Safeguarding Policy

If you want to report a safeguarding concern, contact the District Safeguarding Officer, Rev Susan McIvor, on 07434 284633.  You can download the safeguarding concern referral form here.  SAFEGUARDING CONCERN REFERRAL FORM

SAFEGUARDING TRAINING

The following information has been received from the Connexion with reference to Safeguarding training.

ADVANCED AND FOUNDATION MODULE: This training should be suspended.  Deadlines for completion of the training will be extended.  Where people are new to post, we are encouraged to direct people to the relevant handbook for their role.

T4T (TRAINING FOR TRAINERS) FOR THE FOUNDATION MODULE: The Connexion are exploring the possibility of producing a digital/online version so that trainers are then prepared to roll out the new module when the current restrictions have been removed.

 

RESOURCES

2020 (September) recommended safeguarding policy for churches in N&D District

(Please note that changes to the previous recommended safeguarding policy for churches are identified in red)

FAQ for this policy

Checklist to review the safeguarding policy of external user groups

Example of Permission Slip for Off Site activity

Photography Notice for Church Events and photographer guidelines

Use of photography and video information sheet and consent form for parents and carers updated

Use of photography and video information sheet and consent form for young people 12 and over

Hosting Zoom Conference Meetings – Best practice guidance from the District

 

SOCIAL MEDIA WITH CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

N&D District sample online safety agreement

N&D district sample online safety policy

N&D District video conferencing guidance

 

DISTRICT SAFEGUARDING POLICY 2020

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)

Policy Statement

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 vulnerable adults;
  • 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 through a risk assessment process.

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, train and support all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the church;
  • Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation and work with the statutory authorities as necessary
  • Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons;
  • Respond to those who may pose a safeguarding risk to other people and support the risk assessment procedures of the Methodist Church. We will apply the restrictions to appointment laid down in Standing Order 010.
  • 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 Policies, Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church (October 2019) and the Nottingham and Derby District Local Church Safeguarding Policy (Recommended) (February 2020) 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 Rev Susan McIvor as the District Safeguarding Officer.

Contact:  by email districtsafeguarding@methodist-nd.org.uk 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.  Safeguarding concerns MUST BE REPORTED to the DSO;
  • Seek advice as appropriate and respond to every issue reported according to good practice guidance, working with statutory authorities as necessary;
  • Undertake safeguarding risk assessments
  • 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;
  • Ensure the Chair, Superintendents and District Executive are updated on changes to safeguarding policy, procedures and guidance;
  • Report annually (in March) to the District Executive. This report will include details of the statistical audit submitted to the Connexional Safeguarding Team;
  • 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;
  • Provide support and guidance to the DSO, including confidential advice and discussion on complex cases
  • 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 Advanced Module Training and initiate programmes of awareness and good practice as the need arises;
  • Ensure the Connexional and District Safeguarding policies are implemented effectively;
  • Ensure that the Chair, District Executive and Superintendents are updated on any changes to safeguarding policy, practice and guidance
  • Organise at least one meeting annually with circuit safeguarding officers
  • Organise a District Safeguarding Conference annually

District Chair

In consultation with the DSO and DSG, the District Chair will:

  • Appoint an independent chair for the DSG;
  • 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.

Superintendent Ministers

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 attention, 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 projects, 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.

Responsibilities of the Charity Trustees for the Nottingham and Derby District

The responsibility for implementation of safeguarding policy lies with the District Trustees.  It is the relevant trustee body and the Chair of District, who are responsible for ensuring that

i. All workers with children, young people and adults for District events and projects are safely recruited, appointed by the District Trustees and supported in and trained for their roles;

ii. allegations are responded to immediately and according to the procedures of the Methodist Church including referral to the statutory authorities where necessary;

iii. Standing Orders and the Methodist Church Safer Recruitment Policy and Procedures are implemented by completing the required DBS checks;

iv. Standing Orders and the Methodist Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Guidance (Oct 2019) are implemented when somebody is being considered for an appointment to a role or responsibility (or is already holding such a position) to which Standing Order 010(3) applies. This includes where the person has a conviction or caution for an offence under the Sexual Offences Act (2003) or an offence mentioned in Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice Act (2003) or the person has been subject to risk assessment under Standing Order 237 and as a result, the Safeguarding Committee deem that they present a significant risk of serious harm to children or vulnerable adults,

v. Good practice is followed and pastoral care provided in all instances of child or adult abuse and trauma. This includes pastoral provision for the needs of survivors of abuse and careful ministry to those who pose a risk to children. See Tracing Rainbows through the Rain, Methodist Conference, 2006  www.methodist.org.uk/downloads/Conf06_Safeguarding_pcfull.doc

vi. a Serious Incident Report is made to the Charity Commission (in England and Wales) if serious safeguarding concerns arise as part of the District’s work (this should always occur in those cases involving possible reputational or financial risks)

vii. the relevant insurance company is notified in respect of serious safeguarding concerns;

viii. the Conference Officer for Legal and Constitutional Practice is notified where a report has been made to the Charity Commission or the relevant insurance company.

Trustees should seek the advice of the District Safeguarding Officer for all safeguarding concerns

Dated:                    April 2020

Date for review:       April 2021

Loraine Mellor         Chair of District

 

National Guidelines

National guidelines and resources can be found on the Methodist Church website: http://www.methodist.org.uk/ministers-and-office-holders/safeguarding