Child Protection Policy
Dated: 13 November 2012
Name: The Parish Church of St. Mary (hereafter, “The Church”)
Church Address: St. Mary, Jersey
Office address and contact detail:The Rector, The Rectory, St. Mary
Phone: 01534 484 678
Introduction: Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this Child Protection Policy, all references to:
‘child’, ‘children’, ‘young person’, ‘young people’, – whether singular or plural are used interchangeably and are taken to refer to those under 18 years of age.
‘workers’, ‘staff’, ‘volunteers’, ‘helpers’ are used interchangeably and are taken to refer to anyone interacting with children on behalf of the Church.
‘child abuse’ refers to any of the recognised forms of abuse – physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect.
Where the term “Minister” appears it means Rector, Vicar, Priest-in-Charge, Ministre Desservant or equivalent or, in their absence, church wardens.
Where the term Advisory Council (AC) appears it refers to the policy making body within the church, usually consisting of the Minister (see above), Churchwardens & Almoners.
Why we have a child protection policy
A Child protection policy will help protect children.
A child protection policy helps to create a safe and positive environment for children and, although no procedures or processes can offer complete protection for children, following these procedures and implanting a policy minimises the risk to children from abuse and exploitation.
A Child protection policy will help protect workers.
A child protection policy clarifies what The Church requires in relation to the protection of children. It sets out standards of behaviour for project staff and volunteers when they are working with children and what to do if they notice, or are told about, inappropriate behaviour in others.
A Child protection policy will help protect The Church.
A child protection policy is a statement of intent that demonstrates the Church’s commitment to safeguard children from harm. Child protection policies will help move the Church towards best practice in this area and deter those who would wish to abuse children from seeking to work with children on behalf of The Church.
Policy issues: Mission statement
The Advisory Council (AC) recognises the importance of its ministry with children and young people and its responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of children and young people entrusted to the church’s care. The welfare of the child is always paramount.
As part of its mission, the Church is committed to:
• The safeguarding, care and nurture of children and young people within our church community and who participate in any activity of the church;
• Safe recruitment, supervision and training for all the children’s/youth workers within the church.
• Responding without delay to every report or cause for concern that a child or young person for whom it is responsible may be or may have been harmed in any way;
• Full cooperation with statutory agencies during any investigation into allegations concerning abuse of a child or young person in the church community;
• Providing informed pastoral care to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse;
• The management and supervision of any member of the church community known or thought to pose a threat to children or young people.
The AC recognises the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children and young people. It also recognises that children and young people can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. The AC has therefore adopted the procedures set out in this document (hereafter “the policy”).
Definitions of abuse
Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. Children may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger.
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces illness in a child.
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional ill treatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of ill-treatment of a child, though it may occur alone.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, including prostitution, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape, buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts (oral sex). They may include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways involving children looking at, or in the production of, pornographic material or watching sexual activities, or encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child’s health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to provide adequate food and clothing, shelter, including exclusion from home or abandonment, failing to protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger, failure to ensure adequate supervision including the use of inadequate care-takers, or the failure to ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment. It may also include neglect of or unresponsiveness to, a child’s basic emotional needs.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE
Recognising possible signs of abuse –
The following signs may or may not be indicators that abuse has taken place, but the possibility should be considered:
PHYSICAL SIGNS OF ABUSE
Any injuries not consistent with the explanation given for them.
Injuries that occur to the body in places that are not normally exposed to falls, rough games, etc.
Injuries that have not received medical attention.
Neglect – under nourishment, failure to grow, constant hunger, stealing or gorging food, untreated illnesses, inadequate care, etc.
Reluctance to change for, or participate in, games or swimming
Repeated urinary infections or unexplained tummy pains
Bruises, bites, burns, fractures etc which do not have an accidental explanation*
INDICATORS OF POSSIBLE SEXUAL ABUSE
Any allegations made by a child concerning sexual abuse.
Child with excessive preoccupation with sexual matters and detailed knowledge of adult sexual behaviour, or who regularly engages in age-inappropriate sexual play.
Sexual activity through words, play or drawing.
Child who is sexually provocative or seductive with adults.
Inappropriate bed-sharing arrangements at home.
Severe sleep disturbances with fears, phobias, vivid dreams or nightmares, sometimes with overt or veiled sexual connotations.
Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia*
EMOTIONAL SIGNS OF ABUSE
Changes or regression in mood or behaviour, particularly where a child withdraws or becomes clinging.
Also depression, aggression or extreme anxiety.
Nervousness, frozen watchfulness.
Obsessions or phobias.
Sudden under-achievement or lack of concentrations.
Inappropriate relationships with peers and/or adults.
*These signs may indicate the possibility that a child or young person is self-harming, mostly by cutting, burning, self-poisoning. Approximately 20,000 are treated in accident and emergency departments in the UK each year.
Responding to allegations of abuse
Under no circumstances should a child/youth worker carry out their own investigation into the allegation or suspicion of abuse. If there are concerns about abuse, the person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should:
1. Immediately advise the Minister or, in his absence, a church officer or the Child Protection Officer (CPO). The Dean must also be notified and the matter should also be advised to, and discussed with, Jane Fisher (the Diocesan Director for Safeguarding and Inclusion) (07921 865374).
2. Make a referral: If you believe that a child or young person may be in immediate danger of further abuse, a referral can be made by ringing 01534 443931 and asking for the duty children’s social worker or by calling into the office in person to Le Bas Centre, St Saviour’s Road, St Helier, between 8.30 am and 5 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30 am and 4.30 pm on Friday. If a service is required outside these times, an ‘emergency only’ duty system is provided and that can be contacted via the police on 01534 612612 and ask for the children’s duty social worker or hospital switchboard on 01534 442000. The police or hospital staff will contact the duty children’s social worker, who will then ring the caller back.
3. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with church procedures and kept in a secure place.
4. Confidentiality: do not discuss concerns with anyone other than those nominated above.
5. All reports concerning abuse must be treated seriously.
Appointment, support, supervision & training of leaders & workers
The AC will ensure all workers, whether paid or not, will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised appropriately. This includes the requirement of a CRB check for all who work regularly with children or in an unsupervised capacity.
APPOINTMENT OF PAID WORKERS
With a significant ministry to children, the Church is in a position to employ a Children’s overseer and others who work with children and young people. The Church has a robust recruitment procedure, including: all prospective workers will be asked to complete an application form and apply of an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure
The procedure for the appointment of paid workers will be:
• Informal discussion
• Completion of application form and a self-declaration of any criminal record
• References taken up
• An application is made to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) for an enhanced Disclosure
• Receipt of the Disclosure from the CRB
• Meeting with Children’s Work Overseer/Youth Work Overseer to discuss any concerns
• Allocation of worker into children’s/youth work
• Contract completed
The Minister, acting with the AC, will make a judgment on whether or not it would be appropriate to appoint a person.
Paid workers will be given a contract on appointment.
SUPPORT AND SUPERVISION
All workers will be provided with appropriate support and supervision within their roles.
All workers will be expected to undertake Child Protection/Safeguarding training once every three years and the Church will ensure that appropriate opportunities are made available.
Support to those affected by abuse
The AC is committed to offering pastoral care and support to those attending the church that have been affected by abuse.
Working with offenders
When someone attending the church or wishing to join the church is known to have abused children, the AC will ensure an appropriate Agreement is put in place (where possible the Diocesan Director for Safeguarding and Inclusion will work with statutory agencies to ensure known risks are identified and included) to supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care. The Agreement will detail the conditions under which the person may attend the church.
HOW TO RESPOND TO A CHILD WANTING TO TALK ABOUT ABUSE
• Above everything else listen, listen, listen
• Show acceptance of what the child says (however unlikely the story may sound)
• Keep calm
• Look at the child directly
• Be honest
• Tell the child you will need to let someone else know – don’t promise confidentiality
• Even when a child has broken a rule, they are not to blame for the abuse
• Be aware that the child may have been threatened or bribed not to tell
• Never push for information. If the child decides not to tell you after all, then accept that and let them know that you are always ready to listen.
• As soon as possible write down what has been shared (see “Making notes” at bottom of page)
• You have done the right thing in telling
• That must have been really hard
• I am glad you have told me
• It’s not your fault
• I will help you
• Why didn’t you tell anyone before?
• I can’t believe it!
• Are you sure this is true?
• Why? How? When? Who? Where?
