Policy Statement on Safeguarding Children Girton Baptist Church

This policy statement was agreed at the Annual General Meeting in March 2023.

The vision of Girton Baptist Church is Growing Believing Communities.

In fulfilling this vision we welcome children into the life of our community, put on events for children and make our premises available to organisations working with children.

The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding of all young people under the age of 18 (regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability) as set out in The Children Act 1989 and 2004, Safe from Harm (HM Government 1994) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2010).

As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all associated with the church in accordance with gospel values, and will pray for them regularly.

In pursuit of this we commit ourselves to the following policies and to the development of procedures to ensure their implementation.

Prevention and reporting of abuse                                                                                                       

It is the duty of each church member, and all those associated with the church family, to be vigilant to the possibility of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, and to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and to report to a Designated Person any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected, who will deal with the matter. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers                                                                  

The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children, whether paid or volunteer. All workers will be provided with appropriate safeguarding training, support and supervision to promote the safekeeping of children, and will all have up-to-date DBS checks or equivalent.

Safe working practices                                                                                                                       

The church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and will adopt ways of working with them that promote their safety and well-being. A copy of the Good Practice Guidelines will be given to all volunteers who work with children. Where the church building is used by other groups involving children, a check will be made that their safeguarding policy is broadly in line with this one.

A safe community                                                                                                                                 

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.

The Church Safeguarding Team

The church has appointed:

  • Nick Lowe (minister), Virginia Rootham-Smith (Deacon), Jeni Mills (Children’s Worker), and Sue Smith, as members of the Church Safeguarding Team, who together will oversee and monitor the implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church’s charity trustees (the minister, elders and deacons.)
  • Nick Lowe, Virginia Rootham-Smith and Christine Kimmitt as DBS verifiers.
  • Carole Gelsthorpe and Sue Smith as Designated Persons for Safeguarding who will advise the church, with the support of other members of the safeguarding team, on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
  • Virginia Rootham-Smith as Safeguarding Trustee who will work with the rest of the Safeguarding Team to oversee and monitor the implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church’s charity trustees (the minister, elders and deacons.)

The minutes of meetings will be kept in the safeguarding folder.

Policy and Procedures

A copy of the policy statement will be displayed permanently on a church noticeboard.

A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church.

The policy statement will be read annually at the Annual General Meeting (in March) and a report of the work of the Safeguarding team brought to the Annual General Meeting.

Each worker with children will be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and will be asked to sign that they are willing to follow them.

Policy Statement on vulnerable adults and the church at Girton Baptist Church

• As members of this church, we commit ourselves to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and ensuring their well-being in the life of this church.
• It is the responsibility of each one of us to prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse of vulnerable adults, and report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
• We undertake to exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with vulnerable adults, whether paid or voluntary.
• The church is committed to supporting, resourcing and training those who undertake this work.
The church adopts the guidelines published by the Baptist Union of Great Britain in its publication Safe to belong
Each persons who works with vulnerable adults will agree to abide by these recommendations, and the guidelines established by this church. Each shall be given a copy of the church’s agreed procedures and
Good practice guidelines.

Good Practice Guidelines for the Prevention of Abuse

A. Good practice with children and young people

1. The church should ensure that:

a. As far as possible a worker is not alone with a child where their activity cannot be seen, including a vehicle. On church premises, this may mean leaving doors open, or two groups working in the same room.

(In a counselling situation with a young person, where privacy and confidentiality are important, try to make sure that another adult knows the interview is taking place and with whom. It is strongly recommended another adult be in the building, and the young person should know they are there.)

b. Access to the building is safe and well-lit.

2. You, the worker, should:

a. Treat all children and young people with respect and dignity befitting their age; watch language, tone of voice, and where you put your body.

b. Not engage in any of the following:

– invading the privacy of children when they are showering or toileting;

– rough, physical or sexually provocative games;

– making sexually suggestive comments about or to a young person, even in ‘fun’;

inappropriate and intrusive touching of any form;

– any scapegoating, ridiculing, or rejecting a child or young person.

c. Learn to control and discipline children without using physical punishment.

d. Make sure another adult is aware if, for example, a young child has soiled their underclothes and needs to be thoroughly washed (except in emergencies).

e. Not let youngsters involve you in excessive attention-seeking that is overtly sexual in nature.

f. Be cautious about letting youngsters involve you in excessive attention-seeking that is overtly physical in nature.

g. Endeavour not to invite a child or young person to your home alone; try to invite a group, or ensure that someone else is in the house. Make sure the parents know where the child is / children are and have consented.

h. Avoid giving lifts to children or young people on their own, other than for short journeys. If they are alone, ask them to sit in the rear of the car (unless you have a two-door vehicle).

i. Avoid sharing sleeping accommodation with children or young people if you take a group away. If workers do have to share sleeping accommodation with children and young people, there should be more than one worker sharing sleeping accommodation with each group of children or young people.

j. If you have safe to grow concerns regarding children or young people, talk to the person in charge of the activity, or to the Designated Person.

B. Good practice with colleagues

If you see another member of staff acting in ways which might be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to them, or to your supervisor, about your concerns. Leaders should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behaviour.

These measures will also protect workers from false accusation.

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