WEST MALLING BAPTIST CHURCH
Registered Charity no. 1130977
Policy Statement on Safeguarding
(West Malling Baptist Church is referred to as ‘the church’ in this Policy Statement)
All human beings are made by God in his image, and as such we have a responsibility and duty to safeguard the children and adults in our care from physical, sexual and emotional harm. A child is a whole-person with rights and needs, to be honoured and respected by us all. Children and adults at risk are vulnerable yet valued members of the Christian community, who need our special care.
We take seriously the charge given by Jesus to welcome children (Luke 9:48), to protect them (Matt 18:6-10) and to allow them free access to him (Mark 10:13-16).
The church will endeavour to model its worship, fellowship and mission within the community so that:
Children and adults are listened to, given a sense of belonging, nurtured, and kept safe
Parents and carers are supported and encouraged
Those who work with children, young people and adults at risk are supported and valued
Make our premises available to organisations working with children and adults at risk
The church will provide:
A welcoming environment to children and adults at risk into the life of our community
A programme of activities with children and young people
Section A - Our safeguarding responsibilities
The church recognises its responsibilities in safeguarding all children, young people and adults at risk, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. The church adopts the guidelines of the Baptist Union of Great Britain published in ‘Safe to Grow’ (2011), ‘Safe to Belong’ (2015) and Safeguarding Policy & Procedures
As members of this church we commit ourselves to nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with the church and will pray for them regularly.
In pursuit of this we commit ourselves to the following policies and to the development of procedures to ensure their implementation.
Section B - Prevention and reporting of abuse
It is the duty of each church member to help prevent the abuse of children and adults at risk, and the duty of each church member to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and adults at risk. Any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected will be reported in accordance with our procedures. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.
Section C - Safer recruitment, support and supervision of workers
The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and adults at risk, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safekeeping of children and adults at risk.
Section D - Respecting children and adults at risk
The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and adults at risk so that all children and adults are shown the respect that is due to them.
Section E - Safer working practices
The church is committed to providing an environment that is as safe as possible for children and adults at risk and will adopt ways of working with them that promote their safety and well-being.
Section F - A safer community
The church is committed to the prevention of bullying. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any individuals who may pose a risk to children, young people and adults at risk in the community of the church is managed appropriately.
Section G - Safeguarding contact points within our church
The church has appointed the following individuals to form part of the church safeguarding team:
Wendy Mann (deacon/trustee) as the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) to:
Advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk.
Take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Janice Webb (deacon/trustee) as the Safeguarding Trustee to:
Raise the profile of safeguarding within the church
Oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church’s charity trustees.
Our church minister is also an important part of the Church Safeguarding Team. Where possible, the Church Safeguarding Team will work together if and when issues arise. However, each person has a responsibility to report allegations of abuse as soon as they are raised.
Further definitions of these roles can be found in the BUGB publications ‘Safe to Grow’ (2011) & ‘Safe to Belong’ (2015).
Section H - Putting our policy into practice
A copy of the safeguarding policy statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard and is available on our church website.
A copy will also appear in the Church Members’ Handbook.
Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them.
A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church.
The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed annually, and any necessary revisions adopted into the policy and implemented through our procedures.
The policy statement will be read annually at the January Church Members meeting, together with a report on the outcome of the annual safeguarding review.
This revised statement replaces previous statements: Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church (2013); Protection of Adults at Risk Policy (2016)