Good Practice Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church

Good Practice
Good Practice
Safeguarding Children
and Young People
in the Church
The United Reformed Church – Third Edition
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Page 1
Good Practice
The material in this pack
is mainly from 2nd Edition of
Good Practice – Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church
and information circulated to local churches since 2001.
It has been edited and extended by
John Brown, Secretary for Youth Work, and Rosemary Johnston, Children’s Advocate.
May 2004
Thanks for assistance go to
Ray Adams, Ann Barton, Tony Burnham, Liz Crocker, Sara Foyle, Janet Knott, Lesley Anne
Di Marco, Howard Nurden, Joyce Kramer-Cox, Vernon Lane, Kath Lonsdale, Ann Martin,
Andrew Micklefield, PLATO*, Leo Roberts, Carol Rogers, Pam Thorne, Vivienne Thorne,
Andrew Willett
*PLATO (Provincial Legal, Administrative and Trust Officers) is an informal meeting of people working in
Synods and Church House in the areas of administration, finance, property and trusts. Recognising that there
is an increasing amount of legislation that affects churches throughout the United Reformed Church, PLATO
members have produced the United Reformed Church Property Handbook for reference by local churches.
(Contact Synod Office or www.urc.org.uk/plato)
Collaborative working through the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding,
with ecumenical colleagues, is acknowledged with appreciation.
Some information from government documents is included within the pack without charge.
Much of the early material now comes under the DfES – Department for Education and Skills.
All pages may be photocopied freely within the United Reformed Church.
For wider use please contact, in writing,
Communications and Editorial
United Reformed Church House
86 Tavistock Place,
London WC1H 9RT
© The United Reformed Church 2004 – Third edition
Page 2
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
Good Practice
- Safeguarding Children and Young
People in the Church
The United Reformed Church – Third Edition 2004
‘This material is so
reassuring’
‘We have very good
reason to be thankful we
used this pack’
‘Someone mentioned Good Practice at
Church Meeting. It was in the minutes so we
had to do something about it’
‘At last. Everything in
one place’
‘Once we’d kept calm and
worked through it we felt
a lot better’
‘Wish we’d done this long ago.
We were much more vulnerable
than we realised’
‘We appreciated a local
training session’
‘When all the bits were in place
we were much happier about our
responsibilities’
‘Everyone - parents, elders,
congregation, leaders, children and young
people, newcomers, local community
– knows we take this seriously’
‘It is very handy to be able
to check everything on the
website www.urc.org.uk’
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
‘A regular review helps us
see what has slipped’
‘It’s great to be able
to photocopy and use
the check lists’
Page 3
Good Practice
Contents
Section 1
1.1
WHAT? - What is this pack? Aim of material
7
1.2
WHY? - Why Good Practice?
9
1.3
HOW? - How to use this pack
Suggestions for a process in a local church
How are you on Good Practice?
(i) for local churches – a flow diagram
(ii) for workers with children and young people – a check list
(iii) for children and young people – a picture sheet – ‘Being Safe’
10
1.4
12
13
14
Section 2
2.0
WHO?
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
The local church and ecumenically
Beyond the local church
Workers with children and young people - paid and unpaid
Worker’s Recruitment and Selection
(a) recruitment and selection
(b) employment
disability discrimination
(c) during employment
16
16
16
17
18
18
18
19
Section 3
3.0
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
WHERE?-
Buildings
Risk assessment
Health and Safety
Security
Photographs
Fire Safety
First aid
21
22
22
24
24
24
25
Events
In the building
Adult/Child ratios
Holiday Clubs
In the neighbourhood of the building
Further afield
Specialised Work
Outreach – Detached work –
– United Kingdom – International
Transport
Behaviour policy
Parental responsibility
26
26
26
27
28
28
28
Section 4
4.0
WHEN? 4.1(i)
4.1(ii)
4.1(iii)
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
Page 4
29
30
30
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
Section 5
5.0
Specific information – relating to Good Practice – Safeguarding Children and Young people
5.1(i)
Insurance
5.1(ii)
Insurance – Local Churches
5.2
Website and internet
5.3
Medical guidance
5.4
Child protection
5.5
Criminal Records Bureau
5.5(i)
Background to United Reformed Church use of the Criminal Records Bureau
5.5(ii)
Guidance for using the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding
5.5(iii)
CAS Application form – photocopyable
5.5 (iv)
CAS Documentary Verification of Identity form – photocopyable
5.5(v)
Specific items about CRB/CAS use. Frequently asked questions.
(a)
Portability
(b)
Uniformed Organisations
(c)
Young applicants
(d)
Church Secretaries
(e)
Data Protection
(f)
Other reasons for CRB disclosures
5.5(vi)
Blemished Disclosures – what happens?
5.5(vii)
URC CRB CAS reference group
5.5(viii)
URC CRB CAS flow diagram
5.5(ix)
CRB Code of Practice
5.5(x)
(A)
Secure keeping of information
5.5 (x)
(B)
Secure keeping of information Policy – template
5.5(xi)
Policy for the employment of people with a criminal record – template
5.5(xii)
Statement on the employment of those with a criminal record – template
32
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
42
43
43
45
45
45
45
45
45
46
46
47
49
51
52
55
56
Section 6
6.0
Support and contacts
Additional resources
Links for further information
57
Section 7
7.0
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.4(i)
7.4(ii)
7.5
7.6(i)
7.6(ii)
7.6(iii)
7.6(iv)
7.7
7.8
Templates
Parental Consent form – Visits and medical information
Request to Administer Medication Form
Request for Young Person to Carry His/Her Medication
Application forms
volunteer
paid worker
Monitoring form
Induction practicalities sheet
Induction check list
Job description grid and training log
Seeking a reference – possible letter
Photographs – permission form
‘Safe from Harm’ statement - for letting arrangements
Appendix - Specimen Child Protection policy
Which includes
59
61
62
63
65
69
70
71
73
75
76
77
79
Appendix l – Safe from Harm
Appendix ll – Guidelines for staff working alone
Appendix lll – Incident record form
Appendix lV – Flow chart for dealing with a disclosure of abuse
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
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Good Practice
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3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
Good Practice
1.1
The aim of this pack
is to assist and encourage
safeguarding of children and young people
through
•
•
•
•
Describing what underpins the church’s life with children and young people
Giving information about the continuing development of Good Practice
Offering
–
–
–
–
–
practical advice
action sheets
useful templates
resources list
support and contacts
Enabling local churches to comply with current legislation
This material is written in the light of the understanding that children and young
people are precious, made in God’s image, and to be cherished within the community.
Their wholeness, safe development and wellbeing are a priority.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
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Good Practice
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3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
1.2
WHY Good Practice?
This material is a development of the original Good Practice Pack (1994)
and its editions, additions and updates.
Experience indicates that this material needs to be as user-friendly as possible. Churches
need clear information which can be dealt with speedily and effectively. New legislation
regarding youth and children’s workers and better understanding of proper care for children
and young people (0-18 years) requires fresh responses.
Historical Background
In response to the Children Act 1989 and awareness of the need for some general guidelines,
the United Reformed Church Children’s Work Committee produced material called Good Practice
– A Pack for local churches to help with safeguarding the welfare of children and young people. This
included practical advice about developing a policy for a local church and included a suggested
Volunteer Helper’s Form and an Application, Consent and Medical Form. Packs were distributed
to every church. At its General Assembly in Lancaster in 1994 the following resolution was passed
‘Assembly, recognising the value of the Good Practice Pack, urges every local congregation to
discuss the material as a matter of urgency and to implement the good practice suggested, as
part of the church’s obligations to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of children and
young people involved in its life.’
