The Church in London Good Practice Guidance for safeguarding children
The church in London Safeguarding Coordinators are:
Dennis Szubert (07740 626 537) and Emmanuel Freeman (07878 653 775)
The Deputy Safeguarding Coordinator is Terry Murray (07740 281 450).
*In this guidance a child refers to anyone under 18 years old.
It is very important that all adults who serve with young people in whatever capacity understand and agree to the following Good Practice Guidance:
- Never leave a child unsupervised. Children should not be allowed to roam around the premises without adult supervision.
- Challenge any unknown adult who enters the property or is hanging around the children. People not serving with children or young people should do their best not to go into an area where a children’s activity is taking place.
- Serving ones should not be alone in a room with a child. If this is not possible, tell someone where you are going and keep the doors open.
- Serving ones should not be alone in a vehicle with a child. If this is not possible, permission should be gained from their parents.
- If a young child needs assistance to use the toilet, accompany them and take care of the principle of not being alone with a child. If this is not possible, tell someone where you are going and keep the doors open. If an older child needs to go to the toilet, you should know where they are at all times.
- Be aware of how others might interpret your actions, e.g. touch – for this reason it is necessary to avoid initiating hugs. A hand on an arm or a shoulder is enough. Be cautious about physical contact in games.
- Take care of your colleagues. Help them to not get into situations that may make them open to any kind of blame. An example of this would include an adult spending a lot of time with children or young people outside of the church in London events without proper coordination (i.e. by themselves).
- Physical violence (including rough grabbing and shaking) should NEVER be used on a child. If it is necessary to restrain a child for their own safety, or for the safety of another, then minimum force should be used for as short a time as possible. Any such event should be reported to the church in London safeguarding coordinators.
- If an accident or injury occurs, make sure an Accident Form is filled in and signed by a witness/serving one involved and that parents/carers are properly advised. If the accident or injury warrants it, or if in doubt, you must notify the First Aid Coordinator for your hall (See First Aid Guidance and Accident Form in the H & S Binder and on website*).
- Always treat the children and young people equally, do not show any form of favouritism. Also be alert to prevent situations or an atmosphere where bullying could occur.
- If a child discloses any information of concern to you or you witness evidence of a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional or sexual abuse:
- allow the child to speak without interruption and accept what they say;
- be understanding and reassuring but do not give your opinion;
- do not make promises that you will not say anything to anyone else, you MUST let the church in London Safeguarding Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator know as soon as possible;
- write careful notes of what was said using actual words wherever possible;
- pass your notes and an incident report form to the Safeguarding Coordinator as soon as possible. Make sure you sign and date them.
- If an incident occurs, and you are concerned about the behaviour of other volunteers or you are worried in any kind of way, immediately fill out an incident report form and report it to a church in London safeguarding coordinator. Make an accurate and objective record of anything that was said or done. (See Incident Report Form in the H & S Binder and on the website*).
- We encourage all the saints, even in all their private arrangements to care for children in their home or in their shepherding of young people, to take the way of coordination and keep in mind the principles of the safeguarding guidance.
- In general, adults should not take pictures of children without parental consent. You should never take a picture of a child who is not completely clothed. You should not post a picture on social media without parental consent.
- As much as possible there should be volunteers of both genders where the children are of both genders.
- Regarding child to adult ratios:
- Children 0-2: 1 adult to every 3 children
- Children 2-3: 1 adult to every 4 children
- Children >3: 1 adult to every 8 children
- Beyond the above legally required ratio, we recommend every room to have at least two adults with a DBS check.
Additional Good Practice Guidance for special activities/events hosted by the church in London (e.g. young people’s conferences)
- All volunteers should wear an identity badge.
- If an accident or injury occurs, make sure an Accident Form is filled in and signed by a First Aid Coordinator for the activity and by a witness/serving one involved (See First Aid Guidance and Accident Form in the H & S Binder and on this website*).
- If anything ‘unusual’ happens in relation to a child or young person which makes you feel uncomfortable, please fellowship with the designated Safeguarding Coordinator for the event.
- All registration materials for the activity/event, including any forms (accident or incident forms, risk assessment forms, sign-in sheets, etc) should be kept confidential and handed in to the church office as soon as possible following the event. Please hand in all materials in a sealed envelope directly to the church office at Bower House or, if this is not possible, please have a responsible brother from your hall give the sealed envelope to Terry Murray, the Deputy Safeguarding Coordinator, at the monthly London brothers meeting.