31 January, 2014
Safeguarding Policies for Your Church
When was your Church Safeguarding policy last reviewed?
In a busy church life, it is easy to forget about the need to regularly review and update your Safeguarding policies. Circumstances can quickly change within a church, whether through new activities, meeting facilities or people for example, leaving some safeguarding issues unaddressed.
By keeping Child and Vulnerable Protection policies regularly updated, not only helps to protect these individuals and the staff and volunteers that work with them, it fulfils insurer requirements in respect of the churches duty of care.
Access work closely with CCPAS (Churches Child Protection Advisory Service), the Christian charity providing professional advice, support, training and resources in all areas of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Here is some information about what the charity does and how it can help churches:
- 24 Hour Helpline – The Helpline is staffed by experienced social workers and counsellors. It is a source of support and advice for literally thousands of people hurting from abuse, or dealing with its consequences. It is completely free and anyone, especially from the church community, is welcome to use it.
- Training – CCPAS offers a variety of cost-effective training resources, all of which are highly relevant to the fast-changing modern safeguarding environment. They include the very popular ‘Facing the Unthinkable’ nationwide safeguarding seminars and a number of bespoke training programmes.
- Membership – Membership of CCPAS confers many major benefits. These include the membership pack, access to the online training manual ‘Safe & Secure’, a model safeguarding policy, free regular email Updates and full access to CCPAS’s Disclosure Service.
- Disclosure – They are one of the largest umbrella bodies for DBS checks in the country and conduct disclosure checks for church workers before they are appointed to work with children or vulnerable adults. This ensures that they do not have a history that makes them unsuitable. CCPAS also help with recruitment decisions, so churches are never alone in potentially difficult situations, and offer a free consultancy service for blemished disclosures. They advise on safer recruitment policies and procedures, too.
- Helping victims and survivors – Many victims and survivors of abuse – and the churches supporting them – contact CCPAS for support and advice. They do so because they are specialists in this difficult area and always respond both professionally and with huge compassion.
- Policies and procedures – Having a succinct, well thought through Safeguarding Policy communicates that a church really values the young people and vulnerable in its care. CCPAS’s skills and expertise in this area are second to none.