As the new PCC meets for the first time every year the Safeguarding Officer reports on their review of our procedures, including risk assessments, training and centralisation of records. The meeting also adopts the diocesan safeguarding statement for another year.
Parish Safeguarding Audit and Safeguarding Policy
Actions which require continual review need to be addressed throughout each year and are identified as maintenance areas on the audit. Included in this list are: the annual review of Risk Assessments; confidential record-keeping; regular meetings for Parish Visitors and the Children’s Ministry team at which children’s leaders and parish visitors are updated on Safeguarding matters; Trustee oversight; ensuring that all volunteers and PCC members undertake e-training. The Safeguarding Policy and the Self Audit are now combined in one document, submitted online. To assist with the audit, the Diocesan Safeguarding Team has put together a Parish Safeguarding Checklist, summarising all the steps that need to be taken in order to ensure we are fully meeting all safeguarding requirements, and identifying the responsibilities of the PCC in safeguarding matters.
Photo Permissions Policy
A new Under 18's Photo Permissions Policy, with a revised consent form, was implemented with effect from September 2019 and regular checking procedures take place. The Policy and Procedure Statement explains clearly how photographs are taken and used by the church. It is displayed on the church website and in the office. The new consent form is designed to be clear and unambiguous and is sent to all parents of under 18s involved in church related activities for signing, so that the office records can be checked and updated.
Displaying information about Safeguarding
The following documents are displayed in the window of the church office:
- The signed Parish Safeguarding Policy Statement
- Contact details for the Church Safeguarding Officer and Children’s Champion
- Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding issues
- The under 18s photo permission policy.
This Safeguarding page is accessible from a prominent main link on the Home page of the St James’s Church website.
The Children’s Ministry Team and Parish Visitors Team
Both these teams have regular meetings at which current practice is discussed, along with future planning and any safeguarding updates.
Risk Assessment Reviews
All Risk Assessments for church-led activities involving children were reviewed and updated in March 2019. The CSO and Derek, with input from Parish Visitors, have drawn up a Risk Assessment for Parish Visitors. Risk Assessments for one-off church events are being produced, including event-specific RAs for the exciting activities organised for young people in the parish.
Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks and online training
Nick Bagge has been trained as a Lead Recruiter, in addition to his role as Evidence Checker, and is now informed directly of the outcomes of DBS applications. The office system for processing DBS applications for PCC members, new employees and volunteers working with young people and vulnerable adults is working very well, with applications processed more speedily than in the past. In January 2019 the London Diocesan Safeguarding Team switched from the e-learning course provided by the Diocese of Chelmsford to courses provided by the National Church. Nick has details of the links to the new courses, which should be completed by all PCC members and volunteers working with children and adults at risk who have not completed online training.
The safe recruitment process is working well. Applications for new DBS checks and renewals are now being processed more speedily, without the backlogs we used to experience in the past.
There is an annual Parish Safeguarding Self-Audit. It is encouraging to note that although there will always be a need for a robust Action Plan, there has been very significant progress in addressing outstanding safeguarding issues in the parish.
Find out more
Safeguarding Policy Statement (document)
Promoting a Safer Church Poster (document)
Under 18's Photo Permissions Policy (document)
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Reports (these documents contain the annual reports of the various church teams or groups associated with St James's Church. They also contain the latest Safeguarding Reports. Scroll down the document of the year you are interested in to find the report you want)
Safeguarding Poster with contacts