Safeguarding Policy - Children & Adults
Trinity church Totton
Practical considerations and procedures
The Church has appointed safeguarding and deputy safeguarding coordinator(s) for children and adults at risk. A role description is attached as Appendix 2.
We are committed to safer recruitment and selection of all paid employees and volunteer workers and will ensure that these procedures are followed.
Training in safeguarding will be provided and volunteers and paid employees will be given support and supervision in their role.
Activities are organised in accordance with URC good practice guidelines (key aspects are included in this policy) so as to promote a safe environment and healthy relationships whilst minimising opportunities for harm and misunderstanding or false accusation.
Leaders should arrange that, as far as possible, an adult is not left alone with a child or young person where there is little or no opportunity of the activity being observed by others. This may mean groups working within the same large room or working in an adjoining room with the door left open. This good practice can be as much a benefit to those leading the session as to those participating.
Always have at least two adults present with a group. This is of particular relevance when it is the only activity taking place in Trinity church premises.
Always ensure appropriate ratios of leadership to children are observed according to the nature of the activity, age, gender and specific needs of participants
Never take a group off the premises with fewer than three adults.
Think about the use of premises. For example, do not expect children or young people to have to walk along a dark unsupervised area to enter Trinity church.
It is good practice to keep a record of each activity/session. This record will include a register of children, staff and visitors, roles undertaken and details of any significant incidents.
Where children and young people have to be transported by car or minibus, arrange as far as possible, appropriate adult to individual ratios, have more than one passenger in the vehicle and that children are seated in the back seats of the vehicle.
Ensure that children leaving the premises do so only in the presence of adults known to have permission to take them.
There may be occasions when a worker has to work individually with a child/young person or adult at risk (e.g. pastoral care or one-to-one support). Guidelines for workers can be found in the Lone Workers Policy, which can be found in Appendix 4.
Adult to child ratios
We expect at least 2 adults present when working with or supervising children and young people. The URC recommend the following adult to child ratios as the minimum numbers to help keep children safe:
0 - 2 years, 1 adult to 3 children
2 - 3 years, 1 adult to 4 children
4 - 8 years, 1 adult to 6 children
9 - 12 years, 1 adult to 8 children
13 - 18 years, 1 adult to 10 children
We commit to having at least 2 adults present, even with smaller groups.
When young people are helping to supervise younger children, only people aged 18 or over will be included as adults when calculating adult to child ratios.
Events in the neighbourhood of the building require the same care and attention during the planning stage. The adult/child ratio should be increased.
Trinity church operates with a behavioural policy, which includes an approach with bullying behaviour.
Good practice with colleagues
Workers should be prepared to speak to another worker if they see them acting in ways that might be misconstrued, or to be prepared to speak to their senior leadership team about their concerns. Workers should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care that allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behaviours.
Parental consent and responsibility
Trinity church recognises the responsibility of parents/carers as defined in the Children Act 1989
Trinity church will obtain records of consent and attendance of young people and children involved in all regular clubs and activities by way of:-
Annual Consent Forms, signed by parent/carer which should be completed the first time of attendance, and then annually.
Event Consent Forms will be required for special events, trips, or “hazardous” activities. This form will include full details (or accompany full details) of the activity/trip. Holiday Fun Clubs are included as a special event.
Consent forms will ask for the information listed below and will be retained/archived as determined by the ‘URC Policy for the Retention of Documents’.
The child/young person’s details, name, address and date of birth
Details of each person with parental responsibility, together with an alternative contact in an emergency
Any particular instructions concerning the child or young person - e.g. who will collect after the activity
Any instructions attaining to medical, dietary or specific needs/limitations, etc.
Permission for the inclusion of the child or young person to be included in any photographs or films, which may be for used within the premises of local URC, or in the local press, or on church related websites.
Permission for workers to communicate directly with young people by way of text, email or social media platforms, in accordance with good practice.
Disputes between parents and youth, children’s and vulnerable adults leaders
An appointed Elder/trustee, who is not directly involved in the day-to-day running of the activity, is appointed for all youth, children’s and vulnerable adults’ activities. The role of the appointed Elder is to occasionally attend the activities, providing encouragement and support to the leaders, and provide feedback to the Elders’ meeting.
In the event of a dispute between parent(s) and workers, the first step should be to try and resolve the dispute with the relevant youth/children’s/vulnerable adults’ leader in discussion with the parent/carer, and involving the appointed Elder or Minister if necessary or appropriate.
Risk assessments are required to be undertaken for all activities organised by Trinity church, by the organisation’s leadership teams. Additional advice can be sought from the Wessex URC Health and Safety Advisor. In the case of regular weekly activities, a risk assessment will be drawn up and reviewed bi-annually.
Individual events such as Holiday Fun Clubs and special events should have an additional risk assessment undertaken each time they are organised.
Trinity church risk assessments will be filed according to the URC Document Retention Policy, a copy of which can be obtained from the organisation main leader.