguarding Link Co-ordinator will contact the appropriate authority.

 A decision may need to be reached with the Duty Officer as to whether it is safe for the child to return home and whether the carers should be involved at this stage.  If the carers are to be contacted, clarification will be needed as to who will do this. 

N.B. The outcome of this discussion should be recorded on Form Three, the Referral Record. The person making the referral should also carefully note the name of the duty officer to whom they speak.

 If no Safeguarding Link Co-ordinator can be contacted, and the matter appears to be urgent, then the person with the concerns should follow the instructions above and contact Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board on 0845 607 2000, or 01905 768 054 (24 hour).

 It is important that the person making the referral lets the other Safeguarding Link Co-ordinators know in order to prevent duplication.  In this instance information should be shared only on a need-to-know basis, in line with our Confidentiality Statement.

All building user groups and organisations which deal with children, young people or vulnerable adults should have a Safeguarding Policy which should be made available to those at United Reformed Church, Broadway making the letting.  If there is no policy in use then the booking should not be accepted.  This should be made clear in the booking form.

Where a helper with another organisation using the building brings a Safeguarding concern to one of the church�s Safeguarding Link Coordinators, that Coordinator will take any action they feel necessary under the church�s procedures.

Similarly, if a child or young person from such an organisation makes a complaint, a referral may follow without prior reference to or discussion with a senior member of that organisation, though every effort should be made to contact the appropriate person.

At all times it should be remembered that under the Children Act the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration.  Where there is any disagreement about what action should be taken, the concerned adults have a duty to act in the interests of the protection of children.  Information will be shared with the organisation as appropriate and on a need-to-know basis.

Where the alleged perpetrator is an employee of the United Reformed Church (e.g. Minister of Word and Sacrament or Church Related Community Officer) or an Elder or Officer of the Church, referral should still be made to Children�s Services in the way outlined above, followed immediately by contact with the Moderator of the West Midlands Synod, who will have in place a disciplinary procedure.  This may involve, in the case of paid employees a period of suspension as a means of protecting everyone involved in the investigation.

Similarly, if the alleged perpetrator is a senior member of an organisation using the building, then referral should be made to the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board followed by contact with the designated Child Protection Officer of that organisation.

In the unlikely event of a medical emergency, an ambulance should be summoned and the Paramedics and/or Casualty Officer be informed of the suspicion of abuse.

At no time should anyone having concerns attempt to investigate the circumstances, either by questioning the child or young person or by examining them in any way. 

Only the police or social workers from the Child Protection Team, or an authorised paediatrician are permitted to do this.  The church�s responsibility is to listen, observe and report concern.

In particular it is absolutely forbidden to undress a child in order to look at any marks or injuries.

As soon as reasonably possible, the church�s insurers (Congregational and General) should be told when a referral has been made.

What can you expect from Social Services when you make a referral?

When you make a referral:

Explain your concern.

Confirm whether the parents/carers/child are aware of the referral.

Make a record of the name of the person to whom you are speaking.

Record any disability the child may have.

State the family�s first language if known, or other means of communication e.g. signing.

Put the verbal concerns in writing within 24 hours.

The Duty Officer should:

Listen to your concerns and decide what action to take.

Agree with you what the child and parents are told, by whom and when.

If there are concerns about a child�s safety the Duty Officer should:

Check the Child Protection Register.

Consult with other agencies.

Take action to ensure the child is safe.

Involve the police if a crime may have been committed.

TELL YOU IF THEY ARE TAKING NO FURTHER ACTION.

Acknowledge your written referral within one working day of receipt.

REFERRAL CHECKLIST

Use the form provided to record concerns (Concern Form 1 ).

These are in the Safeguarding Folder in the Church.

Discuss concerns WITHOUT DELAY with one of the Church�s Safeguarding Link Coordinators, and pass on the Concern Form (s) to them.  You will find their names in this document and contact  numbers on the Safeguarding notices on the Notice Boards around the building.

The Safeguarding Co-ordinator will contact the Duty Social Worker at the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board, or the Emergency Duty Officer if the concern arises over a week-end or in the evening.

The Safeguarding Co-ordinator will note the name of the officer spoken to and record the agreed outcome of the discussion on the form provided, (Concern Form 2 �Safeguarding Referral Record Form).

In the event of no Safeguarding Link Co-ordinator being available, and where the need seems urgent, the person who has the concern should make the referral to Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board as outlined above.

Safeguarding Link Co-ordinators must always let other Co-ordinators know if a concern has been raised.  

