The Diocesan Safeguarding Policy

Introduction to our Safeguarding Policy

Each of the sections below includes:

  • The key national policies and guidance upon which we rely
  • Checklists supporting the most important national requirements, or
  • Model forms attached to national policies and guidance provided for local use, and
  • Diocesan policies, briefings and resources to support safeguarding 

 

Downloads

Care of Parish Records (keep or bin) - 2009Care of Parish Records (keep or bin) - 2009
File size  243kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safeguarding Records -Retention Tool KitSafeguarding Records -Retention Tool Kit
File size  441kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Responding to & Managing AllegationsResponding to & Managing Allegations
File size over 1MB  1819kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Responding to AdultsResponding to Adults
File size  21kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Responding to ChildrenResponding to Children
File size  23kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Confidential Declaration FormConfidential Declaration Form
File size  31kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Eligibility for enhanced CRB checksEligibility for enhanced CRB checks
File size  30kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer recruiting in the parish (Appendix 1)Safer recruiting in the parish (Appendix 1)
File size  504kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment DBS - FAQSafer Recruitment DBS - FAQ
File size  510kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment - Roles (Appendix 8)Safer Recruitment - Roles (Appendix 8)
File size  432kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment Practice GuidanceSafer Recruitment Practice Guidance
File size  975kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment Application form templateSafer Recruitment Application form template
File size  22kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment Model volunteer job roleSafer Recruitment Model volunteer job role
File size  24kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safer Recruitment Reference form templateSafer Recruitment Reference form template
File size  21kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Annual Report to PCC & APCMAnnual Report to PCC & APCM
File size  31kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Briefing for PCC's & PSO's Jan 2018Briefing for PCC's & PSO's Jan 2018
File size  44kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
E-Safety GuidanceE-Safety Guidance
File size  115kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Glossary documentGlossary document
File size  445kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Key Roles & ResponsibilitiesKey Roles & Responsibilities
File size  891kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Parish ChecklistParish Checklist
File size  33kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Safeguarding in Our parishSafeguarding in Our parish
File size  31kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Sample Parish Safeguarding PolicySample Parish Safeguarding Policy
File size  36kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
St James Brochure AdultsSt James Brochure Adults
File size  909kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
St James Brochure ChildrenSt James Brochure Children
File size over 1MB  2935kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
St James Contact with PSO Record FormSt James Contact with PSO Record Form
File size  32kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
St James Prayer Ministry TeamSt James Prayer Ministry Team
File size  604kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
St James Visiting TeamSt James Visiting Team
File size  699kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Vulnerable AdultsVulnerable Adults
File size  27kb    File date 17 Jan 2018
Responding Well to Domestic AbuseResponding Well to Domestic Abuse
File size  869kb    File date 17 Jan 2018

Roles and Responsibilities in Safeguarding

The key policy and practice guidance for our diocese and our cathedral is the Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Holders and Bodies Practice Guidance. As a national document it covers Archbishops and national bodies (section 1) as well as Diocesan leaders and bodies (section 2) and Cathedral leaders (section 5). Parishes will want to look particularly at section 3, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and incumbent, Churchwardens, and the Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO).

Read the Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Holders and Bodies Practice Guidance

We recommend that a leader in each parish has read the guidance document with its comprehensive role definitions and model forms. To support parishes however, we have extracted and edited the principle messages from the guidance into a Briefing for PCC’s & Parish Safeguarding Officers.

This briefing covers:

  • The responsibilities of PCC’s in respect of safeguarding
  • The role of the PSO
  • The requirements for PCC’s and Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCM’s) to consider safeguarding issues
  • How we will follow these requirements up via the Archdeacons’ annual Articles of Enquiry and Triennial Visitations
  • Support in 2018 to PCC’s and PSO’s
  • Why we are required to take these steps

To read the briefing click here

There are four requirements of PCC’s and incumbents that we have incorporated into suggested documents for parish use.

  • The Safeguarding in Parishes – who’s who document must be displayed in a place of worship and includes the evidence that the PCC has adopted Promoting a Safer Church, as well as contact details for leaders and local safeguarding resources.
  • The Safeguarding Checklist for PSO and PCC. The PCC and PSO should have reference to the checklist and be able to evidence progress through PCC discussion and action.
  • The model content for an Annual Safeguarding Report to a PCC and APCM. This enables the PCC to formally adopt Promoting a Safer Church, diocesan safeguarding policies, and a parish safeguarding handbook, and to report on progress against the main headings of the Safeguarding checklist.
  • Each parish may choose what kind of safeguarding handbook it wishes to use. Whatever format a parish (or group of parishes collaborating) adopts, it must as a minimum incorporate the subject areas covered by the current template for a Parish Safeguarding Policy. This template has been updated, and parishes may continue to use it if they wish. To see the updated template click here.

As an example of what might be done, St James Carlisle has kindly agreed to share their suite of accessible policies covering parish activity and work with both children and young people, and vulnerable adults. To see this suite of policies and save them for your own adaptation and use click here (Adult Brochure, Children's Brochure, Contact with PSO Record, Prayer Ministry Team, Visiting Team)

In particular, parishes are sometimes uncertain of what are safe ways to work with young people who rely on social media. If this is a concern for you, look at our E-Safety policy.

