EARLSFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH

        Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy Statement

Earlsfield Baptist Church

 

Earlsfield Baptist Church welcomes children and young people in to the life of our community and to fulfil this, the church offers a programme of activities for children and young people and makes its premises available to organisations working with children and young people.

 

The church recognises its responsibility for the safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18 regardless gender, ethnicity or ability. As members of this church, we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with our church and will pray for them regularly. In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to the following policies and their corresponding procedures to ensure their implementation.

 

Prevention and reporting of abuse

It is the duty of each church member and member of the wider family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people. It is the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.

The church will co-operate fully with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.

Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers

The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary. All workers should have appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.

Respecting children and young people

The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that they are shown the respect that is due to them.

Safe working practices

The church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and young people and will adopt ways of working that promote their safety and well-being.

A safe community

The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people and will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any that may pose a risk to children and young people in the community is managed appropriately.

Responsible people

Mrs Lili Perez has been appointed on behalf of the church’s trustees to oversee and monitor the implementation of the Policy and Procedures. Mrs Lili Perez is responsible for ensuring that C.R.B. checks are fully completed and then passed by Due Diligence Checking Ltd.

Mrs Gill Rose has also been appointed by the church as the designated person for safeguarding to advise on related matters and to take appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected. Contact can be made with these persons either personally or by a letter addressed to ‘The Safeguarding Officer’ via de church post box, marking the envelope private.

Policy and Procedures

Copies of the Policy will be displayed permanently in the foyer of “The Rock”, the Hall and the Church Foyer. Every person working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary, will be given a full copy of the Policy and Procedures and will be required to follow them.

A full copy of the Policy and Procedures will be made available by the Safeguarding Officers on request.

The Policy and Procedures will be monitored and reviewed in July each year by a small group representing the church organisations that work with children along with church representatives. The church statement will be read annually at the church meeting in January along with the report on the outcome of the annual review.

 


Safeguarding Procedures

Earlsfield Baptist Church

 

This document outlines various procedures. Further guidance can be found in the “Safe to Grow” booklet produced by the Baptist Union. Copies are available from Lili Pérez.

Protection of Children

All who work with children and young people need to be alert to signs of concern in young people. If at any time there are concerns voiced by youngsters, workers or onlookers, these people should be listened to carefully and notes be taken of the concern, when, and by whom the concern was voiced. A child who says anything deemed to be of a serious nature should be made aware that it must be passed on.

A report should be given to the Designated Person, Gill Rose, who keeps a record of all incidents. Gill will decide what further action to be taken based on the information provided. This may involve monitoring, direct intervention or the referral to relevant external agencies. Gavin Carpenter, the Minister, as the representative of the Trustees will be kept fully informed.

Recruitment, Support and Supervision of Workers

It is a privilege to work with young people, and sharing the Love of God with children should be the hallmark for appointing workers.

The ‘personal approach’ is more often the most effective way of attracting the right volunteers. An Enhanced Disclosure must be completed and accepted for every worker, paid or voluntary, with children. Lili Pérez will indicate the right procedure. An unknown person asking to become a worker must provide good references, if possible from a previous situation. All church based activities are supported by the church in prayer and supported by the nucleus of people attending events and visiting the ongoing work. The Girls’ Brigade are also under the District and H.Q. of the organisation. The Parent and Toddler Leaders are registered with Ofsted, as are several of the Sunday School Staff. Regular Staff/Workers with children at the church should meet with the Trustee Deacon and Designated Person at an Annual Meeting.

Safe working Practices (including respect for children)

1.       There should be a partnership between workers and parents.

Parents need to be aware of the activities and purpose of each group (Sunday School, Parents & Toddlers, Girls Brigade). Parents should be provided with updated objectives, timetable and policies of the group when children first join and subsequently in a regular fashion (i.e. once a year or at any other regular intervals) as it may convenient or when policies change. Policies should be available to those who join the group in an ad-hoc basis.

 

A parent consent, which includes relevant information, has to be completed for each child and update it regularly (parents should update details once a year or earlier if necessary). Forms must be kept safe and relevant information available in case of emergency.  Any allergies should be noted.

Parents remain responsible for their children while staying in the church premises and providing there has not been a transfer of responsibility to a teacher, carer or steward.

Each group is responsible for updating their own procedures as needed and informing parents and others involved when this takes place.