Guidelines for those in contact with children/young people when a child or young person wants to speak to you about an abusive experience.

DO

DO NOT

ADULTS WHO DISCLOSE ABUSE FROM CHILDHOOD

Generally it is up to the victim to make a decision about whether or not to report the matter to the police, but it will be important to offer support at such a difficult time.

However, where it is evident or possible that the alleged perpetrator still has close contact with children, the allegations should be reported to the Safeguarding agencies to ensure protection for the children who now may be at risk.

OFFENDERS

Where someone attending the church is known to have offended against children, then whilst extending friendship to the individual, it will be necessary for the minister and a Safeguarding Link Co-ordinator to meet with the individual to agree boundaries and set up a specific contract in order to safeguard children and families within the church.

Where such an offender wishes to worship in the congregation where their victim and carers are regular attenders, the decision must be based on the needs of the victim and on their wishes.

SUPPORT FOR VICTIMS

It is very important to offer care and concern to children and young people who have made an allegation which has been referred.  It is however important to remember that there should be no detailed discussion of any such allegation while the matter is awaiting a court hearing.  Defence Counsel are always looking to show that a child or young person has been coached in their evidence in order to try and prove that a conviction based on a child�s evidence in these circumstances may not be safe.

This does not mean that pastoral support should not be available to young people and their carers to help build general self-esteem and confidence.

Issues of forgiveness need to be dealt with great sensitivity.  The victim must decide when, if at all, they choose to forgive and it is not for anyone else to bring pressure on them.

CHILD ABUSERS

Where it is believed that the perpetrator of abuse is another child or young person, this would be investigated in the same way  by the Safeguarding agencies except that the perpetrator would also be regarded as a victim.

RACIAL & CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Because of the racism experienced by many families from minority ethnic groups and the stereotypes applied to them, particular sensitivity will be needed to help such children or young people who are suspected to be at risk of harm.

This will also be important where the victim or perpetrator comes from a refugee or asylum- seeking family.

CHILDREN OR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Research indicates that children with disabilities are more vulnerable to abuse and find it harder to report their experiences.  There is a need to be extra vigilant where children/young people have special needs and to ensure that every opportunity is used to listen to those children or young people with communication difficulties and to encourage them to feel safe and cared for.

THIRD PARTY ALLEGATIONS

As much information as possible should be gathered including the causes for concern and the details of the child and family concerned.

The referrer must be told that information relating to children at risk may result in a referral to Social Services who may wish to interview the referrer as part of their investigation.

As in other Safeguarding situations no-one other than the statutory agents (police and social services) should attempt to investigate such allegations.

STAFF SAFETY

We can never assume that children and young people who come to United Reformed Church, Broadway have experienced an upbringing free from excessive physical chastisement or sexual interference, and we therefore cannot know what their expectations of adults may be, or how they may interpret our actions and behaviour.  It is important that staff take very basic steps to safeguard themselves from accusations of unacceptable behaviour such as ensuring that workers are not alone with children particularly when carrying out personal care tasks (changing clothing, visiting the lavatory etc.,).  At all times, touching must be related to the child�s needs, not the worker�s.  The organisation can contribute to staff safety by ensuring that child:staff ratios are at the recommended level.

Age                             Child: Adult Ratio

 0-2                                                              3:1

2-3                                                              4:1

3-8                               8:1

9-14                           12:1

 Two adults must be present in the building whenever children/young people�s activities are taking place.

Sharing a room for activities eg. In PILOTS it will help ensure that one adult is not alone for any length of time with a group of children or young people.

 Issues about touching, discipline, boundaries all need to be discussed in helpers� meetings as do reminders of practical issues to do with safety such as fire and first aid guidelines

THE DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE

This is a Home Office agency set up to help employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions.  It is intended to help protect vulnerable people by giving improved access to criminal records and other information.

The United Reformed Church has become a registered body to use the Disclosure and Barring Service for those on its payroll or working as volunteers.

Local churches are invited to make use of an ecumenical umbrella body � Church�s Agency for Safeguarding (C.A.S.) This service is free for volunteers and chargeable for anyone applying for a paid post.

All information about this process is held in the Safeguarding Children and Young People Information box file kept in the Church Office.

The URC Broadway Secretary will keep a register of DBS disclosures.

N.B.  Using such a service cannot in itself keep anyone safe from harm.

We all need to take seriously our responsibilities to offer a safe, caring environment within our church.

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN WHERE THE CONCERNS ARE DIFFICULT TO SUBSTANTIATE

There will be times when there are concerns about children and young people but no real evidence on which to take a decision to involve an outside agency.

