Safeguarding your congregation

First published on: 20th September 2018

Catriona Richardson, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, is calling on all parishes to ensure safeguarding is one of their top priorities.

She said:
“Everyone has a responsibility to keep children, young people and adults at risk safe. If your church runs groups which come into contact with children, young people and adults at risk safe you need to have specific safeguarding policies and procedures in place. It’s imperative churches ensure that the way their groups work with people keep them safe and do not place them at an unacceptable risk of harm.”

Catriona is often asked how churches should go about safeguarding. She suggests that churches start with the following.

  • Establish, implement and follow good safeguarding policies and procedures including safe recruitment.
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers are aware of and follow the organisation’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that all staff and volunteers receive safeguarding training.

Catriona asks that churches check that the right people have accessed the right training. Throughout the year the safeguarding team has training available for all levels of responsibility in the church. You can find training dates on the Diocese website Events Page, and it’s worth checking this regularly as new courses are added all the time.

She is also supporting the NSPCC online safety workshop on 3 October. She said:
“We need to ensure all our church members are aware of the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.

“Safeguarding issues can arise from the use of online technology include viewing sexual content, contact from strangers, viewing violent content, online bullying, encouraging self-harm, sharing sexual images, radicalisation and spiritual misdirection. We also need to be aware that publishing personal information could compromise our own safety as well as that of others.

“Because access to the online world is no longer limited to wired, desktop style computers, we are unable to control everything a web user might see while on church premises or at a church event. So as churches, we need to develop an e-safety culture and consider protocols about use of our church computers, emails, texting children, use of social media and use of photographs. This workshop provides some insight into this.”

Also recently added to the training portfolio is a pilot for responding well to domestic abuse on 17th October 2018.

In the coming months, another pilot will be available -safer recruitment and details will be released soon.
If you have any safeguarding questions please contact Catriona Richardson, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
T: 0151 705 2153
M: 07887 510946
More information about safeguarding procedures can be found on the safeguarding section of the Diocese website.






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