We want to make it easier for parishes to fulfill their safeguarding responsibilities correctly. We have designed this section to have all the information you need. It covers:
Churches need to recognise that the few people who are determined to harm children or adults, deliberately seek out groups or organisations where they can meet children or other vulnerable people.
The church is particularly vulnerable to these people. So you need to create and maintain a safeguarding culture that will discourage them from becoming involved for the wrong reasons. You need to make it difficult for them to harm or abuse children or adults if they do get involved.
If you follow this checklist then you will be doing the right things to create a strong safeguarding culture in your church.
Read and follow the links below and download and print our checklist so you and your PCC can stay on track.
You need to adopt and implement
- The procedures and guidance of The Church of England’s Parish Safeguarding Handbook
- The House of Bishop’s Safeguarding Policy statement ‘Promoting a Safer Church’
- Safer Environment and Activities
A formal statement of adoption of the House of Bishops 'Promoting a Safer Church' Model Safeguarding Policy Statement need to be signed and dated on behalf of the PCC and displayed in your church and church hall.
Your PCC needs to record annually they have adopted these in their minutes.
Your PCC needs to appoint
- at least one appropriately experienced designated Parish Safeguarding Officer to work with the incumbent and PCC. This Parish Safeguarding Officer should be a lay person. They should be supported, trained and given a copy of the parish safeguarding policy and procedures.
- One person known as a Lead Recruiter to be the DBS administrator, this can also be the responsibility of the Parish Safeguarding Officer or the PCC can choose to appoint another individual to this role. Churches can also appoint an additional recruiter to assist with this work.
Model Job Descritpions for a Parish Safeguarding Officer, Lead Recruiter and Additional Recruiter can be found here:
You need to make sure that all church officers who work with children, young people, and/or vulnerable adults are:
- recruited following the House of Bishops’ Safer Recruitment practice guidance;
- aware of and work to House of Bishops’ safeguarding guidance
- attend diocesan safeguarding training at least every three years;
Ensure volunteers who work with children and adults at risk are provided with a copy of the Code of Safer Working Practice
Ensure that PCC members, as trustees of a charity are DBS checked (at Enhanched level and covers both the Child and Adult Workforce) and have completed a PCC Member Trustee Eligibility and Fit an Proper Persons Declartion
You should provide appropriate insurance to cover for all activities undertaken in the name of the PCC which involve children and vulnerable adults:
More on Safer Recruitment
Your church should prominently display the following information:
- A Safer Church Poster which should include contact details of the Parish Safeguarding Team – including phone, email, and website details
- Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding issues, domestic abuse, and key helplines e.g. ChildLine
- Provide access to a hard copy Parish Safeguarding Handbook
- Ensure you web site and church near you pages has the following clearly displayed on its pages: Church Name takes its duty and obligation to protect all extremely seriously. We have adopted the National Church of England's robust procedures and guidelines. You can find out more about the national policies and procedures at www.churchofengland.or.uk/safeguarding. If you have any safeguarding concerns or issues then you can find useful contact information at www.liverpool.anglican.org/safeguading
You need to create an environment, which is welcoming and respectful and enables safeguarding concerns to be raised and responded to openly, promptly, and consistently. You can do this by
- Making sure everyone is aware of how to respond well to victims/survivors of abuse
- Having a procedure in place to deal promptly with safeguarding allegations or suspicions of abuse. This needs to follow the relevant policy and practice guidance and you should consult the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
- Reporting all safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;
- Ensuring that known offenders or others who may pose a risk to children and/or vulnerable adults are effectively managed and monitored in consultation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser;
- Comply with all data protection legislation especially in regard to storing information about the ‘church workforce’. Including volunteers and any safeguarding records;
- Ensure that an “activity risk assessment” is completed and reviewed regularly for each activity, which is associated with either children or vulnerable adults, and run in the name of the Church.
- Be aware of Serious Incident Reporting. This is the need and procedures to report serious safeguarding and non-safeguarding incidents to the Charity Commission.
The Parish Safeguarding Officer should regularly report on Safeguarding in the parish.
Safeguarding should be a standing agenda item at each PCC meeting.
At the Annual Parochial Church Meeting the PCC should provide an annual report in relation to Safeguarding progress, this should also include a statement as to whether or not the PCC has complied with the duty to have 'due regard' to the House of Bishops guidance in relation to Safeguarding.
Any hire agreement with any person/body wishing to hire church premises must contain a provision whereby the person/body hiring the premises agrees to comply with the relevant safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops and the Diocese of Liverpool
The hire agreement should also contain a provision whereby all those hiring church premises are required to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are protected at all times, relevant staff have had appropriate DBS checks, and that all reasonable steps have been taken to prevent injury, illness, loss or damage occurring.
You must make sure that all those hiring church premises carry full public liability insurance for this, or are covered through the church insurance (for example hire for a children’s party).
If working within Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs), you need to agree on which denomination or organisation’s safeguarding policy to follow, This will include where to seek advice in urgent situations in line with the practice guidance.
This decision should be ratified by the other appropriate church leaders in the partnership and shared with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. If you have a specific safeguarding concern, make sure that all the LEP partners are notified.
Irrespective of this choice you must report all abuse cases in a Church of England setting to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
During a vacancy, the PCC must work with the churchwardens, ensure that all information about safeguarding matters is securely stored before passing the information on to the new incumbent.
The departing incumbent must give the safeguarding information to the Parish Safeguarding Officer who can pass the information on to the new incumbent when he/she takes up their new role.
For any further information or queries please contact Debbie Doran, Safeguarding Support hours of work, Tuesday or Wednesday from 8.30-5.30pm, tel 0151 705 2124 or email: email@example.com or contact the Safeguarding Team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org