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Safeguarding

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The Diocese of Guildford is committed to achieving the best possible standards of safeguarding. Here you’ll find advice, information and resources to help, along with signposting for those who may wish to access support.

Contact our Safeguarding Team

Updated in November 2023

To report or discuss a safeguarding concern, please contact the Safeguarding Team on 01483 790379 or email safeguarding@cofeguildford.org.uk Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. 

If someone is at immediate risk of harm, please call 999 in an emergency. 

Out of hours provision

For other enquiries, please contact one of the team.

What you can find on this page...

 

“I urge all parishes and worshipping communities to ensure that the protocols on these pages are implemented and reviewed regularly in line with diocesan policy, while thanking you for every way in which your church is having a transformative effect on the lives of others."  

Bishop Andrew

Safeguarding Policy & Guidance

In order to ensure that we are all working in line with the most up to date safeguarding guidance and policies, the diocese adopts wherever possible the national Church of England Safeguarding policies and templates.  This is supported by local guidance and best practice.

How to implement these policies
PCCs should adopt the Parish Safeguarding Policy at the first PCC meeting after the APCM.

To do this:
• Display the signed Policy Statement clearly on the church notice board. We recommend that a copy of the statement is made available on the parish website (PSO details may be redacted to protect privacy).
• What does this mean for PCCs and Incumbents in the Guildford Diocese?

Read this document to learn more: Safeguarding Responsibilities of the PCC and Incumbent 2023 (Revised November 2023)
Serious Incident Reporting

If a serious safeguarding incident takes place within your parish, it must be disclosed to the Charity Commission. Learn more below.

What constitutes a serious incident?
Following discussions with the national church legal team and the Charity Commission, two types of serious incidents have been identified:
 
•Safeguarding related serious incidents, known as a Serious Safeguarding Incident (SSIs)
• Non-safeguarding related serious incidents, known as Serious Incidents (SIs)

The Charity Commission states:

“If a serious incident takes place within your charity, it is important that there is prompt, full and frank disclosure to the Commission. You need to report what happened and, importantly, let the Commission know how you are dealing with it, even if you have also reported it to the police, donors or another regulator. A serious incident is an adverse event, whether actual or alleged, which results in or risks significant:
• harm to your charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or others who come into contact with your charity through its work (who are collectively referred to throughout this guidance as people who come into contact with your charity through its work);
• loss of your charity’s money or assets;
• damage to your charity’s property;
• harm to your charity’s work or reputation.

For the purposes of this guidance, “significant” means significant in the context of your charity, taking account of its staff, operations, finances and/or reputation.”
Why are serious incidents reported to the Charity Commission?
The Charity Commission is the regulatory body which scrutinises the conduct of charity trustees (this includes PCCs), and the steps which have been taken in order to protect the charity, its beneficiaries and those connected with that charity’s activities. This is for the protection of all involved and sometimes for the protection of all charitable operations.

If a serious incident happens, it is important that there is prompt, full and frank disclosure to the Commission.

Where serious incidents are reported to it, the Charity Commission can decide whether a particular charity should be given regulatory advice or guidance; or, in very serious cases, whether the Charity Commission needs to take further steps to protect other charities.
How to report a serious incident
If the incident is not related to a safeguarding matter, the PCC is responsible for reporting it to the Charity Commission themselves. Full details on how to report a serious incident are given on the UK Government’s website here.

If the matter is related to a safeguarding matter, use this flow chart to help you follow the right process for reporting it. The Safeguarding Team will help you.
How the Diocesan Safeguarding Team can help
If the issue is a serious safeguarding incident, it is likely that the Diocesan Safeguarding Team will already be aware of it, but do always call and check with us.

Although it is the PCC/trustees responsibility to report such incidents to the Charity Commission, the national church has agreed with the Charity Commission that this can be done on your behalf, and this is how the Safeguarding Team can help. We will always discuss the decision to report with you, but you can delegate us to do the actual reporting by completing the PCC Delegation Form and sending a scanned copy to safeguarding@cofeguildford.org.uk for our records.

NB: Whilst a PCC delegates the actual reporting actions, there will be background agreements and information sharing between the church and the diocese safeguarding team so that there is agreement in place – this way a PCC is not abdicating its responsibility, just delegating the actual reporting action. The Delegation Form document above sets out how that all happens.
Being prepared for serious incidents
The vast majority of parishes will not have to face a serious incident, but being prepared just in case can help a PCC manage the reporting process should one ever occur.

The Charity Commission has regulatory powers to ensure that charity trustees can manage the risks of incidents and that they have put in appropriate steps to mitigate those risks.

The Diocesan Safeguarding team can support and work with you reporting serious safeguarding incidents on your behalf. In that scenario, it’s important to ensure that your obligation and accountability as a PCC trustee body is not ‘abdicated’ but that we work together on any incident to agree actions. This means your reporting is properly ‘delegated’ to us by your PCC so that we may report on your behalf.