Many churches took this seriously and responded sensitively.
Support was offered through districts and synods especially from the Youth and Children’s
Work Training Team.
Four further pages, What if – guidelines for churches about child abuse, were added in 1995 and
distributed via the information service to every church. These were then incorporated in
further printings of the pack. An update in 1997 amended some of the original forms.
A further resolution was passed by the General Assembly in Portsmouth in 1997
‘General Assembly resolves to ensure that the aims of the document ‘Good Practice’ are
implemented and monitored in the life of the local churches in the United Reformed Church
through the Provincial Synods and District Councils overseen by the Assembly Youth and
Children’s Work Committee.’
At regular intervals the Youth and Children’s Work Committee of the General Assembly seeks
the assurance of synods that this monitoring is being carried out. Assistance is offered to all
churches in their response to the material.
A second edition of Good Practice – Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church
[green] with a more comprehensive collection of material was published in 2001 to support
local churches in their implementation of their policies. This sold out two print runs and was,
as is this edition, available on the United Reformed Church website.
A significant development since the second edition has been the setting up of the Criminal
Records Bureau. The United Reformed Church joined with nine other denominations to form
the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding to collaborate in the processing of Disclosure forms, to
share safeguarding expertise and to be aware of government policy and resulting practice.
This third edition extends the material gathered previously and seeks to combine much of the
change relating to the Criminal Records Bureau as that system has responded to customer use.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
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Good Practice
HOW to use this pack.
1.3
IF SUBSTANTIAL WORK has already been done using Good Practice 2nd edition [green]
then IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BEGIN AGAIN.
Key changes to check
- the Health and Safety section which has been adjusted in the light of advice from PLATO
- all of the ‘use of Criminal Records Bureau’ additions, including use of the Churches’
Agency for Safeguarding, circulated to local churches during 2002/03/04 have been edited
to be up to date as at April 2004
[It is likely that further changes will need to be notified as they arise. They will be circulated to local
churches and cross-referenced, as before, to the pages given here]
- some modifications have been made to the text throughout to clarify and shorten if
possible
- information has been added, in particular, about use of computers, photographs and local
authority Child Safeguarding Boards.
- the resources and support pages have been updated
- a slightly adjusted version of the specimen Child Protection policy is offered in the light of
experience. The earlier version in edition 2 is still perfectly acceptable to use.
If little attention has been paid to Good Practice earlier editions then –
Give this to the Elders’ Meeting
Have a discussion within the elders’ meeting. Three things need to be done.
1)
Plans should be made to use the material
2)
Everyone should be aware of their part in Good Practice
3)
Good Practice should happen
Possible ways to begin are
a.
Call a special Church Meeting
b.
Set up a small working group
c.
Continue the planning within the elders’ meeting
d.
Invite someone to come and help explore the pack eg YCWTDO
A combination of these may be needed.
The information needed to begin the work is contained in this pack, with suggested action
sheets within the sections. Use the ‘How are you on Good Practice?’ flow diagram and check
list, on the next two pages, to get an overview of the current position.
Every church activity or group, which involves working with children and young people,
should be directly accountable to the elders’ meeting for ensuring that the correct procedures
are understood and in place. Agree that concerns can be aired at any church meeting. There
should be a general session, at least annually, raising awareness and reminding everyone
of responsibilities and previous decisions. Any revisions necessary can also be made. New
legislation may need an immediate response. Alerts to this will be given in Reform and URCHIN
and through the Youth network. Fresh insights may lead to new pages being made available.
Page 10
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
The elders should agree a support structure for each group/worker. This may take the form of
a delegated elder to whom the group/worker can refer with issues or concerns. Many of the
resources to allow this process to happen are contained in later sections of this pack. There is
also a comprehensive list of material, agencies and links to a variety of related topics. More
in-depth information can be reached either directly or on the recommendation of your local
support network through districts and synods.
Districts and synods need to follow the same standards and process in their activities.
Support should be offered to help ensure compliance in local churches.
In parts of the United Reformed Church local co-ordination happens through Area Meetings.
These function as District Councils and are regarded as such in this pack. Recently formed
clusters in some synods need to be aware of how support in the use of Good Practice is
organised for the churches in their group. In Synods where there is no YCWTDO [Youth and
Children’s Training and Development Officer] appointed under the Assembly programme the
synod office can advise about where local churches can find synod support.
SYNOD 1 –
SYNOD 2 –
SYNOD 3 –
SYNOD 4 SYNOD 5 –
SYNOD 6 –
SYNOD 7 –
SYNOD 8 –
SYNOD 9 –
SYNOD 10 –
SYNOD 11 –
SYNOD 12 –
SYNOD 13 –
NORTHERN
NORTH WESTERN
MERSEY
YORKSHIRE
EAST MIDLANDS
WEST MIDLANDS
EASTERN
SOUTH WESTERN
WESSEX
THAMES NORTH
SOUTHERN
WALES
SCOTLAND
0191 232 1168
0161 789 5583
0151 722 6590
0113 289 8490
0115 960 9241
0121 783 1177
01223 830 770
01823 275 470
023 8067 8570
020 7799 5000
020 8688 3730
029 2019 5728
0141 332 7667
Scotland, Wales and England
The general principles outlined in this document should be followed in all local United
Reformed Church congregations. Local variations are indicated where appropriate.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Page 11
Page 12
Ë
Ë
Help! Perhaps consult
another church
( (
Help! Try your YCWT
CHECK
ALL
ADVICE
Local
Ecumenical
Partnerships
Ë
1-3 !
Phone your Synod Youth
and Children’s Work
Trainer for advice and
encouragement.
Enjoy your work with
confidence in your policy
Please be aware that your
insurance company may require
use of the Pack as a condition of
your insurance.
If you have decided not to
use the Pack be prepared
to give your reasons to any
District monitoring group.
It is for
every
church
Good
Practice
is not
only for
churches
where
children
are
involved.
