This policy should be read in conjunction with the relevant sections of the BCCs
BASINGSTOKE COMMUNITY CHURCHES (BCCs) incorporating:
The Sarum Hill Centre, Sarum Hill, Basingstoke, RG21 8SR.
Tel: 01256 316000
Contacts: Contacts for all churches can be found in Section 8 of the framework
Charity Number: 1067316
Company Number: 3476768
Insurance Company: Ansvar
BCCs is a member of Thirtyone:eight and they are available to advise in any safeguarding
or suspected safeguarding situation. BCCs membership number is 984.
POLICY FOR SAFEGUARDING AND PROTECTING CHILDREN AND ADULTS AT RISK OF HARM
Covering all meetings, activities, and locations for the above churches.
Basingstoke Community Churches is a group of churches affiliated to the Evangelical Alliance. Meeting in various locations across the Basingstoke, Overton and Tadley areas, we are a registered charity incorporated as a company limited by guarantee.
Across our churches we see the need to engage and support everyone, and recognise the additional care and responsibility required when dealing with children, young people, and adults at risk.
We provide a range of activities, particularly for young people, while also providing 1 to 1 support for many adults at risk alongside events such as lunch clubs to allow people to gather and form community.
All activities involving these groups are subject to the guidance in this document.
NB. In this document “Leadership” generally refers to the corporate leadership across BCCs (Trustees, Core Team and Local Church Leadership Teams). Where appropriate “Local Leadership Teams” have been specified.
This policy addresses both the legal and moral requirement to protect and safeguard children and adults at risk of harm. Alongside the framework document, it explains the key values on which the policy is based, links to other relevant policies and the procedures and practices set up to implement the policy. This is an overarching policy and each church will have its own document outlining the details specific to each location.
The leadership teams across BCCs recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be
the victims of abuse and neglect, physically, sexually and emotionally. We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”. We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.” As a Leadership we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.
The policy and any attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by thirtyone:eight.
We undertake to:
Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution, or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.
To safeguard those in our places of worship and organisations we adhere to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and have as our starting point as a definition of abuse, Article 19 which states:
Also for adults the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights with particular reference to Article 5:
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Detailed definitions, and signs and indicators of abuse affecting children are available here, on the
NSPCC website, workers should check this periodically to keep up to date with any changes in
definitions or types of abuse:
Types and indicators of abuse regarding adults at risk can be found here:
Details of how to define and recognise signs of domestic abuse, along with links to where to go for
support can be found here:
Details of how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included in our policy framework.
All adults working with children, young people and vulnerable adults are in a position of trust. All
those in positions of trust need to understand the power this can give them over those they care for
and the responsibility they have because of this relationship.
It is vital that all workers ensure they do not, even unknowingly, use their position of power and
authority inappropriately. They should always maintain professional boundaries and avoid behaviour
which could be misinterpreted.
As of April 2022 it is illegal (England and Wales)(Northern Ireland) for those in Positions of Trust in a
faith setting to engage in sexual activity with a 16 or 17 year old under their care or supervision.
The local church leadership teams will ensure all workers are appointed, trained, supported, and
supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:
The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training every 3 years.
The Leadership will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.
As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers are required to understand the BCCs code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs which will be provided with this policy and should be familiar with the Code of Conduct which can be found in section 13 of the framework and must be signed by all workers.
As a place of worship, we will follow the principles contained in the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 Therefore, we expect that all employees (paid or voluntary) will report improper actions and omissions. Whilst all malpractice and acts of discrimination will be investigated, it is especially important that suspicions of abuse are immediately reported to the safeguarding co-ordinator.
As a place of worship working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusation.
The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people, and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.
We therefore have clear guidelines regarding our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement will have their own policy that meets thirtyone:eight’s safeguarding standards.
We believe good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding.
Under no circumstances should a volunteer or worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Follow procedures as below:
In an emergency situation when a child, young person or adult at risk of harm is thought to be in immediate danger, while it is encouraged to seek advice, each worker is supported and encouraged to report the situation directly to the relevant authorities.
All contact details are available in Section 8 of the framework.
The role of the DSL/ deputy is to collate and clarify the precise details of the allegation or suspicion and where appropriate, pass this information on to statutory agencies who have a legal duty to investigate.
If a child has a physical injury, a symptom of neglect or where there are concerns about emotional abuse, the DSL/Deputy will:
In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the DSL/Deputy will:
If there is concern about any of the above, DSL/Deputy will:
If there is a concern regarding spiritual abuse, DSL will:
If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the DSL, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will:
The DSL will:
The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide not the church.
The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of the place of worship/organisation.
Working with offenders and those who may pose a risk
When someone attending the place of worship / organisation is known to have abused children, is under investigation, or is known to be a risk to adults with care and support needs; the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults with care and support needs, set boundaries for that person, which they will be expected to keep. These boundaries will be based on an appropriate risk assessment and through consultation with appropriate parties.
Choose from any of the many different activities, events and meetings we participate in either as a part of our church, or with other churches in Tadley, or with the broader community
There are many ways to engage with us, just as there are many ways in which to connect with Jesus through His Church. Get in touch, or connect through social media. Better still, come to one of the many events coming up.