District Safeguarding Policy 2019
Context – Past Cases Review and Apology
Following the publishing on 28.05.15 of the report of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014, the Nottingham and Derby District acknowledges the apology made by the Revd Martyn Atkins on behalf of the church:
“On behalf of the Methodist Church in Britain I want to express an unreserved apology for the failure of its current and earlier processes fully to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by some ministers in Full Connexion and members of the Methodist church. The abuse that has been inflicted by some Methodists on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame to the church. We have not always listened properly to those abused or cared for them, and this is deeply regrettable. In respect of these things we have, as a Christian Church, clearly failed to live in ways that glorify God and honour Christ. I am certain that the Methodist Conference will want to resolve to do all in its power to improve its systems to protect children, young people and adults from abuse within the life of the Church and on Church premises, and to review them diligently on a regular basis.” (Methodist Conference June 2015)
The Nottingham and Derby District is committed to safeguarding as an integral part of its life and ministry. Safeguarding is about the action the District takes to promote a safer culture. We affirm that safeguarding is a shared responsibility and everyone has a role to play.
This means we will:
- Promote the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk of harm;
- Work to prevent abuse from occurring;
- Seek to protect and respond well to those that have been abused;
- Take care to identify where a person may pose a risk to others and offer support to them whilst taking steps to mitigate such risk.
We will therefore:
- In line with the promise made at the 2015 Methodist Conference, do all in our power to improve our systems to protect children, young people and adults from abuse within the life of the Church and on Church premises, and to review them diligently on a regular basis;
- Promote a safer environment and culture;
- Safely recruit and support all those with any responsibility related to children and adults at risk of harm within the church;
- Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation;
- Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons;
- Respond to those who may pose a safeguarding risk to other people;
- Care for those who are subject to concerns or allegations.
The purpose of this Safeguarding Policy is to ensure that procedures are in place and people are clear about roles and responsibilities for children and vulnerable adults in our care and using our premises. It is to be read in conjunction with the Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church (April 2019) and the Nottingham and Derby District Local Church Safeguarding Policy (Recommended) (April 2019) version.
The District Executive
- Affirms the roles and responsibilities below;
- Will audit the implementation of the policy and practice by speaking with the DSO, the DSG and the Chair of District and a sample of Circuits annually and will report to the March meeting of the District Executive;
- Will make recommendations about the District Safeguarding policy based on the audit.
Roles and Responsibilities
The District Safeguarding Officer (DSO)
The Nottingham and Derby District of the Methodist Church has appointed Susan McIvor as the District Safeguarding Officer.
Contact: by email email@example.com or tel: 07434 284633
In order to support all office holders and the work of the churches, Circuits and District, the DSO will:
- Provide a first point of contact for safeguarding issues – all safeguarding concerns, queries and incidents MUST BE REPORTED to the DSO;
- Seek advice as appropriate and respond to every issue reported according to good practice guidance;
- Work alongside the Chair of District and the District Safeguarding Group to support the implementation of the Nottingham and Derby District Safeguarding Policy and other relevant policies;
- Report annually to the District Executive. This report will include details of the statistical audit submitted to the Connexional Safeguarding Team annually;
- Work collaboratively with safeguarding professionals and regional and ecumenical safeguarding partners to ensure a safer church;
- Advise churches and Circuits on pastoral care for victims and survivors of abuse;
- Support churches and Circuits on implementing procedures for those who may pose a safeguarding risk to others;
- Check that appropriate pastoral care is in place for those subject to concerns or allegations.
District Safeguarding Group (DSG)
Alongside the DSO, the DSG will:
- Respond to requests for help, advice, information and training;
- Ensure good practice is followed and that any incidents/concerns/allegations are followed up as appropriate;
- Support the implementation of Safeguarding Policy in the churches, Circuits and District;
- Promote a regular programme of Creating Safer Space Training and initiate programmes of awareness and good practice as the need arises;
- Ensure that the Chair, District Executive and Superintendents are updated on any changes to safeguarding policy, practice and guidance.
In consultation with the DSO and DSG, the District Chair will:
- Appoint an independent chair for the DSG;
- Ensure that arrangements are in place for the supervision of all Superintendents, all Deacons and Presbyters in line with policy approved by the Methodist Conference 2017;
- Support Ministers in their implementation of safeguarding policy;
- Ensure Superintendent Ministers are aware of their responsibilities in safeguarding through appropriate training, and the inclusion of the DSO in Superintendents’ meetings as appropriate and at least annually;
- Ensure arrangements are in place for the provision of a prompt response to all safeguarding concerns/incidents/allegations in accordance with good practice;
- Work in consultation with the DSO, the DSG and the Connexional Safeguarding Team when responding to any safeguarding concerns/incidents/allegations;
- Along with the District Executive monitor churches and Circuits in creating and implementing their own safeguarding policies in line with Connexional policy;
- Ensure that the District Safeguarding Policy is implemented at District Meetings and events and that safeguarding is an item on the agenda of every meeting of the District Executive;
- Ensure that Safer Recruitment Policy is followed for all District appointments;
- Ensure that the District website and social media comply with safeguarding guidance about electronic communication and the use of photographs and videos.
The District Chair (or their deputy) will attend all meetings of the DSG.
In order to support the implementation of safeguarding policy in the Circuits and churches, and in accordance with the District Safeguarding Policy, Superintendent Ministers will;
- Ensure that the Circuit has a Safeguarding Policy;
- Support colleagues, the Circuit Meeting, the Circuit Safeguarding Officer, and all office holders in good safeguarding practice including safer recruitment in the churches and Circuits, and consult with the DSO as necessary;
- Ensure that safeguarding is a regular part of the conversation at Circuit staff meetings;
- Ensure that all safeguarding allegations/concerns/incidents, which come to their notice, are reported to the DSO and that advice from the DSO is followed;
- Work with the DSO and colleagues to care pastorally for victims and survivors of abuse;
- Complete the annual audit and monitoring form confirming safeguarding policies in the Circuit and churches are implemented and reviewed regularly;
- Ensure that Circuit events and activities are planned according to safeguarding best practice.
Ministers and those in pastoral charge
In order to implement safeguarding policy in the churches, and in accordance with the District Safeguarding Policy, ministers and those in pastoral charge will;
- Support the Church Safeguarding Officer, office holders and Church Council in good safeguarding practice in the churches and consult with the DSO as necessary;
- Along with the Superintendent, ensure that all safeguarding allegations/concerns/incidents, which come to their notice, are reported to the DSO and that advice from the DSO is followed;
- In consultation with the DSO, care pastorally for victims and survivors of abuse;
- Ensure that safeguarding policies and their effective implementation are reviewed annually;
- Ensure that all work carried out in the name of the church implements safeguarding best policy and practice, including safer recruitment.
Dated: April 2019
Date for review: April 2020
Loraine Mellor Chair of District
Safeguarding Policy – for use in churches
National guidelines and resources can be found on the Methodist Church website: http://www.methodist.org.uk/ministers-and-office-holders/safeguarding