Policy for Safeguarding, Procedure and Guidance

Version 1
2023

Our Commitment

The leadership at Kiln Church assumes responsibility for this policy. This policy seeks to ensure that the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is at the forefront of all Kiln activities, and that those working with these groups and individuals are well informed, trained and supported to ensure safeguarding is adhered to.

This policy is created with the understanding that children, young adults, and vulnerable adults can be at risk of abuse and neglect, and so protocols within this policy have been devised in line with statutory guidance. We acknowledge the importance of building constructive and mutually beneficial links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding who may also be working with these groups, to aid the wider safeguarding agenda.

The leaders at Kiln undertake to:

  • Advocate and follow national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures.
  • Provide on-going safeguarding training, and other relevant training, for all workers and volunteers.
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers, where necessary, have a DBS before starting their role.
  • Ensure that, where possible, the premises meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
  • Support all volunteers and staff pastorally and practically with any work they do and in any action they may need to take to protect at risk children, young adults, and vulnerable adults.

Recognising and responding to an allegation or suspicion of abuse

To effectively safeguard children, young adults and vulnerable adults, Kiln will:

  • Take all appropriate preventative measures to protect from any form of physical or mental violence, injury, abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment, or exploitation, including sexual abuse, whilst in the care of anyone organising, running, or supporting activities or events through or in collaboration with Kiln.
  • Put effective procedures in place to arrange appropriate and necessary support and advice for the child, young adult, or vulnerable adult, as well as for those involved in supporting or caring for them. This includes methods to prevent instances of maltreatment.

Safeguarding Awareness

Kiln are dedicated to ongoing safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers and volunteers, developing a culture of understanding and awareness of safeguarding issues to best support and protect all within the body of the church.  All workers and volunteers who have any role with children, young adults, or vulnerable adults will complete a volunteer agreement form, induction training, require a DBS certificate and undertake safeguarding training before assuming their role. Safeguarding training and DBS certificates will be renewed every three years.

At least one leader within each session will have DBS, safeguarding and first aid training. There will always be at minimum two volunteers present in each session. In expansion of ministry sizes, we will adjust adult-child ratios accordingly. All volunteers within sessions are to wear the designated ministry lanyards, to be identified by those within the session as leaders, and to identify within the church those who are working with these groups. Lanyards also ensure visibility to those outside of the church, particularly when sessions are carried out outside of the Community Centre premises.

Kiln will ensure that children, young adults, vulnerable adults, and all members of the wider congregation have access to information on where they can get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have concern and need support.

Responding to allegations (of abuse)

No one individual volunteer is to carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Therefore, the following roles have been assigned and nominated by the leadership to assume the responsibility:

  • Safeguarding Leader (Supporting role) – Sharon Taylor Black
  • Designated person for safeguarding (DPFS) – Alison Goulding
  • Deputy designated person for safeguarding (DDPFS) – To be appointed

Note: The role of DDPFS will be appointed once the Kiln congregation grows.

In the event of a change of safeguarding personnel, any records will be transferred over accordingly and confidentially.

Suspicions are only to be shared with the individuals named above and not the wider congregation. A dated and signed written record of concerns should be made using the safeguarding reporting form as quickly as possible after a concern is raised or noticed. If unable to access a safeguarding reporting form, notes should be made on paper and/or via a word document attached to an email first. This should be passed on to the DPFS either in person or via email to the designated safeguarding email. The DPFS will, with their knowledge and training, make a judgement on how to proceed with the matter. There may be times where the DPFS needs to collaborate with or receive support or advice from the safeguarding leader, DDPFS and/or leadership team. Where possible, confidential, and identifiable information will not be shared. However, there may be circumstances where such information must be shared for safety purposes, which will be done at the discretion of the DPFS.

The decision taken upon receiving concern, steps made thereafter and reasons for those, will be recorded on the safeguarding reporting form, and signed and dated. This is then to be stored in a secure place/folder in line with GDPR practices for X years.

