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Children & Vulnerable Adults

Parish Statement of Safeguarding

Parish:St Mary’s Walton

Priest with Pastoral Charge:    Revd. Caroline Allen

Parish safeguarding officer:     Sonya Stephenson

This parish recognises that the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is paramount and that we have a duty of care when they are in our charge. We will do everything that we can to provide a safe and caring environment whilst they attend our activities.

We will:

  • Treat all children, young people and vulnerable adults with respect and celebrate their achievements

  • Recruit and select all those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults on our behalf in accordance with Diocesan Safer Recruitment procedures

  • Provide a code of conduct for all staff to include the assessment of risk for key roles when working with children, young people and vulnerable adults

  • Respond to concerns and allegations without delay in accordance with Diocesan Safeguarding procedures

Concerns

When there is a disclosure of harm or there are concerns about the welfare of any children, young person or vulnerable adult, all adults in our church community are expected to share their concerns and allegations with the parish safeguarding officer or the parish priest. Any referrals should be made without delay to Suffolk County Council Customer First – 0808 800 4005 (Freephone from landlines and some mobiles). If a child, young person or vulnerable adult is at risk of immediate harm, the police should be immediately informed – 999.

Allegations

All allegations against staff or volunteers should be referred to Bishop’s Safeguarding Officer (01473 298522 or 07917 385843) by the parish priest. If the priest is implicated then the churchwarden should be informed and, following Diocesan procedures, inform the Diocesan Bishop (01473) 252829 without delay.

The parish safeguarding officer is responsible for:

  • Helping to ensure that all those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults on behalf of the parish or benefice are aware of the Diocesan Safeguarding procedures. These are available from the Diocesan Website www.cofesuffolk.org/go/safeguarding

  • Helping to ensure that all those who work with children, young people or vulnerable adults receive diocesan safeguarding induction or raising awareness training, as appropriate.

Course and booking information is available from the Diocesan Safeguarding Training Administrator; 01473 298540 or safeguarding.training@cofesuffolk.org or online; www.cofesuffolk.org/go/safeguarding then click on the ‘Safeguarding Training’ menu. Safeguarding code of conduct for parishes

In our church community we will

  • Treat all children, young people or vulnerable adults with respect and dignity.

  • Ensure that their welfare and safety is paramount at all times.

  • Always act in a professional way and not accept bullying.

  • Liaise openly (where it does not place a child, young person or vulnerable adult at risk) with parents and carers.

  • Only use physical contact in an entirely appropriate manner.

  • Avoid being alone with children and young people (unless it is absolutely necessary to do so).

  • Listen to, and act upon, any disclosures/allegations/concerns that a child, young person or vulnerable adult has been harmed.

  • Ensure that all those working with children, young people or vulnerable adults receive the appropriate diocesan safeguarding training.

  • Make activities fun and enjoyable.

For people with key roles working with children and/or young people:

  • Supervision should be in place to ensure that the code of conduct is being followed.

  • Issues concerning the management of children and young people regarding such things as one-to-one working should be discussed and risk-assessed by the PCC in light of this code of conduct.

  • A clear statement should be made regarding the non-compliance to the code of conduct by individuals; e.g. ‘Non-Compliance will automatically lead to the person being suspended from working with children, young people or vulnerable adults on behalf of the parish or benefice’. Any concerns about that person’s behaviour regarding children, young people or vulnerable adults will be reported to the Bishop’s Safeguarding Officer and/or the police without delay.

The PCC has also adopted the Diocesan Safeguarding Procedures for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults at St Mary’s which is also available on the Diocesan website.  

As a church, we share responsibility for safeguarding and any concerns should be passed to either the Church Wardens or the Parish Safeguarding Officers.