YES
Your local Youth and
Children’s Work trainer
can be contacted
via 020 7916 8683
The Youth and
Children’s Work
remember
Office
Ë
NO
Your church does not fit boxes
( (
Help! Share monitoring
in your District
• check your policy against the
material in the pack
• ensure that the policy and
Good Practice is reviewed
annually - especially important
for newcomers
• establish a monitoring system
• check for new pages and
amendments
• consider ways to share your
Good Practice
with other churches or your
District
YES
Pack and has
an accepted
written policy
Good Practice
Ë
• consider your Good Practice
against the various check lists
• make a note of what you already
do, have in hand, need to begin
• identify your ‘link’ persons
• work towards writing down a Good
Practice Policy for your church take policy to your church meeting
- discuss
• decide on action plan
• contact any useful addresses
• plan a review date
YES
Pack
and is
developing
a policy
Good Practice
NO
Your church has
responded to the
Box 3
Ë
• arrange for Good Practice
to be discussed at an Elders or
other specially called meeting
• ensure that all involved in the
meeting receive pages to be
discussed before the meeting
• arrange for Y & C workers to
discuss pages for them
• become familiar with the
contents of the pack
• decide on plan of action, with
dates
• set ‘review’/report back date
YES
Ë
NO
Your church has
begun to
explore the
Box 2
1.4(i)
Your church
is looking
at the
Good Practice
Pack
for the
first time
Box 1
A quick outline to help you CHECK YOUR CHURCH’S GOOD PRACTICE ... in the United Reformed Church
Good Practice
How are you on Good Practice? - local churches
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
1.4(ii)
How are you on Good Practice? - local leaders
A tick list for those concerned with children and young people
to complete individually, or talk through as a group,
to monitor the response of a local church
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
an application form is completed
references are taken up and vetting procedures completed
a written job description is given
someone is met for regular support and supervision
training opportunities are offered and taken
the church building is checked regularly by the Fire Prevention Officer
there is an active church health and safety group
the church has written guidelines relating to child protection
no one works alone with a child or group of children
the church has a ‘link’ person, who has been trained and is responsible, for taking
further action in the event of an allegation of child abuse
what to do if a child discloses abuse or there are concerns regarding a particular child
has been discussed and is familiar to workers
a medical record for each child is kept and used appropriately
parental consent forms are used appropriately, especially when taking children off-site
the church has insurance cover both on the premises and when off-site
a record is kept of all children, young people and leaders who attend each session
a recognised accident/incident book [eg St John Ambulance] is kept and used
the church’s Good Practice policy is reviewed annually and regularly monitored
and updated
those directly involved with children and young people have an enhanced Disclosure
from the Criminal Records Bureau
After the list has been checked–
If very few of the items have been ticked then
the church probably needs a fresh look at its
policy and practice. Raise the matter at a
leaders’ meeting or with a church officer or elder.
If all the boxes have been ticked keep a
record of the check and do so again in a
year’s time. Be alert to any further action
which might need to be taken.
If most of the items have been ticked decide on
which of the remainder it is appropriate to take
action. Plan what needs to happen to be able
to tick the box.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Page 13
Good Practice
Involvement of Children and Young People
1.4(iii)
Young people can be involved in the decision-making process about the implementation of
much of the material in this pack e.g. on a task group, a discussion within their group, part of
any interviews for workers.
Children need to be aware of some of the provisions made for them e.g. to whom to take
concerns, safety procedures.
The United Reformed Church document ‘Towards a Charter for Children’ was commended by
General Assembly 1990.
In some local churches children shared their comments, in the form of words and pictures,
with church meeting to highlight Good Practice.
The following page gives a pictorial activity
for local churches – BEING SAFE
The aims are –
to share ideas about ‘being safe’
to give an opportunity to check everyone’s understanding of safe actions
to decide what to do about concerns
WHAT TO DO
Photocopy a page for each person or cut the pictures into separate rectangles.
Adapt the method to suit the group –
either
– sit in a circle and discuss issues raised by each picture – or work in several small groups
or
– go, with children, to the item in the picture and talk there about ‘being safe’
Conversation starters might be –
Explain that the idea is to use the pictures to ‘help us all think about being safe’.
Door – When can you go out? Who lets someone in?
Fire extinguisher – Who uses this? What do you do if there is a fire?
Have you done a fire drill?
Water tap – What is important for safety in the cloakroom?
Adult – Do you know the names of your leaders? Do they know you?
Explosion shape – What accidents could happen in this room? Is all the equipment in
good condition?
Mobile phone – If you are worried about something who could you talk to?
Do you know there is a number for children to ring if someone is hurting them?
What other things can you think of about being safe?
This method gives everyone the opportunity to raise what concerns them, often uncovers
a hazard previously overlooked and gives leaders an opportunity to ensure they have
mentioned sensitive issues in a natural way.
Other activities might be -
Draw pictures about what it feels like to be safe.
Act a play about a hazard being avoided just in time.
Page 14
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
Í
BEWARE
SLIPPERY
FLOOR
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
?
How are you BEING SAFE? - everybody
Page 15
Good Practice
WHO is to use this pack.
2
2.0(i)
In the local church:
This is an opportunity for every local congregation to revisit and update, if necessary,
its Good Practice – Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church.
Pilots companies are expected to follow the guidelines of the church in which they meet.
2.0(ii) Beyond the local church:
Ecumenical Co-operation
Within Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and in
secular groupings, youth and children’s officers meet to share information, co-operate on
strategy and make representation to government bodies.
Churches in local ecumenical partnerships need to give attention to all denominational
material. Because structures are different we have to produce separate material.
Local agreement should decide which procedures to follow. There is no United Reformed
Church objection to other denominational material being chosen to follow and likewise any
partnership is welcome to follow this Good Practice edition.
Organisations
Some organisations for children and young people have their own guidelines which they
require their groups to follow. Churches should satisfy themselves that this is the case
and that action is being taken.
FURY Assembly, FURY Council and assembly FURY events follow these guidelines with
appropriate additions.
Residential Centres
United Reformed Church residential centres are expected to have Good Practice policies
and procedures.
When using other residential centres satisfactory responses about policies should be sought.
Organisers of synod and district events should implement Good Practice following these
guidelines.
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3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
2.0(iii)
Workers with children and young people
People are important and valuable resources. All workers with children and young people,
paid, full time, part time and volunteers, are entitled to the same rights and support. Equally,
all have a responsibility to uphold the values that underpin the work and be accountable for
their actions.
This section is designed to provide the basic information required to set in place the human
resources. This means taking into account skills, experience, requirements of the post and
ensuring a good match between the person and the job. This will assist in attracting the most
effective and appropriate people to apply for work with children and young people in local
churches. It will also provide encouragement and affirmation.
As far as possible churches are urged to use the same process for both paid and voluntary
workers. Suggested templates for paid workers and volunteers are included in this pack.
Volunteers and paid workers can use the same application form. However some churches
using Good Practice may feel this to be unsuitable and prefer to use a simplified form for
volunteers. This is also included in this pack.
So, those involved in youth and children’s ministry might be able to say the following things
to each other -
‘It looks like we have the similar forms.’
‘I’m impressed that we’re treated
equally seriously.’
‘We can do some of
our induction together.’
‘We’ve both identified the same training need
so we can go on that course together.’
‘It’s great to have a colleague.’
‘It’s good to be able to have informal
conversations about the work, to find out more,
before offering to do the job.’
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Page 17
Good Practice
2.0(iv) A. Worker’s Recruitment and Selection
In principle all jobs deserve the same attention to detail. It is sensible to make sure that all those
working with children and young people have been recruited to the same high standards. The
‘one-hour-a-week’ volunteer has as many rights and responsibilities as the full time paid youth
or children’s workers. The procedures outlined below should not be difficult or time-consuming
because there are a number of resources, including templates, which are available to use.
••
•
•
•
•
Identify the need for the job
Write the job description and person specification
Prepare the advertisement and decide where to advertise (church magazine, local/
national press, REFORM)
Prepare the application form including questions which will provide answers about all
the information needed about the applicant including church involvement.
Include forms and information sheets in the application pack which cover:
Equal Opportunities Monitoring
References
Identification check
Disclosure of Criminal Convictions
Agreement to apply for Criminal Records Bureau enhanced disclosure
Disability Discrimination Act declaration
Asylum & Immigration Act – covering right to work in the United Kingdom
Information Declaration – about accuracy of information given
Statement employment of those with a criminal record
Statement on the secure-keeping of the CRB information
Follow an established interview process which involves children and/or young people in
the selection and decision-making.