Where there is concern over a child, the DPFS will contact Children’s Social Services, and where there is concern regarding a vulnerable adult or an adult in need of protection, the DPFS will contact Adult Social Services, or the police if there is immediate risk to life.

If the DPFS is unavailable for contact, or if the suspicions involve the DPFS, the suspicions should be shared with the DDPFS, who will follow the same procedures as the DPFS would.

If both the DPFS and DDPFS are unavailable, the individual raising concerns should be encouraged to contact Child or Adult Social Services themselves, or if there is immediate risk to an individual’s safety, the police should be contacted immediately.

If suspicions implicate the DPFS, a report should be made directly to the safeguarding lead on the leadership highlighting concerns. This member of the leadership who assumes responsibility will then make a judgement on how to deal with the matter. This decision, including action taken and reasons for this, will be documented and kept securely for an indefinite period. The individual can also contact Social Services themselves for advice, and if concerns are immediate and a threat to life, a call should be made to the police. If concerns also implicate the leadership, then the individual should contact Social Services directly as their first contact.

The leaders of Kiln will support the Designated Person for Safeguarding and the Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding in their roles and accept that any information that may be shared with leadership is strictly in a confidential manner and on a need-to-know basis.

Whilst allegations of suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the DPFS, or the DDPFS if needed, the absence of contacting these persons should not delay the individual from contacting Social Services or the police directly.

The role of the Designated Person for Safeguarding is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.

Detailed procedures where there is a concern about a child:

Allegations of physical or emotional abuse or neglect:

If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the Designated Person for Safeguarding or deputy will:

  • Contact Children’s Social Services for advice in cases of deliberate injury, if concerned about a child’s safety or if a child is afraid to return home.
  • Not tell the parents or carers unless, having contacted Children’s Social Services, they have been advised to do so.
  • Seek medical help (if needed), informing the doctor of any suspicions.
  • For lesser concerns, (e.g. parenting concerns), encourage a parent/carer to seek help, but not if this places the child at risk of significant harm.
  • Where the parent/carer is unwilling to seek help, offer to accompany them. In cases of real concern, if they still fail to act, contact Children’s Social Services directly for advice.

Allegations of sexual abuse:

In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Designated Person for Safeguarding or deputy will:

  • Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.

Detailed procedures where there is a concern of an adult is in need of protection:

Suspicions or allegations of physical or sexual abuse:

If a vulnerable adult has a physical injury or symptom of sexual abuse, the Designated Person for Safeguarding or deputy will:

  • Discuss any concerns with the individual themselves giving due regard to their autonomy, privacy and rights to lead an independent life. They will also liase with any support workers the individual may have.
  • If the vulnerable adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury, contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.
  • Seek advice from the Adult Social Care Vulnerable Adults Team

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children, young adults or adults at risk:

If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Designated Person for Safeguarding or deputy, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker, also making a referral to a Safeguarding Adviser (SA)/ Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).

Practice Guidelines

As an organisation working with children, young adults, and vulnerable adults we endeavour to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false accusation. The leadership of Kiln will be supported by the Designated Person for Safeguarding and deputy, to make safeguarding a part of a regular risk assessment. This will encourage everyone to safeguard children, young adults and vulnerable adults attending Kiln services or activities.

Partnership working with other individuals and/or organisations:

We will make our safeguarding expectations clear to all organisations with whom we arrange joint events. It is also our expectation that any organisation we work with will have their own safeguarding policy and carry out risk assessments.

Communication is paramount in promoting safeguarding to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and vulnerable adults, and to all those with whom we work in partnership.

This policy is a ‘living’ document and is reviewed annually as a matter of course. However, we endeavour to review six monthly, and the document will be updated in line with any changes within Kiln or wider legislation changes as they happen.

Policy version #1
Created: 13/03/2023

Date approved: 14th March 2023
Date of review: March 2024

Signed

John Berry

Chair of Trustees