Please return the completed form electronically to: safeguarding@cofeguildford.org.uk, if not already done so.

Parish dashboard 

The Parish Safeguarding Dashboard is a simple to use, online tool, that helps you keep track of safeguarding in your church and keeps you up to date with local and national changes in safeguarding requirements. It has its own website with more information on how to get started, how to progress to the next level, FAQs and tutorials.

If you haven't already signed up to use the Dashboard, please email Jane Huttly and we will send you an invitation.

Dashboard Drop-in Sessions

Would you appreciate the chance to speak to one of the Safeguarding Team about your Parish Dashboard?

Simply log into Zoom & join one of these 45 minute drop in sessions – no need to book, just click on the link. 

Tuesday 20 February 2024 7:00pm - 7:45pm 

Safer recruitment, people management and DBS

  • The Safeguarding e-Manual details the requirements and good practice guidance for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks within the Church of England.
  • NB A Confidential Declaration Form (CDF) must be completed prior to undertaking an Enhanced or Enhanced Plus Barred DBS check.
  • For further information regards ID checking and DBS Update Service please refer to the Disclosure and Barring website.

PCC members and DBS checks

All PCC members are charity trustees. The Charity Commission strongly recommends that all trustees should be DBS checked at the enhanced level (without barred list) where they are eligible. 
 
A PCC member is eligible for a DBS check at the enhanced level where the church runs activities for children and young people and/or activities primarily for vulnerable adults. A church service where vulnerable adults may attend as part of the congregation is not classed as an activity for vulnerable adults. An example of a relevant activity may be a Dementia Cafe or Seniors Ministry. The check level is always enhanced only. The workforce will depend on the activities run by the church. So, if the church operates a children's group and a dementia cafe the PCC member should be checked for both workforces, children and vulnerable adult. If the relevant activities are just for those under 18 then the workforce is children only. 

The following links and contact details are provided to help you process DBS checks. 

Access Personal Checking Services Ltd (APCS)
APCS should be contacted about any DBS checks that are currently being processed or DBS eligibility queries.

Visit the website or Phone: 0845 643 1145

APCS provide a useful online DBS Eligibility Tool to assist parishes in determining if a DBS check is required for a role and the level of check.

Visit the site here to access the tool.
Information for DBS Validators
DBS Validator Training

Please note that this training is for nominated validators only.

Safer Recruitment and People Management training is mandated prior to attending Validator training. This online training can be accessed via the National Safeguarding Training Portal.

Use the link below to register for a 2-hour training session held on Zoom:
 
More dates will be released soon.

Resources

National Church Templates and Resources
Resources and templates including Safer Recruitment and Risk Assessments can be found on the Church of England Website.

A Volunteer Role Description template can be found on the Safer Recruitment and People Management E-manual.
Local Protocols

• Update Feb 2024: Revised template protocol on Recruitment of Ex-Offenders coming soon.
Reporting posters and resources for Parishes - updated December 2023
File Type Size Uploaded on Download

Safeguarding image for use on website

PNG 90.34 KB 15 December 2023 Download

Safeguarding poster for West Sussex

PDF 866.19 KB 15 December 2023 Download

Safeguarding poster for Surrey

PDF 866.30 KB 15 December 2023 Download

Safeguarding poster for Kingston

PDF 866.22 KB 15 December 2023 Download
Safeguarding poster for Hampshire PDF 866.17 KB 15 December 2023

Download

Survivor and/or victims support posters
Downloadable posters with details of key support services nationally for Adults and Young Children
 

Past Cases Review 2

The Church of England published the report following the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) on Wednesday 5 October 2022. Links to all relevant information regarding the publication, both locally and nationally, can be found below:

If anyone needs support or listening services, please find them here.

The Bishop of Guildford wrote to all his parish incumbents to check their records to ensure that all safeguarding concerns have been reported to the appropriate authorities. This is part of the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2), ordered by the House of Bishops to ensure that our churches and church related activities are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable adults.  

Privacy Notice PCR2 (PDF)

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

On 20 October 2022 IICSA (the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) published their final report, which can be found here.

Safeguarding governance

The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP) provides oversight of our safeguarding arrangements across the diocese, including independent advice, scrutiny challenge and expertise on case management safeguarding policies, procedures and practices.
 

DSAP constitution
The DSAP is constituted in line with the House of Bishop’s practice guidance ‘Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Office Holders and Bodies 2017’. The Independent Chair of DSAP and all DSAP members are appointed by the Bishop. They include a wide range of external safeguarding professionals with extensive expertise and current experience both in case management and victim/survivor support and in the strategic overview and practices regarding the safeguarding of children and adults in a church context.
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