• Never make false promises
• Never make statements such as “I am shocked, don’t tell anyone else”
• Again reassure the child that they were right to tell you and show acceptance
• Let the child know what you are going to do next and that you will let them know what happens (you might have to consider referring to Social Services or the Police to prevent a child or young person returning home if you consider them to be seriously at risk of further abuse)
• Contact the Diocesan Director for Safeguarding and the Church Child Protection Officer
• Consider your own feelings and seek pastoral support if needed
Make notes as soon as possible, preferably within one hour of the child talking to you. Write down exactly what the child said and when s/he said it, what you said in reply and what was happening immediately beforehand (eg a description of the activity). Note if anyone else was present. Record dates and times of these events and when you made the record. Keep all hand-written notes, even if subsequently typed. Such records should be kept for an indefinite period in a secure place.
PHYSICAL CONTACT IN CHURCH CONTEXT/ACTIVITIES -TOUCHING
• Keep everything public. A hug in the context of a group is very different from a hug behind closed doors.
• Touch should be instigated by/related to the child’s needs, not the worker’s.
• Touch should be age-appropriate and generally initiated by the child rather than the worker.
• Avoid any physical activity that is, or may be thought to be, sexually stimulating to the adult or the child.
• Children are entitled to privacy to ensure personal dignity.
• Children have the right to decide how much physical contact they have with others, except in exceptional circumstances when they need medical attention.
• When giving first aid (or applying sun cream etc), encourage the child to do what they can manage themselves, but consider the child’s best interests and give appropriate help where necessary.
• Team members should monitor one another in the area of physical contact.
• Concerns about abuse should always be reported.
GUIDELINES FOR DISCIPLINE
What is discipline?
Discipline is the education of a person’s character. It includes nurturing, training, instruction, chastisement, verbal rebuke, teaching and encouragement.
It brings security, produces character, prepares for life, is evidence of love and is God’s heart.
Dos and Don’ts of Discipline in Children’s Work
NEVER smack, hit or shake a child
Discipline out of love NEVER out of anger. (Call on support from other leaders if you feel you may deal with the situation unwisely in your anger)
Do not shout in anger or put down a child/young person
Lay down ground rules e.g. No swearing, racism or calling each other names
A respect for property
Keep the ground rules simple and clear, and make sure the children understand what procedure will be taken if they are not followed
Never reject a child, just the behaviour (tell the child that you value him/her, but you are not willing to accept the behaviour)
Remember that each child is unique, special and individual, and each child needs a different method of being dealt with. We therefore need to be asking ourselves “Why is the child behaving like that?”
Work on each individual child’s positives, do not compare them with each other, but encourage and build them up.
Help the child learn that they will be noticed more when they obey the rules, rather than when they break them. Try to create an environment of care and offer more tangible rewards, where each child feels that it is worth keeping to the rules.
See protocol for Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour.
CAMPS/RESIDENTIAL ACTIVITIES/OFF-SITE ACTIVITIES
From time to time activities may be arranged which will take place away from the usual meeting place and may include overnight stays. A comprehensive risk assessment of each activity will be undertaken and appropriate risk management measures put in place.
Parents/guardians will be given full details of all such activities and clear behaviour guidance will be issued to children prior to attending.
Bullying of any sort will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Any such behaviour will be dealt with and those perpetrating the bullying will be made aware that such behaviour is not acceptable.
Children experiencing bullying in any situation will be offered support to address the issues.
STORAGE AND USE OF INFORMATION, AND IMAGES OF CHILDREN
Modern communication technologies may be used as a means of communicating with children. Clear guidelines exist about how these will be used.
It may, on occasions, be necessary for children to be transported to or from events. A policy for the transport of children is available.
Procedures (list of)
1. Boundaries & Contracts for Offenders within the church
2. Children with Special Needs
3. Handling Disclosure Information
4. Internet use including consent form for using images of children
5. Off Site Activities Policy including all forms
6. Responding to Abuse – allegations
7. Responding to Abuse – survivors
8. Supervision of Children’s Activities – Adult to Child Ratios
9. Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour
10. Transporting Children
11. Working with Children in the Community
12. Drug and Alcohol Policy
Parish Safeguarding Officer
Mrs Wendy Buckley: email@example.com
Mr Frank Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Ann Watson: email@example.com
The role of the Safeguarding Officer
The role of the Safeguarding Officer is to complement that of the Child Protection Officer. They are responsible for the administration of CRB checks, reporting to the Child Protection Officer. In some situations the Child Protection Officer & The Safeguarding officer may be the same person.
They, with the Minister, would normally be responsible for ensuring that people who need it have an update CRB.