Churches are advised not to fully appoint either a paid or unpaid worker till the CRB process
is complete. Some convictions prevent a person from working with children and young people.
Synod offices may have a person/group with employment expertise. Reference can also be
made here for support in involving an ex-offender in the life of the community [see page 14 of
the specimen Child Protection Policy include in this pack]
See Support and Contacts pages for useful employment resources.
B. Employment
Ensure all posts comply with employment legislation. The Youth and Children’s Work
committee recommends the use of The Good Employment Guide published by The National
Council for Voluntary Organisations. Synod Offices should have a copy for reference.
The appointment group should consider the following:
Personal details
Job Description
Person Specification
Vetting procedures and criminal record checks
Health check
Terms and Conditions of Employment (Use a checklist or a template from one of
the recommended handbooks to make sure these are comprehensive)
Keeping a record showing that all the information you requested has been given
Providing a Behaviour Policy/Code of Conduct
Following an Induction Procedure
Identifying initial training needs
Feedback to unsuccessful applicants
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
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3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT
Overview of Rights Under the Disability Discrimination Act
If you are disabled, or have a disability, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it
unlawful for you to be discriminated against in the areas of:
employment;
access to goods, facilities and services;
and the management, buying or renting of land or property.
The DDA was passed in 1995 to introduce new measures aimed at ending the discrimination
which many disabled people face in these areas.
••
•
In the United Reformed Church, the requirements of the DDA are overseen and monitored by
the Equal Opportunities Committee.
Useful contacts
Disability Rights Commission
Comprehensive information on rights and responsibilities www.drc-gb.org
Including Disabled People – Are Your Events Accessible?
CTE, 27 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HH (020 7529 8141)
Equal Opportunities Committee report 2002
(General Assembly Book of Reports page 49/50)
C. During employment
It is important that workers continue to feel valued and supported in their roles. Children and
young people will benefit as workers grow and develop both personally and professionally.
q
Hold a dedication service which recognises the worth of the post and the commitment
of the worker/s within an act of worship
q
Provide a staff development policy or make provision for development which includes
the following:
Regular work reviews
On-going training needs
Supervision and support
Opportunities to consider change within the context of church and
community activities
Networking/co-operating with other workers in the church and in the
wider community
q
Be quite clear that in the event of any difficulties arising an established framework
will be used for dealing with any issues which occur by having both a grievance and
disciplinary procedure in place
••
••
•
Make sure that everyone is aware and agrees to confidentiality in matters relating to
people when relevant and appropriate. It must be clearly stated when things are to
be kept private and confidential and when they can be discussed openly.
In addition The Data Protection Act 1998 imposes specific requirements. Details are given in
employment handbooks. Information can be obtained from the Information Commissioners
Office. www.informationcommissioner. gov.uk
A Data Protection Act leaflet is available, from Communications and Editorial
(0207 916 8627), giving advice for local churches.
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Good Practice
Confidential information involving the Criminal Records Bureau must be handled properly.
Guidelines are given for doing this in the CRB section.
Guidelines about the use of supervision and support as a means of protecting young people
and children is given at number 6 in the sample Child Protection policy included in this pack.
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Good Practice
WHERE to use this pack.
3
Buildings
Churches have a general responsibility to provide a safe environment and safe conditions for
their employees and contractors, and all who use the building. Special considerations may
apply when the users are children.
Consequently, although they may not be classified as employers under Health and Safety
legislation, churches should have a health and safety policy and take proper measures and
precautions. An important element is to make a “risk assessment” of potential hazards and take
necessary precautions, which may include alterations to buildings. The assessment should be
reviewed periodically. Training courses are available to help people to identify and assess risks.
Leaders of children’s activities should make appropriate assessment of the risks
associated with their activities and the room(s) they use and take appropriate
measures to minimise or manage them. A risk assessment should also be made when
outings or other activities are being held away from the usual meeting place.
Sections 3.1–3.5 below provide some pointers to the subjects to be considered and
actions which may need to be taken. In each case, there may be other things to be
considered in the particular local circumstances.
Further information on health and safety generally is provided in section 271 of the United
Reformed Church Property Handbook (contact your Synod Office or see www.urc.org.uk/
plato), from which an edited extract is reproduced as Practical Steps. The Handbook also gives
a wide range of sources of information on health and safety. The sample Health and Safety
Policy included in Good Practice Two has been withdrawn.
Users of church premises
Many churches allow other organisations to use their premises. User groups have an obligation
similar to churches to follow procedures appropriate to their activities. For activities to which
the Children Act is relevant, the church cannot make the user subject to the church’s own
procedures. It can, however, require the user to have appropriate arrangements in place, and to
refuse or end the use if it becomes apparent that this is not being done.
Churches are recommended to include in their terms of use of rooms a statement on the lines of:
“The user is required to make arrangements for children complying with the
Children Act 1989 and consistent with the recommendations in the Code of Practice
“Safe from Harm” issued by the Home Office”.
If the church uses a booking form, this should have a matching statement by the user
confirming that it has made appropriate arrangements.
In view of the user groups’ own obligations, churches should avoid any impression of
approving the user’s arrangements. Churches which provide user groups with keys to the
premises may wish to require Disclosures in respect of the key holders.
General advice on the use of church premises by other organisations is given in section 651 of
the United Reformed Church Property Handbook (contact your Synod Office or see www.urc.
org.uk/plato).
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Good Practice
3.1
Risk Assessment
Awareness of potential areas of hazard in buildings and activities should be improved.
Possible dangers are anticipated and dealt with in order to minimise the risk of any possible
harm. Regular use of a manageable and simple system can be a very effective safeguard.
Make sure a person/group has the task to undertake risk assessments
q
q
q
q
q
Identify hazard
Decide who might be harmed and how this could happen
Assess the risks and take action to remove or reduce them as far as possible
Record the details and action taken
Check the risks regularly to assess further preventative measures
A column diagram can assist the process
Possible hazard
Action to be taken
By whom
Done
Possible hazards might be – stacks of chairs, hot radiators, power points/cables, window
fastenings, glass doors, splintered wood floors, blocked fire exits, lack of fire escape signs,
debris, missing light bulbs, loose carpet, electrical equipment, loose fittings, uneven floors,
unclean toilets, overfilled cupboards, high shelves, damp, kitchen equipment etc.
3.2
Health and Safety
There is a responsibility to create safe and happy environments for work with children and
young people including a duty to provide proper health and safety measures. Everyone is
responsible for health and safety but workers and employers (the church as the responsible
body) also have particular legal responsibilities, and guidelines built on experience, on which
to act. Detailed information is available from a variety of specialist sources. The information
given here, supplied by PLATO, is provided in order to highlight areas which require
consideration and action.
This is an edited extract from the section 651 of the United Reformed Church Property
Handbook. It describes the actions which churches are recommended to take for protection of
themselves and the users of their buildings.
Practical steps
In view of the different ways in which the Health and Safety at Work etc (HASAW) Act can
apply to churches, and the variety of situations which may be encountered, churches are
recommended to take the following actions. Once put in place, the arrangements etc made
should be reviewed at least annually.
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•
Good Practice
The church’s responsibility for health and safety should be formally acknowledged
by the church meeting and the elders meeting. The day to day responsibility
should be allocated to a committee (not necessarily the elders’ meeting) or
individual.
