Promoting a Safer Church
The Church in Wales Provincial Safeguarding Policy
Statement of intent
The Church in Wales is committed to fostering an environment where everyone is able to worship and participate in the life of the church in safety. The Church in Wales therefore will:
recognise the personal dignity and rights of all children and adults as set out in the Human Rights Act 1998 and the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
robustly and consistently implement safeguarding policies procedures and guidance that conform to the current legislative and guidance framework and accepted best practice.
promote a culture which listens to children and adults at risk.
properly recruit, train and support all those in positions of trust.
ensure that when concerns are raised they are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility
All who work for the Church, including clergy, employees and volunteers, are regarded by the Church in Wales as persons working in positions of trust within the Church and as such are expected to adhere to this safeguarding policy and associated procedures and practice guidance.
The Church in Wales wants to provide a safe, happy and supportive environment of mission and ministry in which all God’s people can grow and develop in their Christian commitment.
Those who work for and support the Church, both lay and ordained and whether volunteers or paid, are crucial to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and respect and valued at all times, whether they be children, adults at risk, adults who are vulnerable in the Church context, survivors of abuse or offenders.
The Church in Wales has a responsibility to ensure that all church members, including those who work in the Church, are cared for and protected by providing eff ective training and appropriate support. To this end the Church in Wales is committed to being a Safe Church.
Key principles of safeguarding
Everyone has the right to live their life free from coercion, intimidation or oppression, physical, sexual, emotional or fi nancial abuse or neglect. Children and adults at risk have the right to be supported and empowered to achieve well-being and fulfi l their potential. The welfare of children and adults at risk is paramount. They have the right to be protected from harm and exploitation.
Any organisation that works with children and adults must ensure that those people are properly cared for and protected. The Church in Wales undertakes to operating safely and in a manner that complies with relevant legislation and good practice.
To be a Safe Church, we will take all reasonable steps to:
create and maintain an open and transparent organisational culture that refl ects the importance of safeguarding children and adults at risk.
ensure that all who work for the Church, whether ordained or lay and whether in a paid or unpaid capacity, act responsibly and with integrity; ensuring that their position of trust is upheld and that no advantage is taken of those in their care.
ensure that all who work for the Church are suitable for their roles with children and adults at risk by the careful selection and training of those with any responsibility within the church, in line with safer recruitment principles.
ensure that all public worship, events and activities are organised and delivered safely to a high standard; and with the particular needs of children and adults at risk in mind.
ensure that all pastoral care is delivered safely.
promote safer practice in all work undertaken with children and adults at risk.
take seriously and respond appropriately to every concern, disclosure or allegation which suggests that a child or adult at risk may have been harmed or could be harmed, including by involving the statutory authorities.
ensure that all complaints are handled promptly and robustly in accordance with the law and in line with best practice.
ensure that those who have suff ered abuse or harm are safely supported within our Church communities and that we learn lessons from the past to strengthen safeguarding processes.
ensure that offenders’ rights to worship are observed within the context of robust and proportionate safeguarding agreements.
challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.
keep under review our policy, operational procedures and practice guidance.
Provincial Safeguarding Team
The Church in Wales is committed to managing safeguarding concerns and promoting safeguarding through its Provincial Safeguarding Team.
A Provincial Safeguarding Officer will take responsibility for dealing with all reported concerns, disclosures and allegations of a safeguarding nature. If a concern is referred directly to the statutory authorities, a Provincial Safeguarding Officer should be notifi ed as soon as practicable. The Provincial Safeguarding Offi cer will remain in contact with the police and/or local authority social services department until enquiries and subsequent statutory interventions are concluded.
The Provincial Safeguarding Officer will keep relevant people informed of actions and decisions during and following the statutory process. In particular, the Provincial Safeguarding Offi cer will update the Provincial Safeguarding Panel of all safeguarding activity and convey case updates and recommendations to Bishops as appropriate, unless this creates a conflict of interest.
Putting the policy into action
The Church in Wales is committed to the adoption, implementation and review of this policy. All parts of the Church must take account of this policy, which actively informs all safeguarding activity across the Province and underpins the Church’s commitment to continuous improvement of safeguarding practice. Churches, Benefices, Ministry and Mission Areas and Dioceses in the Church in Wales must adopt, promote and publicise this policy.
All suspicions, concerns, knowledge, disclosures or allegations of abuse should be reported immediately to the Church in Wales Provincial Safeguarding Team or, in an emergency to the statutory authorities. If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires urgent medical attention, please call the emergency services on 999 – DO NOT DELAY. If you think that a child or adult is at risk of harm but is not in immediate danger, please call the local authority social services department.