 

2.       Responsibility of children.

It must be ensured parents and workers know when responsibility is transferred from one to the other.

 

a.       Sunday School

On Sunday morning this responsibility occurs during service when children leave for Mini and Junior Church. A steward will ensure that there is a smooth transition. The leader of Mini and Junior Church will ensure that all children in the Foyer over the age of three join the group and they will be counted before leaving the main building and confirm the same children have arrived to their classes. Children will walk to their classes through the garden rather than through the car park and, if possible, using a guide, such as a rope.

Children under the age of three remain the responsibility of their parents unless it is specified otherwise.

Children must be picked up straight after the service by their parents or carers, never by another child or a different person who delivered him/her to the Sunday School unless it is specified beforehand.

When refreshments are being served, children need to be supervised by their parents for their own safety.

b.       For the Girls Brigade, responsibility comes back to the children’s parents at the close of the evening. No child should leave the premises unattended.

c.       Parents and Toddlers

It is the responsibility of parents and carers at all times.

 

3.       Risk assessment.

Leaders of each group may identify hazards and elaborate a plan about how to minimise risks, including precautions as felt necessary. This includes the suitability of the equipment being used and the activities undertaken must be suitable to age group.

 

The recommended minimum ratio of adults to children is as follows:

 

Age Range

Recommended minimum ratio for INDOOR activities

Recommended minimum ratio for OUTDOOR activities

0-2 years

1:3 (minimum 2)

1:3 (minimum 2)

3 years

1:4 (minimum 2)

1:4 (minimum 2)

4-7 years

1:8 (minimum 2)

1:6 (minimum 2)

8-12 years

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children

2 adults for up to 15 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 8 additional children

13 years and over

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children 2

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably one of each gender) with an extra adult for every 8 additional children

 

All groups have to be aware of the Fire Procedures, such as evacuation routes and extinguishers locations. The Leader of each group is responsible of evacuating the children from the premises immediately in case of fire. Leaders remain in charge of children while in the designated safety area and until it is announced that it is safe to move. There are hi-vis vests in the Mini and Junior Church coverts.

 

4.       Consideration of the building and places.

Any places where the youngsters meet should comply with the Health and Safety procedures established by the Church Officer (Doreen) and her team. This includes:

a.       State of the furniture safety and suitability

b.       Lighting, including outside lighting in dark evenings

c.       Heating

d.       Security of the premises

e.       A First Aid person present and a fully equipped First Aid box

f.        A telephone available

g.       Knowledge of fire equipment

A Health and Safety Procedures should be updated regularly, as necessary, and distributed amongst the different groups.

5.       Transporting children.

a.       Ensure parents are aware of who will be transporting their child, in what vehicle and expected time of returning home, permission must be obtain in writing when the transport arrangement are offered and made by the church or organisation. The driver should understand and agree to the church’s code of behaviour when transporting children or young people.

b.       If the arrangements are informal private arrangements made by parents, formal procedures do not need to be applied.

 

6.       Others.

a.       Photography of children. It is not illegal to photograph children but permission from parents must be obtained if photos are to be displayed. Children should not be named if the photos are made public.

b.       Mobile phones should not be used by the children while on the premises. Workers should only use a mobile in the need of making contact with a parent/carer.

 

A Safe Community

Bullying comes in many guises and can include bullying by peer group, one child to another, and adults (often unwittingly) bullying children by their comments and attitude. Every effort should be made to avoid children being hurt by these things.

Any person from ‘outside’ the normal staff who are invited to work with the youngsters should be accompanied by regular staff or if this is not possible doors should be left open or have glass panels so that the activities are visible.

Again ensure that no ‘unwanted’ people can gain access to the premises.

We encourage friendly interaction with children and young people. However, any physical contact between adults working with children and young people should follow best practice and always be appropriate and proper for teaching and instruction and also for providing comfort to a child in distress or to maintain safety and good order, or in connection with the child’s health and welfare.

When any interaction takes place between children and any member of the church community – not a worker -, we advise to not pick up or touch children without parental permission, as this being a sensitive matter for parents.

This procedure document outlines the need to ensure all the youngsters are in safe keeping while on the premises. Further information can be sought from the “Safe to Grow” booklet available from Lili Pérez or Gill Rose. They can be contacted either personally or by letter in the church post box.

These procedures will be published on the Safety Board.Safeguarding Procedures