Agreement between the church and third party users of the premises should
require the users to comply with
HASAW Act requirements so far as applicable to the user
any requirements of the church intended to enable the church to comply with the Act.
The premises and the grounds should be inspected regularly (at least quarterly
is suggested) with an eye for any potential hazards which might otherwise be
overlooked, and including such matters as
the standard of housekeeping (general cleanliness and tidiness)
the adequacy and proper functioning of lighting, heating and ventilation
ease of access and movement, particularly freedom from obstruction of doors
and corridors
electrical equipment and sockets
heating and cooking appliances
Fire and security precautions when a building is being vacated are similar to what
we do in our own homes, especially before holidays
all internal doors closed and all lights off
all possible electrical appliances turned off and, where practicable, unplugged
all sources of heat eliminated (cookers and heaters turned off, no smouldering cigarettes)
all windows and external doors secured
(This routine should be made known to any user of the premises who is entrusted with closing
up at the end of a meeting)
•
••
•
••
•
••
•
Further advice and publications
•
•
•
•
If a church is in doubt about its legal obligations on health and safety, advice should be
sought from the enforcing authority or a specialist adviser. Some Synods have produced
their own guidance on health and safety issues. Inquiries should be made to the Synod
office. There are various public sources of advice on the requirements of health and
safety legislation that are available to churches. These include:
HSE InfoLine, a confidential telephone advice service, operated on behalf of the Health
and Safety Executive, available on: 0541 545500
“Charity and Voluntary Workers: a guide to the Health and Safety at Work etc Act”
(£12.00) and other publications can be obtained from HSE Books, Customer Service
Dept, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk C010 6FS. (01787 881165)
Regularly updated information is available on the Health and Safety Executive web
site www.open.gov.uk/hse/hsehome.htm. There are links to the HSE Books electronic
catalogue from this site; and publications can be ordered on line.
Health and Safety
q
q
q
q
Undertake a safety check
Make sure all rooms used for activities with children and young people are suitable and
adapted for the purpose
Toilets – carry out a risk assessment
Check all equipment regularly especially electrical and activity equipment
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Good Practice
3.3 Security
q
q
q
q
q
q
Ensure that no unauthorised person can gain access
Ensure that children cannot leave the building on their own
Ensure that young people cannot leave the building unchecked
Identify visitors before allowing them access
Make sure children know who are the leaders and their names
Allow no child to leave with someone unknown to the leaders without checking
3.4 Children and Photographs
Concern has been expressed about public access to photographs of children. It would seem
unfortunate if images of children were to disappear from the life of the church. Good sense
suggests that it could be a risk to show pictures which identify individual children by name,
age and telling where they may be found. However children pictured in groups could be
displayed happily in places where a Child Protection policy operates thoroughly and carefully.
For guidelines and permission form see template in Section 7.
3.5
Fire Safety
q
Ensure that the building complies with Fire Safety regulations and guidelines (The Local
Fire Safety Officer will be pleased to advise you). Include in your checks equipment,
exits, regulations and signs which are clearly visible to all.
It may be a good idea to place additional signs, which are easily recognisable by
children, at varying eye levels.
q
All users of the building should be aware of emergency procedures. Regular safety drills
and testing of fire safety equipment must be carried out
q
q
Appoint designated people to be fire marshals and ensure they are properly trained
Page 24
Keep accurate records of all checks, drills and tests
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Good Practice
3.6
First Aid
q
Provide an adequately and appropriately equipped first aid box which is clearly located
and recognisable. Keep it properly stocked
q
Make sure that an accident book is available, properly used and that notifiable incidents
are dealt with correctly
q
q
Ensure information regarding any trained first aiders is readily accessible
q
Make sure ALL are aware where the responsibility for first aid lies. The responsibility
for good practice should be clear in any letting agreements.
Provide a sign giving the nearest available telephone for emergency calls
(First Aid Courses are provided regularly - see support and contacts lists.)
On the advice of PLATO the sample Health and Safety Policy included in Good Practice 2
has been withdrawn. For advice on producing a written Health and Safety Policy please refer
to PLATO.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Page 25
Good Practice
WHEN to use this pack.
4
4.1(i)
Events
In the building
Indoor events raise particular issues which need attention. Some of these can also be found in
the previous section on Buildings.
In organising indoor events attention should be given to check that A phone is available or the location of one is known
A register of those attending is kept
A ‘signing in and out’ procedure is adopted for a youth group
Others, not part of the event, entering the building are monitored
Adults to children ratios are appropriate
q
q
q
q
q
4.1(ii)
Adult/child ratios
Never work alone with a group or individual child/young person.
If you provide activities for under eight’s for two hours or more on a regular basis then seek advice
from your local social services. They will give you support and advice on how to register your group.
There must be enough adults for the numbers of young people/children in the group. The
ratios given below are a minimum and may need to be increased for groups with special needs.
Sometimes an extra adult with a willingness to listen or be an extra pair of hands is invaluable.
Indoor activities
These are ratios for adults to children. On no account should a worker be by themselves.
The minimum number of adults should always be two and preferably three, one of whom
should be female
The ratios required under The Children Act are:
0 to 2 years
1 member of staff to three children
2 to 3 years
1 member of staff to four children
3 to 7 years
1 member of staff to eight children
8 Years and over
The Children Act specifies the ratios for under eight’s. The recommended ratios
for children over eight and young people are:
up to twenty children/young people, two adults (preferably one of each gender)
one additional adult for every one to ten extra children/young people
example:
20 children = 1 male and 1 female adult (at least)
21 children = 1 male and 1 female plus one extra adult
30 children = 1 male and 1 female plus one extra adult
31 children = 1 male and 1 female plus two extra adults
Outdoor activities
Events in the neighbourhood of the building require the same care and attention during the
planning stage. The adult/child ratio should be increased.
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Good Practice
Outdoor activities
0 – 2 years
1 member of staff to 3 children
2 – 3 years
1 member of staff to 4 children
3 – 7 years
1 member of staff to 6 children
Eight to thirteen years
Up to fifteen children/young people, two adults (preferably one of each gender)
One additional adult for every 1 – 8 extra children/young people
Thirteen years and over
Up to twenty young people, two adults (preferably one of each gender)
One additional adult for every 1 – 10 young people.
Going Abroad
The recommended ratio is one adult for every ten young people. It is essential to have male
and female staff for mixed groups. Remember that the programme and nature of the group
need to be taken into consideration and no fewer than three staff should accompany a group
of ten. Monitoring activity in smaller groups with frequent head counts is recommended.
4.1(iii)
Holiday Club
Use this check list to cover some of the corners.
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
Be clear about what you are aiming to do
Gather a planning group
Choose the date. Book the venue
Select theme and gather useful material
Be clear who is responsible for what
Gather other workers and helpers
Follow Good Practice in checking volunteers
Have a least one briefing meeting for helpers
Agree ground rules, explain theme/activities and deal with concerns
Check ratio children to adults. Decide maximum number of children
Plan finances – budget, accounts, receipts
Publicise
Issue and collect parental consent forms
Check insurance
Safety check the premises
Plan refreshments. Health and hygiene.
Security. Sign in. Name badges. Leaders identified
First aid. Emergency telephone
Contact numbers readily available
Gather equipment
Cleaning up materials
What if – anticipate incidents and prepare to be ready to act
What if – someone ‘extra’ turns up e.g. younger brothers or sisters
Have a debrief meeting for leaders. How did it go? What did we learn for next time?
