Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults
Safeguarding is a priority at St Mary’s Stoke D’Abernon. We are committed to following government and Church of England guidelines on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults and good working practice, including safer recruitment of volunteers and paid workers.
We work to a formal safeguarding policy and procedure which has been approved by the PCC and it can be seen here.
The principles governing our approach to this commitment are set out below.
1. Promoting a safer environment and culture
We will strive to create and maintain environments that are safer for all, that promote well-being, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church for children, young people and vulnerable adults. Our Church Officers will respect all children, young people and vulnerable adults and promote their well-being.
2. Safely recruiting and supporting all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church
We will select and vet all those with any responsibility related to children, young people and vulnerable adults within the Church, in accordance with the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance. We will train and equip Church Officers to have the confidence and skills they need to care and support children, young people and vulnerable adults and to recognise and respond to abuse.
3. Responding promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation
Anyone who brings any safeguarding suspicion, concern, knowledge or allegation of current or non-current abuse to the notice of the Church will be responded to respectfully and in a timely manner, in line with statutory child and adult safeguarding procedures and the House of Bishops safeguarding policy and practice guidance.
4. Caring pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
We will endeavour to offer care and support to all those that have been abused, regardless of the type of abuse, when or where it occurred. Those who have suffered abuse within the Church will receive a compassionate response, be listened to and be taken seriously
5. Caring pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
The Church in exercising its responsibilities to suspicions, concerns, knowledge or allegations of abuse will endeavour to respect the rights under criminal, civil and ecclesiastical law of an accused Church Officer including the clergy. A legal presumption of innocence will be maintained during the statutory and Church inquiry processes. The Church will take responsibility for ensuring that steps are taken to protect others when any Church Officer is considered a risk to children, young people and vulnerable adults.
6. Responding to those that may pose a present risk to others
The Church, based on the message of the gospel, opens its doors to all. We will therefore endeavour to offer pastoral care and support to any member of the church community whom may present a known risk. The Church will ensure that any risk has been assessed and is being managed in a safeguarding agreement in accordance with House of Bishops policy and practice guidance.
Childline (for children) 0800 1111
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
Kidscape 0845 120 5204
Stop it Now 0808 1000 900
Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
MindinfoLine 0300 123 3393
Through the Roof 01732 737041
Action on Elder Abuse 0808 8088 141