Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church Safeguarding Policy
Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church believes that the welfare of children/vulnerable adults is EVERYONE’S responsibility, particularly when it comes to protecting children/vulnerable adults from abuse. Everyone within the church can help, staff or volunteer – Ministers, Elders, Members, friends and children themselves. Abuse can occur wherever there are children/vulnerable adults – at home, at church, at school, in the park. Sadly, some people will seek to be where children /vulnerable adults are, simply in order to abuse them. We believe that those belonging to the U.R.C. and everyone using the church premises have a moral responsibility and therefore a part to play in looking after the children and vulnerable adults with whom we are working. To this end we have appointed safeguarding officers (see Appendix 2).
The Children Act 1989 indicates that anyone who has responsibility for the care of children should “do what is reasonable in all circumstances for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare.” While the welfare of young people is the churches first consideration in establishing a child protection programme it is also seen that the interests of leaders themselves need to be taken into account, particularly when falsely accused. These child protection procedures stem from the following principles:
- The child’s welfare is paramount
- Anyone under the age of 18yr is classed as a child
- All children, regardless of age, any disability they have, gender, racial origin, religious belief and sexual identity and/or social/economic status have a right to be protected from abuse.
- Abuse can take the form of physical, sexual, material, discriminatory, emotional and neglect.
- Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Sometimes, people over 18yrs are vulnerable and must be treated with similar considerations as under 18yrs.
Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church recognises that some children and vulnerable adults have additional vulnerabilities or are disadvantaged by their experiences such as children with disabilities or who come from minority ethnic groups. Bearing in mind that children and young people can be and are disadvantaged by these and other experiences, it is important for all those that work with children to be extra vigilant in creating a safe culture. We know that if the procedures are to help to protect children, everyone involved needs to see and discuss them. All organisations, groups or hirers using Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church Premises must abide by this policy and the following procedures. The attached declaration must be signed and returned by the responsible person.
PROCEDURES TO CARRY OUT THE PROTECTION POLICY
(a) As far as possible a worker should not be left alone with a child, young person or vulnerable adult. Groups may work in the same large room or if in an adjoining room, the door should be left open. This benefits the worker as much as the vulnerable person
(b) Workers should not arrange to meet with children, young people or vulnerable adults off the URC premises without a parent/guardian/adult carer present.
(c) Follow the guidelines for ratios of workers to children, young people and vulnerable adults. (See Appendix 1)
(d) If transporting by car arrange as far as possible to have more than one passenger in the vehicle and children seated in the back. If transporting by minibus arrange as far as possible to have more than one passenger in the vehicle with an adult seated in the back with the children.
(e) Only allow children, young people or vulnerable adults to leave the Church premises in the presence of an adult known to have permission to accompany them.
(f) It is good practice to record activities. This record should include a register of children and staff and details of any significant incidents.
(g) If any form of physical support is required ask the Child / Vulnerable adult permission, explain what you are doing and why to them and their parents/carers
(h) Where possible ask parents/carers to be responsible for children/vulnerable adults in changing rooms. Always ensure that whoever supervises young people work in pairs
(i) Where there are mixed teams/groups away from home, they should always be accompanied by an adult male and female helper
(j) All workers and leaders must have appropriate DBS checks
Ratios of adults to children and/or vulnerable adults; (where possible, a minimum of 2 adults present)
0-2 years 1 adults to three children
2-3 years 1 adults to four children
3-7 years 1 adults to eight children
8 years and over Two adults (preferably one of each gender) for one to twenty children
Three adults for twenty one to thirty children
Four adults for over thirty-one children.
The CH URC Safeguarding Officers are:
– Alison Stevens 01652 877 180 [email protected]
…who are members of Cheadle Hulme United Reformed Church who may be approached with any concerns.
Update Sep 2023 ~Elders
CHILD PROTECTION – CHEADLE HULME UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
SAFEGUARDING CONTACT LIST (to be displayed appropriately)
FOR THIS CHURCH…
Safeguarding Co-ordinator Vacant …Contact Secretary
Secretary Alison Stevens 01625 877 180 [email protected]
URC N W Synod Safeguarding Officer Julie Rafferty 07376 053 044 [email protected]
LOCAL AUTHORITY Designated Officer, LADO 0161 474 5657
The Safeguarding Unit –
Senior practitioner/Duty Social Worker 0161 474 5657
Out of hours & weekend 0161 718 2118 Children’s Social Care
Team 0161 217 6028
Adult Social Care Team 0161 217 6029
Multi-Agency Safeguarding & Support Hub, MASSH 0161 217 6028 /6160
Local Safeguarding Board, LSB www.safeguardingchildreninstockport.org.uk
Police emergency 999 or 112
Police non-emergency 101
Stockport Police 0161 872 5050
NHS Helpline 111
Extremism Concerns (government helpline) 0207 340 7264
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) 0300 123 1231
Healthwatch Stockport 0161 974 0753
Age UK Stockport 0161 480 1211
Signpost for Carers 0161 442 0442
Disability Stockport 0161 480 7248
or 07951 285809
Stockport Advocacy 0161 480 8979
See also our church Safeguarding Policy: https://cheadlehulmeurc.org.uk/safe-guarding/ BSV Feb 2023