Can you add anything from your experience?
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Good Practice
4.2
In the neighbourhood of the building
For an event taking place outside the building it is necessary to have the parental consent
form completed and returned (see template sample included in this pack). It may be helpful to
specify programme plans for a term to alert parents.
4.3
Further afield
Possibly the most important element of an outdoor activity further afield is the planning.
It is important to highlight:
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
4.4
The reason for the outing/visit and its objectives
Date and duration
Venue It is the organiser’s responsibility to check that the venue and its staff
meets all health and safety requirements
The makeup of the group (Consider any special needs and decide how you will respond
to them)
Appropriate staffing
Resources, including costs
Transport options
Risk assessment
Exploratory visit
Emergency procedures
Insurance
Parental consent and medical forms
Information to and from parents
Preparation of group. It is important that all participants are involved in as
many planning arrangements as appropriate to their age and ability
Evaluation
Specialised Work
Outreach Work
is undertaken from a centre base but involves going out into the community to provide activities
and programme which encourages children and young people to join in the centre based activities.
It may also involve providing programme and activities at venues other than the usual centre
Detached Work
is exactly that – separate from any building or established programme. It usually involves
working on the street or field where young people congregate. It is highly specialised and can
be risky. No one without the relevant training and support systems should carry out this
work and specialist expertise should be sought before any such programme is undertaken
UK Wide events
and activities should all follow the Good Practice Pack. In addition the DfEE guide for
Educational visits should be followed.
International events
All the Good Practice guidelines apply but there will be other considerations to be taken into
account as well. There is a variety of specialist resources available and it is recommended that
advice is sought according to the nature of the trip. A useful contact is the United Reformed
Church International Relations Programme Officer (0207 916 8650)
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Good Practice
4.5
Transport
There are many factors to consider when planning transport for trips and outings such as:
Type of journey, including journey time and distance
Passenger safety
Traffic conditions
Weather
Arrangements for emergencies and breakdowns
Appropriate insurance cover
Stopping places
Supervision
••
••
••
••
The choices are almost unlimited from public transport to private car. There is legislation
covering the use of minibuses. For full details of helpful organisations see the Support and
Contacts section.
Ensure that any check list includes the following:
q
q
q
q
q
The driver is responsible for the vehicle, including health and safety
The organiser is responsible for all travel arrangements including the suitability of hired
vehicles and their drivers
That a risk assessment is undertaken
That children/young people know their responsibilities
Supervisors should have check lists including:
q
q
q
q
q
Rules and regulations governing the trip
Accurate list of participants and relevant personal details
Head counts
Safety
Emergency procedures
q
Ensure that any vehicle is mechanically sound, has all the proper documentation, is
taxed, insured and has a current MOT certificate
q
q
q
q
q
q
Check the credentials of any driver, including health
Passengers must have their own seat and seat belt
Always have at least one other worker in the vehicle
Apply adult/child ratios
Check that all vehicles used are insured for the purpose
Ensure that private vehicles have appropriate cover
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Good Practice
4.6
Behaviour Policy
A Behaviour Policy (Ground rules) may be drafted after consultation with the children/young
people using the organisation and reviewed regularly. It should be available and made known
to children, young people, parents/carers and leaders/staff. It can be revisited and adjusted
regularly as appropriate.
It should cover:
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
How children/young people should/should not behave towards one another
When and where they are free to leave the club/activity/organisation during set times
The procedures for doing so
Whether children are free to leave on their own after the session or if they are to be
collected and by whom
Smoking/drugs/alcohol policy where applicable
Personal relationships between participants
The involvement of parents
Personal belongings
Sanctions that will apply in the event that the code of conduct is broken
Complaints mechanism
Workers may wish to list their own personal code of conduct and review it regularly.
4.7
Parental Responsibility under the Children Act
Churches should be aware of the definition and effect of Parental Responsibility, which was
introduced by the Children Act 1989
Parental Responsibility is concerned with the power to make decisions in relation to a child.
It is defined as
‘all rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child
has in relation to the child and his/her property’
The following people have responsibility under the Children Act
q
q
Page 30
The mother of a child whether married or unmarried
The father of a child if he is married or was married to the mother at the time of
conception or birth
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
q
An unmarried father if he has acquired parental responsibility through a court order or
agreement registered in court
q
q
Any person who holds a residence order in relation to a child
q
The Local Authority shares the responsibility with a parent/parents if a child is the
subject of a care order
The parents of an adopted child
The scope of parental responsibility is changing as new issues arise. Examples include,
consenting to medical treatment, allowing the child to be interviewed.
Each person sharing parental responsibility may act alone, i.e. one parent may act without the
consent of another.
Any person with parental responsibility may delegate some or all of it. The person to whom
the responsibility is delegated ‘may do what is reasonable in all circumstances of the
case for safeguarding or promoting the child’s welfare’
If one parent does not agree with the other about a matter concerning a child, application
through a court should be taken.
This means that if one parent consents to a child taking a trip and the other disagrees, as
far as the organisation is concerned, consent has been given. It is up to the other parent to
apply to the court for an order to stop the child attending, but the organisation would have to
consider its role in the matter very carefully.
Being aware of these pastoral issues and alert to such possibilities may help prevent difficult
situations arising.
The issues are complex and professional advice should be sought in all matters of this nature
Where an organisation is looking after a child for that period the organisation is
responsible for the child and has a duty to safeguard the child’s welfare
Implementation policies
A written record providing the following should be kept:
q
q
q
The child/young persons details, name, address etc.
Details of each person with parental responsibility
Any particular instructions concerning the child/young person (who should collect the
child etc.)
q
Where there are specific instructions all staff should know what they are and how to
carry them out
q
The organisation should have written procedures for recording events, involvement of
police etc. to cover the eventuality of any dispute arising between the parents and the
organisation
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Good Practice
Specific Information
5
5.1(i)
Insurance
Insurance cover is required to protect property, staff, volunteers and participants
against the risks associated with all activities. The level of cover must be adequate
and reviewed annually
Public Liability insurance provides cover against the risk of injury to others.
Employer’s Liability provides cover for the risk of injury to employees.
Satisfactory arrangements should always be made to ensure that all participants are covered
by insurance in the event of an accident or incident. The type of cover required will vary for
different activities but the following are examples of what may be required:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Public and employers liability
Personal accident cover for staff, (paid and unpaid) other adults, children and
young people
Specialised risk activities (mountaineering etc)
Damage or loss of equipment (own and hired)
Compensation against cancellation and delay
Compensation for loss of baggage, personal effects and money
Legal assistance in the recovery of claims
Additional cover for travel abroad
Check that any other organisation, travel company or transport company has adequate
insurance in place
Insurance matters can be extremely complex – these suggestions are designed to assist and no
responsibility can be taken for individual insurance matters.
q
General Assembly Youth and Children’s Work appointed staff
e.g. YCWTDOs; Secretary for Youth Work; Pilots Development Officer;
Children’s Advocate etc.
United Reformed Church Insurance is in place for Assembly appointed staff to organise and
lead nationally arranged events.
q
Synods and districts
The United Reformed Church insurance mentioned above does not cover synod or district
events. Check what insurance is in place in the synod/district.
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Good Practice
5.1(ii)
Insurance - Local churches
All local churches should have their own insurance cover.
