Our commitment to children and vulnerable adults
The Diocese of Ely's Safeguarding Policy
Foreword from the Bishop of Ely
The protection and nurture of vulnerable people in our community is a commitment that needs no introduction or explanation in this Diocese. We strive together to follow the example of Christ in reaching out to all people, in all circumstances, with a special compassion for those who may have nobody else to speak up for them.
The formation of the new Diocesan Safeguarding Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults has been a long process, peppered with changes in Government policies and consultations about what should and should not be included. There has been much reflection and discussion with the Diocesan Safeguarding Management Group about how to make our policy a practical working tool for those involved in this complex area of ministry.
I am happy to be able to commend our new Safeguarding Policy to you at last. I hope that all the work that has gone into making the relevant parts of it easy to access, as and when you need them, will pay off in confidence and surety of purpose in our work with children and adults across the Diocese.
We follow current safeguarding advice in the selection and training of those who work with vulnerable individuals or groups, whether they are paid employees or volunteers. For anyone who is working for the church, parish or Diocese, and whose work includes substantial, one-to-one, unsupervised or overnight contact, we insist on Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and any other provision recommended by the Government at the time of employment.
We will challenge any apparent abuse of power by a person in a position of trust, and we will respond without delay to any complaint made that a child or vulnerable adult may have been harmed by someone working on behalf of the Church. All allegations will be referred to the Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser and we will co-operate with police and other statutory agencies in any enquiries they deem to be necessary.
We will seek to offer pastoral care to anyone who has suffered abuse. We will listen to concerns and do our best to support and uphold him or her. Where a member of the church community is known to have offended against a child or vulnerable adult, or where there is reasonable cause to believe a person poses a risk to vulnerable people, we will seek to offer ministry alongside appropriate risk assessment and supervision.
Our New Procedures
The Diocese of Ely Safeguarding Policy and Procedures provide an everyday tool for those who work with vulnerable people, including children and adults. Much of the material is summarised or adapted from House of Bishops documents, which are referenced throughout and can be consulted for more detailed information. The presentation of the procedures, in six sections, tries to be as user friendly as possible (see, ‘what to read, and when’, below). Contents and index pages will help you find information when you are in a hurry. Downloadable forms, letters etc. are provided for you to print off or photocopy whenever you need them.
The whole document is provided on-line to save costs and to allow for immediate updates. Safeguarding is often subject to changes in legislation, policy and practice; in 2012 there will be new information from the Government, and from the House of Bishops, on a range of changes that may affect our policy and practice in the Diocese. You will be alerted to new information via the Ely List, Clergy Mailing and the Safeguarding Co-ordinators’ e-mail list. However, parishes where Internet access is not easily available will be able to obtain a hard copy of the procedures, in a copy-friendly, black and white format, on application to the Diocesan Office.
Ideally, parishes should print out at least one hard copy of the procedures and keep them in a ring binder that is easily accessible to those who work with children and/or vulnerable adults. A front cover and spine for your ring-binder can be e mailed or posted from the Diocesan Office so that it can be identified on the shelf.
Please ensure that when new or updated information is announced, you make the changes straight away, so those who need to use the procedures can be confident they always have the up-to-date documents. All pages are numbered and dated for easy identification.
Safeguarding Essentials: What to Read, and When
The full procedures are divided into 6 sections, each with its own contents list:
- Section 1: Safeguarding Children This is essential information which should be read by everyone working with children as soon as possible (before you take up your role, if you are new to post);
- Section 2: Safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable This is essential information which should be read as soon as possible by those working with vulnerable adults (before you take up your role, if you are new to post);
- Section 3: ‘Overlapping’ information for those working with children and/or adults This section contains additional ‘overlapping’ information which is the same for children and vulnerable adult workers. It is important background knowledge, and it should be read at an early opportunity, even if you don’t have time to read it straight away.
- Section 4: Specific Situations You will need to read this section only if you have responsibility for safeguarding in some way and/or if one of these situations arises. It would be good to look at the contents list for future reference, but it is not essential reading.
- Section 5: Forms and Templates Here you will find the forms and templates you need for many of the routine tasks e.g. requests for references, parental consents, making a log of an incident. They have been collected here to save you time. Simply download and adapt as necessary, then print off what you need.
- Section 6: Reference Although each section gives some relevant sources for further information, this section has a fuller reference list and some extra sources that might be helpful. Finally, an Index of all the headings and key phrases used throughout the procedures, with links to the right page, will help you to find a specific piece of advice or information.
If you have any concerns or questions about a situation concerning children or vulnerable adults which is not covered in these procedures, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, Sarah King, at the Diocesan Office (01353 652735 or email@example.com ) or Yvonne Quirk, the Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser, on 01223 276957 or firstname.lastname@example.org )
Comments and suggestions on these procedures are welcome, and may inform the next updates and revisions. Please contact Yvonne Quirk, the Bishop’s Safeguarding Adviser, on 01223 276957 or email@example.com with your views.
The Diocese of Ely is happy for any section of this document to be copied into policies and procedures for use by other denominations and voluntary groups as appropriate. The Diocese requires only that any policy or procedure copied for use is enacted wholly, rather than in part, and that the Diocese of Ely is acknowledged as the source of the material.
- Safeguarding Home Page
- Section 1: Essential Information for Those Who Work With Children (0-18 years)
- Section 2: Safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable
- Section 3: ‘Overlapping’ information for those working with children and/or adults
- Section 4: Specific Situations
- Section 5: Forms and Templates
- Section 6: Reference
- The Safeguarding Co-ordinator's Information Pack