Safeguarding Children and Adults

• Statement of Safe-guarding Principles for the Tregony Bible Christian Church
• Definitions 
• Physical Abuse 
• Emotional Abuse 
• Sexual Abuse 
• Spiritual Abuse 
• Implementation
• Transport for Children
• Registration and Consent Forms for Children 
• Health and Safety 
• Risk Assessments 
• Youth Work 
• Reporting Concerns to the Minister and Elders

Statement of Safeguarding Principles 
Everyone has a value and dignity which comes directly from the Lord God who made us all in His own image and likeness. This means we all have a duty before God to value all people as bearing His image and therefore we are to protect them from harm. 
Our Principles are committed to: 
• the care and nurture of all children, young people and adults. 
• the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults when they are vulnerable. 
• We will carefully select and train all those with any responsibility within the Church, in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures and registration with the relevant vetting and barring schemes. 
• We will respond without delay to every complaint made which suggests that an adult, child or young person may have been harmed, cooperating with the police and local authority in any investigation. 
• We will seek to work with anyone who has suffered abuse.
• We will seek to challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust. 
• We will offer pastoral care and support, including supervision and referral to the proper authorities, to any member of our church community known to have offended against a child, young person or vulnerable adult. In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognized good practice. 

• A child is defined as anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. ‘Children’ therefore means ‘children and young people’ throughout this document. 
• An Adult is defined as anyone who has reached their 18th birthday and older.
• Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and adults is defined for the purposes of this guidance as: Protecting children and adults from abuse and neglect preventing impairment of their health or development in our Church; Ensuring that children and adults are treated in our Church in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care. 
• Child Protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. 
• Children in Need are defined as being ‘in need’, under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, are those whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development. 
• Harm and Significant Harm 
Harm means ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development, including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another. 
Significant Harm - The Children Act 1989 introduced the concept of significant harm to children as the threshold that justifies compulsory intervention.

Physical Abuse 
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating, or otherwise causing physical harm to a child or adult. Physical harm may also be caused when a anyone fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child or adult.

Emotional Abuse 
Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child or adult such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the their emotional development. It may involve conveying to them that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the them opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate.

Sexual Abuse                                                                                                                                     Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or adult to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the they are aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact and non-contact activities, such as involving looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children and adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming in preparation for abuse.

Spiritual Abuse 
Spiritual abuse is not covered by the statutory definitions but is of concern to us. Aspects of spiritual abuse can be recognized under the three categories of abuse above and in the manipulation of children and adults to participate in practices which are against their wishes and are not authorized in Holy Scripture such as body marking, cutting and mutilation.

All groups in the Church such as the Sunday School and Youth Club must have Leaders who have been selected by the Church’s Elders and Minister in line with Safer Recruitment principles, including the use of criminal records disclosures. These Leaders and the Minister must implement our Church’s Safeguarding Principles and all complaints must be notified first to the Minster who will then inform the Elders and if need be they will be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and the Police.

Transport for Children
For children transport arrangements to or from church activities are the responsibility of parents. For children transport or travel between church activities will usually be the responsibility of the church. It should be clearly understood by all concerned at which point responsibility for the child is passed from parent to church worker and at which point it is returned.
Registration and Consent Forms for Children
Contact details and special requirements should be noted for all children who regularly attend church activities and registers kept, including mixed-age activities. Written parental consents should also be obtained for special activities e.g. off premises or the taking/using of photographs.

Health and Safety                                                                                                                             A First Aid Box should be obtained and maintained on site. An accident book should be maintained at all places where children’s activities take place. Buildings should be checked for health and safety regularly and at least once a year by the Elders.

Youth Work                                                                                                                                        All work with those under 18 years of age must be adequately supervised. Those of 18 years of age and older are legally adults and can be considered for work with children. These workers are all voluntary and must be people of trust vetted by the Minister and Elders of the Church and pass all relevant safeguarding checks. It is contrary to the policy of the Church for those in a position of trust, including the Minister, Elders, Sunday School Teachers, and Youth Club Workers, to have sexual relationships with those aged younger than 18 years of age for whom they are responsible. A breach of this is a disciplinary matter. It will be referred to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and in some cases it may also constitute a criminal offence.

Reporting Concerns to the Minister and Elders
Everyone who has a concern regarding abuse must contact first the Minister who will then inform the Elders who are duty bound to deal with all concerns in an appropriate manner which may mean referring to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and the Police.
Confidentiality and Consent
All abuse will be referred by the Minister and Elders to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and Police.
However, where historic past offenses and conviction have occurred and are brought to the Minister’s attention by persons previously convicted, the Minister will not disclose this information to others and will provide pastoral support to those who come to him.
If consent is given by those previously convicted for this information to be made known to relevant organisations in the Church, the Minister will do so. All persons with a criminal record for child abuse will be debarred from working with children.
All victims of historic abuse will be offered pastoral support by the Minister and Elders.

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