If the cover is comprehensive cover for churches issued by the Ecumenical Insurance Company
Ltd or the Congregational General Insurance Company plc all normal events will be held
covered for public liability.
If the event is unusual i.e. involves a dangerous activity such as rock-climbing, skydiving,
bungee jumping or lion-taming further insurance may be necessary.
It is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure that appropriate and adequate
insurance is in place.
A local church can extend its cover to include an event if it is not already covered. There may
be an additional premium to pay.
q
q
q
q
Consult the Church Secretary/Treasurer.
Add the additional cost into the budget for the event.
Complete a risk assessment for the event.
Make sure the insurers have all the event details.
Any insurance company can be approached with the request for a quote for insurance
for one-off events. It would almost certainly be cheaper for your church’s insurance
company to extend cover than for an approach to be made to another insurance company.
Short-term insurance is expensive, and particularly expensive if there are no links between
the insurance company and the insured.
Always check direct with the insurance company if there is any doubt about the
cover.
Any synod or district event should be properly insured. Consult the Synod Clerk or District
Secretary to establish if there is insurance in place which could provide extended cover.
If there is no insurance, follow procedures as for a local church.
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
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Good Practice
5.2
Websites and internet
Consider
protecting children and young people from unsuitable material
appropriate use of photographs of children on church web pages
awareness of chat room vulnerability
q
q
q
Comprehensive guidance is contained in the DfEE document Superhighway Safety
and can be accessed on the internet. See resources section.
As the use of IT expands further government legislation may emerge.
Proper use of computer by adults.
This material has been added to this edition of Good Practice, from information circulated
to all churches, as it became clear, from the prosecution of individuals downloading child
pornography, that churches also needed to be aware of the possibility of improper use by
leaders. The fact that this advice is given here and the knowledge that it could be used may
prevent inappropriate use.
Checking Computers for Improper use
1.
Press start
2.
Press Find (windows 95/98 systems) Search (windows 2000/XP systems)
3.
Press Files or Folders
4.
In the Find What area (windows 95/98) Search For area (Windows 2000/XP) type any
ONE of the following:
*.mpg - this will find possible movies
*.avi - this will find another class of movies
*.jpg - this will find photographs
*.gif
- this will find another class of photographs
*.bmp - this will find another class of photographs
5.
6.
7.
In the Look In area type, click on My Computer
Click on the Find/Search Now button
A list of files that match the criteria will slowly build. When the build finished, double
click on each file in turn to open it and see what it contains.
Notes:
1.
Quite often, downloaded files will be found in the Windows temporary folder – check
these out first.
2.
Yes, this is a laborious and painstaking process, as there are many legitimate files on
every computer with these file endings. A local church which realised its vulnerability
carried out this procedure on its unprotected computer and discovered 5000 files to
check. A safety programme is now installed.
Preventing Improper use of Computers
There is a downloadable programme called Internet Eraser that will overwrite and delete
temporary internet files. This will not show up files, but its appearance (or similar
programmes) on your disk is a likely indicator that previous users have been using the
computer improperly, but will have deleted the files.
Once the computer has been checked or when beginning with a new computer, then a ‘netnanny’ should be put in place that would stop the downloading of pornographic and casino/
betting sites. They can be probably set up to alert another user on the network that the
Internet has been used in this way, who was logged on and at what time.
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Good Practice
5.3
Medical Guidance
Churches, districts and synods should formulate their own policy for supporting children and
young people with medical needs to enable them to participate in events, activities, trips and
residential visits. [First Aid advice is given in an earlier section]
Parents and guardians have prime responsibility for their child’s health and should provide
information about their child’s medical condition. Medical and consent forms are used for
this purpose. A template is given in this pack.
‘There is no legal duty which requires workers to administer medication, this is a voluntary
role.’ DfEE guidelines.
Emergency procedures should be clearly understood. e.g. peanut allergies or diabetic comas
Detailed information can be found in ‘A Good Practice Guide for supporting pupils
with medical needs’ produced by the Department for Education and Employment.
The Health and Safety policy should include procedures for supporting children and young
people with medical needs.
Insurance cover should be in place for workers supporting children and young people with
medical needs and those workers should know they are properly indemnified.
Appropriate and relevant training must be available to offer support for workers who
volunteer to administer medication.
The following points are intended to give assistance in drawing up a policy BUT DO ENSURE
THAT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY HAS ACCEPTED IT
•
••
••
••
••
••
The Policy should be clear, understood and accepted by workers, parents/carers and
children/young people
It should state whether workers are prepared to supervise or give medication
The circumstances in which children/young people may take non-prescription
medicines e.g. pain-killers
How to assist long term or complex medical needs
The need for medical and consent forms
Policy on children/young people carrying and taking medication themselves
Training for workers
Record keeping
Storage and access to medication
Emergency procedures
Special arrangements for trips and residential activities
Keep a record of medication for each child.
Medication Record
Name:
List of medicines:
Instructions for administering:
Date, time and record of dose for each use of medicine with signature of person
administering/overseeing the procedure:
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Good Practice
5.4
Child Protection
The United Reformed Church aims to
‘implement the Good Practice Pack as part of the church’s obligations to take all reasonable
steps to ensure the safety of children and young people involved in its life’.
(General Assembly 1994).
All adults in the church, including workers paid and unpaid, need to be responsible for
creating a safe, caring, Christian environment which prevents the neglect, physical, sexual or
emotional abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
A system for reporting and dealing with any alleged or suspected cases of abuse must be in
place and understood by everyone.
There is a specimen policy included as an appendix to this pack. It is recommended that
this Child Protection Policy be considered and discussed in the ways suggested within the
appendix and developed by churches, districts and synods as relevant to their needs.
Make sure your church/district/synod has a Child Protection Policy which is known
and understood by everyone
‘Link’ People (with responsibility to act in matters of child protection)
Two people should be identified by the congregation to act as ‘link’ people. Their role is to be
a point of reference, advice and agreed action in the event of any concerns regarding children
and young people. Neither should be the minister who may need to fulfil a supportive role
to all involved. They may have some previous relevant experience or connection with social
services. They should be trained to provide advice and support about concerns relating to child
abuse. It is important to separate responsibilities for pastoral support and action involving
authorities. Where to find support in the district, synod and through Social Services should
be clear.
Acceptable adult behaviour
Leaders are sometimes concerned about what is considered an appropriate physical contact
with a child or young person. The following quote is from the Home Office Document ‘Caring
for young people and the vulnerable? – Guidance for preventing abuse of trust’.
‘. . . some behaviour such as cuddling another person when they are hurt or distressed or spontaneous
activity such as celebratory embraces, for example on the sports’ field, would not normally be
construed as sexual.’
It is important to sustain wholesome physical interaction for the wellbeing of children and
young people, which is transparent and in public view. However physical contact is to be
avoided whenever possible if a child is in the sole care of an adult.
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5.5
Criminal Records Bureau
This section contains edited material from that shared with local churches during
2003/03/04
5.5(i)
Background to the United Reformed Church use of the Criminal Records Bureau
[CRB]
5.5(ii)
Guidance for use of the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding [CAS]
5.5(iii) CAS applicant form
5.5(iv) CAS Verification of Identity form
5.5(v)
Specific items about CRB/CAS use. Frequently asked questions
a)
Portability
b)
Uniformed Organisations
c)
Young applicants
d)
Church Secretaries
e)
Data Protection
f)
Less usual reasons for Disclosure
5.5(vi) Blemished disclosures – what happens
5.5(vii) URC CRB CAS reference group
5.5(viii) CRB CAS Flow Diagram
5.5(ix) CRB Code of Practice which their regulations require be shared with all local churches
This code of practice requires several written policies – templates are included here:
5.5(x)
Secure keeping of information policy. Template.
