Safeguarding Policy - Children & Adults
Trinity church Totton
Use of telecommunications, computers
and Social Media (such as Facebook)
Trinity church recognises social networking is widely used by young people and adults and that different platforms will vary in popularity from time to time and the church needs to establish and maintain the appropriate links.
Workers, paid or voluntary are not barred from using social networking sites, nor does Trinity church determine whether as individuals they should have under 18 year olds as ‘friends’ on their personal accounts. However, clear demarcation is required between those individuals we know personally and those we know because of the roles undertaken within the church, in which comes a duty of care and responsibility.
Careful consideration of all communications in the furtherance of church work must take place. There is a need to maintain clear boundaries, to help with transparency, safeguarding of workers and young people and adults at risk, and to aid managing of links when workers move on, or are asked to step down from their role.
Workers, paid or voluntary, should not accept young people as ‘friends’ (or equivalent) on their personal accounts who they only know through the work they undertake for Trinity church, and should never accept anyone as a friend if they know their account has been set up fraudulently (such as incorrect date of birth to start an account prior to turning 13 years of age). Workers, paid or voluntary, should consider carefully whether to accept ‘friend’ requests (or equivalent) from adults that are considered ‘at risk’.
Workers should take care ensuring that the security settings are set correctly on any of their personal social networking accounts, and should ensure their approach and conduct on these network platforms does not bring the church into disrepute.
Church Organisation Accounts
In most cases, the ‘group’ facility (as on Facebook) should be adequate and used with correct security settings set to private. This requires people to ‘ask’ to join and all communication within the group is visible. The group is managed by nominated administrator(s) who can accept and remove people from the group as required.
The ‘page’ facility (as on Facebook) should be used as an open web/notice board facility, remembering it is completely public, unless security settings are set to private.
All Trinity church communication undertaken through social networking should be open and accountable. All messages should be posted on group wall and not emailed from the site.
Leaders and volunteers should never ‘ask’ to join any young person’s individual account. Paid workers might choose to set up a ‘Youth Work’ account, but careful consideration needs to be taken to ensure that this is sufficiently transparent (provide a group of individuals with the login details), and that it does not contravene the terms and conditions of the site (some sites do not permit an alias).
Use of the internet
When using the internet as part of a session talk/presentation the leaders will make sure that the material being shown is age appropriate. If allowing access to the internet for individuals or in small groups as part of an activity, there should always be adequate adult supervision.
Church computers that are available for the use of others will have suitable barring and filtering systems in place to minimise the risk of users accessing inappropriate material.
No church information or activity will be uploaded to “You-Tube” or similar sites – the only accepted repository is the Trinity church website – www.trinitychurchtotton.org.uk
Parents attending events will be advised that they may upload images of their own children, but not of others without the authority of the relevant parent.
As with social networking sites, caution should be exercised when using text communication with children and young people. There needs to be adequate safeguards in place for the worker and the young people. Texting should be avoided. If text messages need to be sent as part of club communications they can only be sent to consenting adults. If text messaging is used it needs to be well recorded to ensure transparency.
Text Messaging will be limited to the hours of 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. So far as possible, text messages should not be deleted. They may be archived to PC’s or off-line storage, provided a record is maintained.