The Churches of God are committed to supporting parents and families and promoting the safety and welfare of children. Church activities aim to introduce children and vulnerable adults to a personal faith and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and will provide an environment in which children and vulnerable adults can be safe from harm.
The Churches of God recognises that some children and vulnerable adults today may be the victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence, as set out in the UN Convention The Rights of the Child 1989 and it seeks to support all in the Church affected by abuse. The Church affirms its belief in the right of all children to be protected.
The Churches of God take the view that a definition of a child, means every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child the majority is attained earlier (UN). The definition of a vulnerable adult is a person who is over 18 years and may be unable to take care of themselves and unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation by other people. It is our view that the protection of children and vulnerable adults is everybody’s responsibility. Each worker will follow agreed mandatory procedures to prevent and respond to allegations of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence of those in their care.
In England and Wales, The Churches of God wish to operate under the auspices of Working together to Safeguard Children (July 2018).
It is the expectation that this policy statement will lead all other policies and procedures that promote children’s welfare and rights within the Churches of God.
The Church of God in Middlesbrough will, in conjunction with other Churches of God in the United Kingdom:
- Arrange to take all reasonable measures to ensure the risks of harm to children are minimised.
- Arrange to take all appropriate actions to address concerns about the welfare of the child, or children, working to agreed local policies and procedures in full partnership with other local services (LSCB/LADO) and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
- Ensure all youth leaders are appropriately recruited, hold enhanced disclosure DBS checks and ensure that they are aware of their responsibility to supervise others. We recognise this is an important aspect of safeguarding children and it will be the responsibility of the Safeguarding Recruiter to maintain these and liaise with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- Have a representative (the safeguarding co-ordinator) to take lead responsibility for dealing with safeguarding/child protection issues, providing advice and support to other Church members, liaising with the Safeguarding Children Committee and working with other agencies, as is necessary. All Church members and youth leaders will be aware of this role.
- Listen to children, encourage them to respect and care for others and encourage them to behave in a positive and respectful way towards each other i.e. be child-centred at all times.
- Endeavour to create an open and accountable environment, permitting adults and young people to voice their concerns about inappropriate behaviour and misconduct, while providing information to enable children and young people to keep themselves safe. Sanctions to deter abuse, victimisation and the cover up of serious malpractice will be in place and appropriate liaison will take place with the DBS.
- Ensure policies and procedures apply to all youth leaders regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability or religion.
- The Church of God in Middlesbrough is aware of the responsibilities, which it has with regard to the protection of children from abuse and from inappropriate and inadequate care, and is committed to responding appropriately and in conjunction with other agencies, in all cases where there is concern. It will liaise and work with local statutory services, as necessary.
The documents which follow provide the framework for the Church’s responsibilities as part of a co-ordinated shared response to the health and well-being of children. All youth leaders will be made aware of these documents.
- Working Together To Safeguard Children (July 2018)
- What To Do If You’re Worried A child Is Being Abused (March 2015)
Reviewed: 11 December 2017
Next review: December 2018