In these circumstances, it is helpful to make use of the Safeguarding Form 1 and jot down concerns.  Several reports may need to be noted on different dates.  This will help to bring together the information to offer eventually to a referring agency, and make the concerns clear.

These circumstances may include family situations where it is thought that there may be issues of domestic violence, mental or physical illness of a parent or carer, or drug or alcohol misuse within the family.

It may be that a child or family is not in danger of harm but in need of a service which could help improve their standard of life.

The final decision about whether the concerns expressed are legitimate and the way in which the assessment is carried out is that of social services.

PHOTOGRAPHY

No photographs of children, young people or vulnerable adults should be taken without the written permission of a person having parental responsibility (under 16s) or the informed consent of the young person or vulnerable adult.

Photographs used within the building or organisation will be displayed without identifying information.

Photographs used publicly should similarly not carry identifying information, show the outside of the building identifiably, or be of one child alone or a close-up.  Such photographs should show activities and groups with obvious adult supervision. 

 TRANSPORTING CHILDREN

Always try to arrange to have more than one passenger in the vehicle, and seat children/young people in the back seats.  Do not travel alone with one child or young person.

Attention must also be paid to new legislation concerning booster seats and height regulations for children travelling in cars.

All drivers should have adequate and appropriate insurance.

All minibuses used to transport children/young people should have

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of Parental Responsibility, which is concerned with the power to make decisions about a child.

The following people can have parental responsibility under the Act:

Parental responsibility may be shared among several of the above groups.

Each person having parental responsibility may act alone, i.e. without the consent of the others, except where the child is the subject of a Care Order, where the safety of the child may require the local authority to take a stand on certain decisions.  If one parent does not agree to decisions taken by the other they have redress through the court.  If one person holding parental responsibility gives consent to an activity but another then disagrees, as far as the organisation is concerned the consent has been given until a court rules otherwise.

However it is important to keep a note of any specific issues concerning a child in this situation to safeguard the welfare of both the child and those dealing with them in the organisation and to deal very carefully with all p[arties involved, and to be aware of the pastoral aspects.

Professional advice should always be sought and followed where there are uncertainties.  His may include the advice of the police.

Any person with parental responsibility may delegate it to someone else.  That person will then be expected �to do what is reasonable to safeguard or promote the child�s welfare�.

PHYSICAL ABUSE

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child.  Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.

Signs of Physical Abuse:

NEGLECT

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child�s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child�s health or development.  Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse.  Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child�s emotional needs.

Signs of neglect:

·         Constant hunger

·         Poor personal hygiene

·         Constant tiredness

·         Poor state of clothing

·         Emaciation

·         Frequent lateness or non-attendance

·         Untreated medical problems

·         Destructive tendency

·         Low self esteem

·         Neurotic behaviours

·         No social relationships

·         Running away

·         Compulsive stealing or scavenging

SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening.  The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts.  They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.

Signs of sexual abuse:

      ·         Sudden changes in behaviour or school performance

·         Displays of affection in a sexual way which is inappropriate to age

·         Tendency to cry easily

·         Regression to younger behaviour such as thumbsucking, playing with discarded toys, acting like a baby

·         Tendency to cling or need reassurance

·         Complains of genital itching or pain

·         Distrust of familiar adult, or anxiety about being left with a relative, baby-sitter, lodger etc.,

·         Unexplained gifts of money

·         Depression and withdrawal

·         Apparent secrecy

·         Wetting or soiling, day and night

·         Sleep disturbances or nightmares

·         Chronic illness, especially throat infections and sexually transmitted diseases

·         Anorexia or bulimia

·         Unexplained pregnancy

·         Fear of undressing e.g. for sport

·         Phobias or panic attacks

·         Arson

EMOTIONAL ABUSE

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child�s emotional development t.  It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or values only insofar as they meet the needs of another person.  It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children.  These, may include interactions that are beyond the child�s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction.  It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.  It may involve serious bullying causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children.  Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment of a child, though it may occur alone.

Signs of Emotional Abuse:

APPENDICES

SAFEGUARDING CONCERN                          (FORM 1)

(N.B..  This form is to be used when you are worried about what a child has told you or about something you have seen).

SAFEGUARDING INCIDENT REPORT

Record of Concerns

 

Child�s name: ______________________________ D.o.B. ____________

 

Address: ____________________________________________________

 

First Language of Family ________________________

 

Does the child have a disability?    ____________________________

 

Date/Time of Incident: _____________________________________

 

Place incident happened: _________________________________________

 

People Present: ________________________________________________

 

What took place/what was said (verbatim):

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________

(Continue on another sheet if necessary)

 

Action taken: __________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Name of person reporting (Block letters) ____________________________

 

_____________________________________________________________

 

Signature of above: _____________________________________________

 

Witness: ______________________________________________________

 

 

FOR USE ONLY WHEN A REFERRRAL IS MADE TO SOCIAL SERVICES

                                               GUARDING CONCERN

REFERRAL RECORD FORM (FORM 2)

 

Name of child: ______________________ also known as _______________

 

Address: ______________________________________________________

 

Does the child have a disability? ____________________________________

 

Names/addresses of persons having Parental Responsibility:

 

______________________________________________________________                                                              

______________________________________________________________

 

First Language: ________________

 

Nature of concern:  ______________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 

Name of Safeguarding Duty Officer spoken to:

 

Date: ______________________________  Time: _____________________

 

ACTION AGREED:

Short term (up to 12 hours)

 _____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 

Longer term:

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

Child Protection Co-ordinator

 

Name: _________________Signed: ______________  Date: ____________

 

KEEP THIS FORM FOR OUR OWN RECORDS � DO NOT SEND OFF TO REFERRAL AGENCY.

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 BROADWAY UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

 
 

 

 

PILOTS REGISTRATION FORM

Full name of child��������������������������

Date of birth����������������������������.

Address������������������������������..

 

����������������������������������.

Postcode�����������

 Telephone number (home)����������������������..

Alternative phone number/s for emergency���������������..

  ����������������������������������.

Relevant information we should know (allergies, special needs, medical

conditions, etc)

  ����������������������������������

  ���������������������������������

In the unlikely event of illness or accident, I give my permission for appropriate

first aid treatment to be given by the nominated first aider.

In an emergency, and if I cannot be contacted, I give my consent for my child to receive treatment by a GP and/or a hospital, including treatment under general anaesthetic. 

I confirm that the above details are correct to the best of my knowledge.

I do/do not* consent to the above named taking part in activities outside the usual PILOTS venue during the normal times of PILOTS meetings

I do/do not* give permission for any photographs taken of my child whilst involved in PILOTS activities to be used for display or publicity purposes

( * please delete as appropriate)

Signature of parent/adult with parental responsibility

  ����������������������������������..

Name (printed)���������������������������.�..

 

Mark Pickering (Pilots Captain),

54 Broadway Road, Evesham, Worcestershire. WR11 1BQ

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Dear Parents,

We would like to take the Adventurers and Navigators on an activity that will take us away from the URC church hall. If your child would like to come then please sign and return the slip to us before the trip.

PLEASE SIGN THE CONSENT FORM BELOW AND RETURN IT TONIGHT OR NEXT WEEK AT THE LATEST. 

NO CHILD CAN BE TAKEN WITHOUT A SIGNED CONSENT FORM.

����������������������������������.

 

I consent my child(name)�������������������joining the Broadway Pilots activity.................................

 .....................................................................................................................................................................................................

.....................................................................................................................................................................................................

I do/do not* give permission for any photographs taken of my child whilst involved in PILOTS activities to be used for display or publicity purposes.

(*please delete as appropriate)

Contact phone number on that evening is �������������..

Signed����������������.Parent / Guardian

Regards Mark Pickering , Captain, Broadway PILOTS

��������������������������������..............................................................................................�


Dear Parents,

We would like to take the Adventurers and Navigators on an activity that will take us away from the URC church hall. If your child would like to come then please sign and return the slip to us before the trip.

PLEASE SIGN THE CONSENT FORM BELOW AND RETURN IT TONIGHT OR NEXT WEEK AT THE LATEST. 

NO CHILD CAN BE TAKEN WITHOUT A SIGNED CONSENT FORM.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I consent my child(name)�������������������joining the Broadway Pilots activity ..............................................

..................................................................................................................................................................................................................

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................

I do/do not* give permission for any photographs taken of my child whilst involved in PILOTS activities to be used for display or publicity purposes.

(*please delete as appropriate)

Contact phone number on that evening is �������������..

 

Signed����������������.Parent / Guardian

Regards Mark Pickering , Captain, Broadway PILOTS

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contacts

1.      Safeguarding Link Coordinators

Roger Harrington

 

Chris Walters

 

Megan Thomas

 

Les Griffin

 

2.      Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board    0845 607 2000 ,   01905 768 054

Email: socialcare@worcestershire.gov.uk

www.worcestershiresafeguarding.org.uk