Safeguarding terms can be confusing. The House of Bishops has now approved a Glossary Reference Guide. It covers a range of frequently heard (and misunderstood) terms. The most frequently requested definition however is that of a “vulnerable adult” so to see this definition click here

Safer Recruitment

Safer recruitment of church officers and volunteers is an essential ingredient of good safeguarding in church settings. Congregations expect a worship setting to be a safe space and we know that those with ill intentions towards (in particular) children and young people will seek out settings where people are trusting and processes are weak.

Safer recruitment fulfils two important functions. It can identify at an early stage persons who should not be working with children, young people or vulnerable adults. It also sends a clear message to the wider community that should they attempt to do so, such people will be identified and prevented from taking on roles of trust.

The key policy and guidance document agreed by the House of Bishops is the Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment.

We recommend that a leader in each parish has read the guidance document with its comprehensive role definitions and model forms. To support parishes however, we have extracted and edited the principle messages from the guidance into a pack for PCC’s & Parish Safeguarding Officers. The Word documents are designed to be adapted for parish use by PSO’s. The documents in the pack are:

Carlisle Diocese supports parishes and the Cathedral in undertaking these checks. For further advice and application forms contact Cath Bell : cath.bell@carlislediocese.org.uk

Making and Keeping Safeguarding Records

The Church of England and the Methodist Church have jointly issued Safeguarding Records: Joint Practice Guidance for the Church of England and the Methodist Church. This guidance includes what good recording looks like and sharing of information, as well as retention.

The Church of England has also issued two documents of particular relevance to those with the care of records. Keep or Bin (2009) still contains useful advice, but the Safeguarding Records – Retention Toolkit from the Church of England Records management toolkit must be read both for the requirements placed on us for record retention and the additional assurances given by the Church to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Domestic Abuse

In 2017 the House of Bishops agreed Responding Well to Domestic Abuse: Policy and Practice Guidance. This sets out the Church of England’s position and the detailed practice guidance on how the Church of England will implement this policy. It supports the Church’s commitment to address and respond effectively to domestic abuse both within its own community and wider society.

The practice guidance is intended to raise awareness and to highlight some of the areas that need to be considered in making our churches safer places. It is a sad fact that domestic abuse is present but not seen in many church communities. To encourage churches to become places of safety where domestic abuse is taken seriously, it is necessary victims/survivors are believed and respected and alleged or known perpetrators are challenged.

This guidance aims to inform, direct and equip those working at a local level, not only those working in ministries such as clergy, readers or commissioned local lay ministry, but also those who may be entrusted by victims/survivors or alleged or known perpetrators to hear their story and who want to offer the most appropriate care.

As well as policy and guidance, Responding Well...includes fact sheets and signposts to resources and Appendix 3 addresses the way scripture has sometimes been used ‘unhelpfully’ to explain or excuse abuse in the Christian tradition. The Diocese of Carlisle and Carlisle Cathedral are committed to strengthening our response to domestic abuse through partnership and training with Churches Together in Cumbria (CTiC). CTiC offers not only training but accessible locally focussed resources – to see these, download them and contact CTiC, visit the Churches Together in Cumbria website

Receiving and Managing Allegations and those who may pose a Risk to Others

The Church has issued detailed and comprehensive Practice Guidance: Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers.

This guidance will be applied where there is a concern or allegation that a church officer, has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult, or may have harmed a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult; 
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult;
  • Behaved towards a child, young person and/or vulnerable adult in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children, young people and/or vulnerable adults


Serious allegations of this kind are rare, but it is not for a church officer, whether ordained or lay, to attempt to investigate, manage or resolve an allegation. It must be reported to the DSA (or to the Police/Social Care if a child or vulnerable adult is at immediate risk). In consultation with Diocesan or Cathedral leaders, with experts in related fields such as Clergy Discipline, and with safeguarding agencies, the DSA will assess the need and risk and with the Bishop will put in place a proportionate structure to support an alleged victim, an alleged perpetrator and an affected church community.

We recommend that PSO’s are at least familiar with this guidance. For quick reference we have extracted and amended two key aide memoires:

Within this guidance (part 7) is a section addressing our duties in respect of those with criminal convictions for sexual and/or violent offences and other forms of abuse, as well as others who may pose a risk, who wish to attend a church or are members of worshipping communities, but are not church officers. Some of these individuals will pose an ongoing or potential risk of harm to other individuals who attend the church. The Church has a duty to minister to all, which imposes a particular responsibility to ensure that everyone who attends the Church is safe. This includes not only victims/survivors of abuse offences but all individuals who come to church.

Where people have such convictions, their position in a congregation or community will need to be carefully and sensitively considered to decide whether they pose a risk to others and to put in place arrangements to ensure that these risks are mitigated. This may include those convicted of offences linked to domestic abuse and people involved in drug or alcohol addiction. In addition, there may be those who do not have convictions or cautions but where there are sound reasons for considering that they still might present a risk to others.

The DSA will work with these individuals and their church communities and, where necessary, with criminal justice agencies to put the necessary agreements for protection and support in place.