Issue 2 (2000)
- Policy Statement
- Good Practice Guidelines for the prevention
- Procedures if abuse is suspected or
- Good Practice Guidelines on the appointment
of Helpers and Leaders
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Advocate(s) Those appointed within the Church to be available
to advise Leaders/Helpers in matters of Children's/Young People’s
welfare and protection.
Child/Children Those below 12 years of age.
Group Leader(s) The Person with overall responsibility for a
Children's/Young People1s Group in The Church.
Helper(s) Those who assist the leadership in Children's/Young
Leader(s) Those who have leadership responsibility in
Children's/Young People's Groups.
Supervisor(s) Those who are leaders in Children's/Young
Worker(s) All Helpers/Leaders in Children's/Young people's
Young Person/People Those 12 to 18 years of age.
POLICY STATEMENT ON
CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE CHURCH
This statement was agreed at the Church Meeting held on July 1st.
It will be reviewed regularly at the Church meeting once a year where
progress in carrying it out will be monitored.
As members of this church we
recognise that our work with children and young people is the
responsibility of the whole church and we commit ourselves to their
nurturing, protection and safekeeping.
- It is the responsibility of each
one to ensure that our children and young people are not abused in
any way as they meet in their groups.
- The Church is committed to
supporting, resourcing, training and providing supervision for those
who work with children and young people.
- The Church is committed to taking
up references and adequately assessing the suitability of helpers
and leaders who apply to work with children and young people.
- The Church adopts the guidelines
and procedures published by the Baptist Union of Great Britain in
its booklet ‘Safe to Grow’. These are based on The
Home Office Code of Practice.
As part of our commitment to children
and young people the church has appointed Christine Parker to be their
Advocate. Their role will be to offer consultancy and advice to
leaders of children's and young people's work in matters of child
welfare and protection. She is also available to advise on any
specific problems, on behalf of a child, young person or leader.
- Each worker with children and young
people will be given a copy of the church guidelines and procedures
and will undertake to observe them.
GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR THE PREVENTION OF ABUSE
THE GUIDELINES APPLY TO GROUPS AT
CHURCH, ON TRIPS AND HOLIDAYS.
Each child/young person should be
treated with respect. He/she should not be ridiculed or spoken to in an
inappropriate manner. Workers should take care where they put their body
and not touch a child in any way which could be open to
You, the worker:
- Should not invade the privacy of
children/young people when they are washing or showering.
- If a child/young person cannot wash
themselves or needs assistance then two workers who are the same sex
as the child/young person should be with them.
Should not engage in rough, physical
or sexually provocative games with children/young people.
- Separate washing and toilet
facilities for males/females should be available wherever possible.
Doors should be lockable. When changing clothes for outdoor
activities boys/girls should have separate areas. Workers should
dress appropriately depending on the activity/situation.
- Should not make sexually suggestive
comments about or to a child/young person, even in 'fun'.
- Should not scapegoat, ridicule or
reject a child/young person.
- Should not smack a child/young
person. Alternative methods of discipline should be agreed by
- Should not allow a child/young
person to involve them in excessive attention seeking that is
overtly sexual or physical in nature.
- Should not develop an exclusive
relationship with a child/young person.
- In a counselling situation should
make sure that another adult knows the interview is taking place and
with whom. It would be advisable to be in a public rather than
- Should not invite a child/young
person to be alone with you in your home. Whether a visit is planned
or unplanned you should make sure that the parent(s) know where
- When transporting children/young
people should use the back seat to its appropriate capacity before
using the front seat. It is advisable that a lone child/young person
should always sit in the back of the vehicle.
- Vehicles used for church work
must be fully insured and driven with due care and attention by
- Seat belts must be worn at all
- The minibus should normally have
at least one worker, apart from the driver when children/young
people are being transported.
- Should never be alone in sleeping
accommodation with a child/young person except briefly in
exceptional and emergency circumstances (e.g. if a child/young
person becomes suddenly ill) when no other worker is available. In
such circumstances the door must be open and another adult should
know that the situation has occurred as soon as possible.
- A worker of the same sex may
share sleeping accommodation wfth a group of children/young
people male or female but never share a room with only one or
two children/young people
- Dormitories must be single sex.
Each person should have their own bed with no sharing of
- If one worker sees another one
acting in any way which might be misconstrued he/she should speak to
them and to an appropriate leader about their concerns. Agreed
disciplinary measures should be available for when they are needed.
Workers should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care
which allows them to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate
attitudes or behaviour. Regular workers' meetings and periodic
review of the guidelines should enable this.
3. PROCEDURES IF
ABUSE IS SUSPECTED OR DISCLOSED
Abuse may fall within four categories:
- Physical - where children's/young
peoples bodies are hurt/injured.
- Sexual - where adults or other
children/young people use children/young people to satisfy their
- Neglect - where adults fail to care
for children/young people to such a degree that their health and
development are significantly impaired.
- Emotional-where children/young
people do not receive love and attention, are rejected, may be
frightened by threats or taunts or are given responsibilities beyond
All abuse involves some degree of emotional harm.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED A CHILD IS BEING ABUSED
If you have concerns it is important
to record your observations of the child/young person, their behaviour
or what they or others have said which gives rise to your concerns.
- Do not question a child/young
person in depth but indicate to them that you have noticed that they
have, for example, a sore on their leg. Make some general remark
that indicates to the child/young person that you are concerned for
them as an individual. You could possibly say that if they need
anything, to let you know.
- It is difficult to act on ‘suspicions’
unless there are frequent matters of real concern or injuries which
have unsatisfactory explanations.
- Share your concerns with the Group
Leader and discuss with the Children's Advocate whether the
situation should be referred further.
- Pass on your notes, duly dated and
signed, to the Children's Advocate.
WHAT TO DO IF A CHILD/YOUNG PERSON TELLS YOU THEY ARE BEING ABUSED -
BY A PERSON WITHIN THE CHURCH OR OUTSIDE
- Thank them for sharing this with
- Reassure them that you will get
- Listen to the child/young person
- Do not question them.
- Do not make any suggestions to them
or ask leading questions e.g. ‘X did it didn't he?’ ‘It
was Y wasn't it?’
- Keep the child/young person safe if
they are in immediate danger.
- Tell the child/young person that
you must pass this information on to people who can help
children/young people with such problems.
- Make notes as soon as possible
giving details of what the child/young person said, what you said,
how the child/young person looked, was feeling, what the child/young
person wants, fears, what action you took, note any visible injuries
(position, colour, size, shape).
- Tell your Group Leader and refer
the matter to The Children's Advocate for advice as soon as
possible. Provide them with your notes (signed and dated) and the
child's/young person's name, address, date of birth and any other
details known. They will refer the matter to The Social Services or
discuss it with them. However if you cannot contact the Advocate you
should not hesitate to speak to Social Services yourself.
- Do not delay - seek advice
- Do not act alone.
- Do not try to investigate.
- Tell your Group Leader or if not
available the Children's Advocate.
- The allegation must not be reported
under any circumstances, to the alleged abuser.
- If the child/young person is about
to return home advice must be taken from The Social Services
Department about whether or not anything should be said to the
BIRMINGHAM CONTACT NUMBER 433 5555
The church will provide support for
any worker with whom the child/young person shares the fact that they
have been abused.
4. GOOD PRACTICE
GUIDELINES ON THE APPOINTMENT OF HELPERS AND LEADERS
- All paid staff and volunteers
should have clear roles.
- Time should be taken to get to know
people who are potential helpers or leaders, as soon as they come
into the church.
- When an application is received for
a position as helper/leader references should be asked for and taken
up regarding character and previous work with children/young people.
- An interview before appointment
should explore all the applicant's experience of working or contact
with children/young people if this is deemed appropriate.
- A probationary period with a named
person, as supervisor, should be expected of new helpers/leaders.
This will depend on their past experience of children/young people's
- An annual review involving as many
leaders and helpers as possible should take place to assess the need
for further training, team building and general policies.
- The following forms and letters are
available for use in putting into practice the above guidelines:
- Volunteer Helper Form
- Letter to referee
- Reply Form for Referee
- Volunteer Contract
WHEN A CHILD TELLS (I)
listen to the child rather than directly questioning him or her
a child who is freely recalling potentially significant events
record all subsequent events up to the time of any formal interview with
make a note of the discussion, recording the timing, setting and those
present as well as what was said
WHEN A CHILD TELLS (2)
you have told me is very important."
you for telling me."
...you didn't imagine
...your brother didn't
PROCESS OF INVESTIGATION
2. Referral to Social Services
3. Grounds to investigate further?
4. Information gathering
5. Strategic planning/protection
Assessment of risk
Child Protection Conference
- Child Protection Plan
- Core group