Parish of St. Clement, Oxford
Policy on Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults
The following policy was last amended and approved by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) on 13 July 2023.
In accordance with the Church of England Safeguarding Policy we are committed to:
- Promoting a safer environment and culture
- Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the church.
- Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation.
- Caring pastorally for victims / survivors of abuse and other affected persons.
- Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons.
- Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others.
- We will create a safe and caring place for all.
- We will appoint a named Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) to work with the Incumbent and the PCC to implement policy and procedures.
- We will safely recruit, train and support all those with any responsibility for children, young people and adults to have the confidence and skills to recognise and respond to abuse.
- We will ensure that there is appropriate insurance cover for all activities involving children and adults undertaken in the name of the parish.
- We will display in church premises and on the parish website the details of whom to contact if there are safeguarding concerns or support needs.
- We will take steps to protect children and adults when a safeguarding concern of any kind arises, following House of Bishops guidance. We will notify the Diocesan Safeguarding Team and statutory services immediately and act according to their advice.
- We will listen to and take seriously any disclosure of abuse.
- We will offer support to victims / survivors of abuse regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred.
- We will use all reasonable endeavours to care for and monitor any member of the church community who may pose a risk to children and adults whilst maintaining appropriate confidentiality and the safety of all parties.
- We will ensure that health and safety policy, procedures and risk assessments are in place and that these are reviewed annually.
- We will appoint a Safeguarding Referral Group, consisting of the Rector, one or both Church Wardens, the Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) and / or the Assistant PSO, to meet periodically and review any incidents or concerns, whether serious or not, with a view to learning from experience.
- We will appoint a Verifier to institute DBS criminal record checks, to keep up to date records and to ensure that renewed checks are done when they are due.
The Rector will fulfil the role of Recruiter to receive the outcomes of checks and will either oversee appointments of Safer Recruited staff and volunteers on behalf of the PCC or will appoint an Assistant Recruiter to do so.
We will inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Team if we use an alternative DBS Umbrella Body to APCS. We will advise the Diocesan Safeguarding Team if we receive a Disclosure which is ‘blemished’, ‘positive’, or unclear.
13. Volunteers are not allowed to start until they have been Safer Recruited.
14. We will review this Policy and the implementation of our Safer Recruitment Procedures at least annually, check that our other safeguarding-related policies are up to date and supply a copy of this updated Policy to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser. Provision will be made for regular reporting to the PCC and annually to the APCM.
15. Each person who works within this church community in areas relating to safeguarding will be asked to agree to abide by this policy and the guidelines established by this church.
All Church Officers will have access to Promoting a Safer Church.
All volunteers will be asked to read the Code of Safer Working Practice.
For further information, you can contact Fiona Livingstone, our Parish Safeguarding Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can contact the Parish Office by email at email@example.com, by phone at 01865 246674 or by letter to St Clement's Centre, Cross Street, Oxford OX4 1DA.