We take the safeguarding and care of children and vulnerable adults very seriously at St John’s. Our Safeguarding Officers can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org and our Church Wardens can be contacted, Jane at email@example.com and Graham on 0778 8435635.
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:
- Safe Recruitment – DBS checks & 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
- Handle complaints
- 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 our administrator Rachel Rowell on firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- Represent PCC
- Check Insurance
- 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
All Church Wardens and volunteer leaders should also be familiar with this policy:
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.
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
Training and Courses run by the Diocese of Southwark
The Diocese has dedicated safeguarding training department. If you are in arole which requires you to attend training and keep up to date with your training levels, you an 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.
St John’s PSO
Mrs Olivia Page
In urgent situations, or when the PSO is not available please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team.
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser – DSA
Mrs Kate Singleton
020 7939 9423 or Mobile 07982 27913 (for urgent matters out of hours)
020 7939 9441 or Mobile 07946 255295
020 7939 9462 or Mobile 07946 255622
Other Sources of Information, Help and Advice
- NSPCC Child Protection Helpline:0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
- Child-line:0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline:0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
- Samaritans Helpline:116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
- Action on Elder Abuse Helpline:080 8808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm).