Safeguarding at St Andrew with St Alban in the Parish of Mottingham

The Parish of Mottingham, St Andrew with St Alban, is committed to promoting and supporting a safe environment for children, adults who may be vulnerable and those subjected to domestic abuse.

If you would like more information please contact Jane Cornish, Parish Safeguarding Officer, at jane@standrewandstalban.org.uk. Copy of the Diocese of Southwark's 'A Safe Church' is in the Rectory (in the former Parish Office). Our Safeguarding Policy and the Church of England's Code of Safer Working Practice can be viewed below.

The Code of Safer Working Practice

The Code of Safer Working Practice

The Code of Safer Working Practice expresses our commitment to demonstrating God's love by placing the highest priority on the safety of those to whom we minister. It sets out what we expect from anyone who ministers in our church, in both paid and voluntary roles, and is one of the ways we ensure high standards of safeguarding in all we do.

Upholding the Code

All members of staff and volunteers are expected to report any breaches of this code to the Parish Safeguarding Officer. Staff and volunteers who breach this code may be subject to disciplinary procedures or asked to leave their role. Serious breaches may also result in a referral made to the relevant statutory agency.

All those working on behalf of the parish with young children, young people and adults must:

  • Treat all individuals with respect and dignity;
  • Respect people's rights to personal privacy;
  • Ensure their own language, tone of voice and body language are respectful;
  • Ensure that children, young people and adults know who they can talk to about a personal concern;
  • Record and report any concerns about a child, young person or adult and/or the behaviour of another worker with their activity leader and/or the Parish Safeguarding Officer. All written records should be signed and dated;
  • Obtain written consent for any photographs or videos to be taken, shown, displayed or stored.

In addition, those working with children and young people must:

  • Always aim to work with or within sight of another adult;
  • Ensure another adult is informed if a child needs to be taken to the toilet;
  • Respond warmly to a child who needs comforting but make sure there are other adults around;
  • Ensure that the child and parents are aware of any activity that requires physical contact and of its nature before the activity takes place

All those working on behalf of the parish with children, young people and adults must not:

  • Use any form of physical punishment;
  • Be sexually suggestive about or to an individual;
  • Scapegoat, ridicule or reject and individual or group;
  • Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying;
  • Show favouritism to any one individual or group;
  • Allow and individual to involve them in excessive attention seeking;
  • Allow unknown adults access to children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable. Visitors should always be accompanied by an approved person;
  • Allow strangers to give lifts to children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable in the group;
  • Befriend children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable on social media;
  • Take photographs on personal phones or cameras as this means that images are stored on personal devices.

In addition, for childern and young people, must not:

  • Give lifts to children you are supervising, on their own (unless there are exceptional circumstances e.g. in an emergency for medical reasons or where parents fail to collect a child and no other arrangements can be made to take a child home. In such situations, the circumstances and your decision must be recorded and shared with an approritate person at the earliest opportunity);
  • Smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of children and young people;
  • Arrange social occasions with children and young people (other than events which also include family members/carers) outside organised group occasions.

Acceptable Touch

Sympathetic attention, encouragement and appropriate physical contact are needed by children and adults. Some physical contact with children, particularly younger children, can be wholly appropriate. However, abusers can use touch that appears to be safe to 'normalise' physical contact which then becomes abusive. As a general rule, the use of touch between adults in positions of responsibility are those with whom they are working or volunteering should be initiated by the person themselves, and kept to the minimum. In addition to this, always follow the guidelines below:

  • Ask permission before you touch someone;
  • Allow the other person to determine the degree of touch except in exceptional circumstances (e.g. when they need medical attention);
  • Avoid any physical contact that is or could be construed as sexual, abusive or offensive;
  • Keep everything public. A hug in the context of a group is very different from a hug behind closed doors;
  • Touch should be in response to a person's needs and not related to the worker's needs. Touch should be age appropriate, welcome and generally initiated by the chikd, not the worker.

Policy for Responding to Domestic Abuse

We are committed to promoting and supporting environments which:

  • ensure that all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse
  • protect those vulnerable to domestic abuse from actual or potential
  • harm
  • recognise equality amongst people and within relationships
  • enable and encourage concerns to be raised and responded to openly and consistently.

We recognise that:

  • all forms of domestic abuse cause damage to the survivor and express an imbalance of power in the relationship
  • all survivors (regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity) have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse
  • domestic abuse can occur in all communities
  • domestic abuse may be a single incident, but is usually a systematic, repeated pattern which escalates in severity and frequency
  • domestic abuse, if witnessed or overheard by a child, is a form of child abuse by the perpetrator of the abusive behaviour
  • working in partnership with children, adults and other agencies is essential in promoting the welfare of any child or adult suffering abuse.

We will endeavour to respond to domestic abuse by:

In all our activities -

  • valuing, listening to and respecting both survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse

In our publicity -

  • raising awareness about other agencies, support services, resources and expertise, through providing information in public areas of relevance to survivors, children and perpetrators of domestic abuse

When concerns are raised -

  • ensuring that those who have experienced abuse can find safety and informed help
  • working with the appropriate statutory bodies during an investigation into domestic abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the church community

In our care -

  • ensuring that informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse
  • identifying and outlining the appropriate relationship of those with pastoral care responsibilities with both survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse.

We are committed to reviewing our policy and procedures annually.

Confidential Declaration Form

The Confidential Declaration must be completed by all those wishing to work with children and/or adults experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect. It applies to all roles including clergy, employees, ordinands and volunteers who are said to be in substantial contact with children and adults experiencing and/or at risk of abuse or neglect.

The Privacy Notice attached to this form (see page 5 onwards) explains how the information you supply in your Confidential Declaration is used and your rights with respect to that data as required by the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (the "GDPR") and the Data Protection Act 2018 (the "DPA 2018").

If you do not complete this form, or if you do not give true, accurate and complete information in response to the questions it contains, this may amount to misconduct under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 and your appointment will not proceed.

A Safe Church & Safeguarding Policy

The full contents of A Safe Church can be accessed on the Diocese of Southwark website here

The Church of England, Parish Safeguarding Handbook can be accessed from its website here.

The Parish of Mottingham, St Andrew with St Alban, Safeguarding Policy Promoting a Safer Church is attached below.