St John’s strives to be A Safe Church, not only as directed by The Diocese of Southwark, but as the prime duty of care to our congregation and church community. Being A Safe Church means that we follow Church of England Safeguarding Policies. By promoting welfare and a safe environment, creating a framework where risks of harm to welfare are minimised by taking action to address any concerns.
Practically, this means that the Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSO’s) work together with the incumbents, church wardens, PCC, Hall Managers and Diocesan Employees, to ensure:
Application and reference forms
Risk Assessments of Buildings and Activities
Adequate Insurance Cover
Annual Safeguarding Audit: review of policies and procedures annually
Management and monitoring of those who pose risk
Communication; information sharing and record keeping
Observation of confidentiality boundaries and consent
Training and safeguarding education
DBS Application Procedures
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
At St John’s all employees and volunteers that work with children and/or potentially vulnerable adults are required to apply for a DBS certificate in the name of St John’s. We work with The Diocese and Access Personal Checking Services Ltd (APCS) to process our applications.
If you would like to volunteer to help at St John’s please contact Rachel Rowell to apply for or renew a DBS certificate.
Please note that without valid St John’s DBS certificate we cannot allow anyone to volunteer working with vulnerable/children’s groups.
Best practice for safeguarding is prevention. There are specific responsibilities for certain roles within the church, please make sure that you are aware of and act by those.
Parish Safeguarding Officer:
‘Eyes and ears’
Communicate with officers, congregation, Diocese Safeguarding Advisor
Report to PCC – prevention/protection
Recruit Safely, including DBS checks
Ensure volunteers and paid workers are trained
Link with Health and Safety
Complete Archdeacon’s’ Articles of Enquiry
Implement Sound Practice (risk assessments, transport, attendance..)
Listen to other workers
Tell PSO/vicar of concerns
Induct and train others
In order to aid a smooth process and comply with Diocesan Safeguarding Regulations each activity, building, outing, get together or event might need a risk assessment, attendance forms or similar.
All Church Wardens and volunteer leaders should also be familiar with this policy:
Promoting a Safer Church – Church of England Safeguarding Policy
Training and Courses run by the Diocese of Southwark
The Diocese has dedicated safeguarding training department. If you are in a role which requires you to attend training and keep up to date with your training levels, you can book your course directly at http://southwark.anglican.org/safeguarding/safeguarding-training-events/.
Safeguarding Contact Information and Advice
Whenever you need guidance or advice on safeguarding matters, please contact your Parish Safeguarding Officer:
Mrs Olivia Page
St John’s PSO
In urgent situations, or when the PSO is not available please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team:
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Tel for both 020 7939 9423
Out of hours/urgent 07982 279713
When responding to specific situations or circumstances:
Listen – and keep listening
Don’t ask questions
Don’t promise confidentiality
Accept what you hear without passing judgement
Don’t investigate yourself
Inform individual what you are going to do
Make careful notes as soon as you can (circumstances, what was said). Include date/time of the incident and keep safely
Contact the PSO/Incumbent
Don’t talk to others
In an emergency contact Police/Children’s Services
Ministry to Older People