5.5(xi) Policy and guidelines for the employment of people with a criminal record. Template.
5.5(xii) Statement on the employment of those with a criminal record. Template.
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How UNITED REFORMED CHURCHES can
USE the CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU (CRB)
5.5(i)
WHAT IS THE CRB?
The CRB is an executive agency of the Home Office. Its primary purpose is to help employers
and voluntary organisations make safer recruitment decisions. The CRB helps identify
prospective candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving
contact with children or other vulnerable members of society.
The CRB helps to protect the public through a service introduced in 2002 called Disclosure.
This service improves access to criminal records and other relevant information held by the
police and by government departments.
The CRB protects the right of all citizens to have this information treated sensitively and
confidentially
The CRB operates in England and Wales, and is located in Liverpool. Further information
about the CRB can be found on its website www.crb.gov.uk There is also a Scottish Criminal
Records Office (SCRO) www.disclosurescotland.co.uk
ECUMENICAL CO-OPERATION
Several networks exist where information and experience can be shared.
The Consultative Group on Ministry among Children meets regularly and was a significant
link in the churches’ liaison with the Home Office and the government Interdepartmental
Group looking at the setting up of the CRB.
The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services has a role in lobbying and training. Along
with the Scout Association, lobbying was successful in persuading the government that using
the CRB should be free for volunteers.
Meetings were held for leaders in the Free Churches Council and child protection has been on
the agenda of churches’ representatives in Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).
A series of ecumenical meetings of church house staff with concern for CRB issues to explore
common areas of interest, including meeting CRB staff, was held over the year leading up to
the introduction of the CRB. These meetings led to the setting up of a new network – CTBI
Churches Safeguarding Forum. This will maintain sharing of information and expertise and
note standard criteria for action and response in CRB matters. Within this network there will
be sub groups meeting in the ‘four nations’. The United Reformed Church is represented on
the groups in Wales, Scotland and England.
The Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding meets regularly to support local churches in the use of
the CRB.
KEEP A SENSE OF PROPORTION
Using the CRB will not, of itself, safeguard our children and young people.
The majority of those posing a risk are not on any register. Local churches need to act
properly, sensitively and conscientiously in their day to day activities to offer a safe
environment. Using the CRB is a small part of that.
Those concerned with children and young people in local churches can use the Criminal
Records Bureau to obtain a Disclosure. The United Reformed Church works through
the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding, which acts as the Registered Body, for Youth and
Children’s Workers, lay workers and District recognised lay preachers. Disclosures may also be
obtained by other routes if wished.
[Ministers, CRCWs and Nationally Accredited lay preachers use the United Reformed Church
Ministries Office and receive information from that office.]
Who can apply for a Disclosure – and when?
In the first instance, to avoid system overload, only new workers could apply for Disclosures.
From January 2004 existing workers in the United Reformed Church could apply in the month
of their birth during that year. From January 2005 anyone can apply at any time.
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The United Reformed Church - FEBRUARY 2004
[this supersedes all previous information]
5.5(ii)
Guidance for Youth and Children’s Workers using the
CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU
Disclosure Application Process for England & Wales
[Scotland, see over]
This information is to help everyone complete the Disclosure application form correctly. Over the winter of 03/04
there was a high error rate as people tackled an unfamiliar form. This has cost implications for denominations.
The process also works more slowly.
The Church - The denomination or the local Church should have agreed that a person
is to be appointed as a volunteer or employee and has:
••
••
Decided upon the level of Disclosure needed and informed the Applicant
Given the Applicant a copy of the notes below
Discussed with the Applicant which forms of identification they will require for verification
Checked for recent updates of information since the issues of these guidelines
Applicant
1.
Telephone the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) on 0870 90 90 844 between 8am and
10pm weekdays, 10am and 6pm at weekends. Giving:
•
•
•
2.
•
•
3.
••
••
•
The Registered Body name which is:
Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding (CAS)/Methodist Council and the number is –
20625600000
The level of Disclosure you require, Standard or Enhanced [paid or volunteer youth and
children’s workers require an ‘enhanced’ disclosure]
Answers to the questions asked by the CRB operator (they are to confirm your identity)
When the Disclosure application arrives please read the CRB guidance notes and then
check that the pre-printed areas are correct and that you have inserted your middle
name, if necessary. If an area is not correct, please follow advice below:
Personal details please cross the error through and write the correct information beside
it or in a blank space near
If the level of Disclosure required and/or registered body number 20625600000 is
incorrect they cannot be manually amended and you need to telephone the CRB
again asking them to reprint your application form with the amended details
Complete the form in Black ink (blue will be rejected by the scanner), giving special
attention to the following areas:
Do not use any correction fluid anywhere on the form
Section B, line 13 & 14. Your ‘position applied for’ needs to indicate that you
work with children and/or youth. It is never correct for it to be ‘Churches’ Agency for
Safeguarding/Methodist Council’. The organization’s name is usually the name of the
Church or Body in which you will be serving
Make clear if you are a volunteer or paid eg ‘volunteer children’s worker’
Pay careful attention to listing addresses for the last 5 years in full. Please use a
separate sheet if necessary
Ignore sections E, F, G also X [which the Verifier completes], and leave Y and Z [for CAS
as countersignatory].
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4.
Take your form and your documents to the Verifier.
[In the United Reformed Church this is the Church Secretary.]
Local United Reformed Churches who wish to be responsible for bundles of ten or more
CRB Disclosure application forms can apply direct to the CAS 020 7467 5216 [The Youth and
Children’s Ministry Office of the United Reformed Church does not hold or deal with any CRB forms
at any time] The Church Secretary, as verifier of identity, is the authorised person to obtain
these forms. A clear record needs to be kept. When telephoning the CAS be prepared to give
the Church name and number [from the Year Book]. The forms should not be widely used for
training purposes, but one form could be copied and annotated – having blanked out the
reference number.
The main route for obtaining Disclosure forms continues to be from the Criminal Records
Bureau.
Verifier
1.
Please check Good Practice – Safeguarding children and young people in the church to confirm
how many forms of identification are needed. [There is a CAS Documentary evidence of
identity form.] Ensure that the documents relate to the applicant, show correct details,
appear genuine and have not been altered in any way
2.
Insert the document details in section X, pay close attention to the format indicated on
the form.
3.
Please check the address details as stated on at least TWO of the documents and place a
cross at line 15, section X.
4.
Write your name at line 16, section X. Do not complete anything in section Y and Z.
CAS is the countersignatory.
5.
Dependant on the documents presented you may need to use a Documentary Evidence
Sheet, sent to all churches in April 2003, which is available in the Good Practice pack
and on the United Reformed Church website. Make sure that the Applicant’s name
and the Disclosure application reference number is on the sheet. Please sign the
Documentary Evidence sheet and then print your name underneath.
6.
Complete a CAS form with the Applicant. CAS forms are available in the Good Practice
pack [available from URC book shop or on the website].
7.
If the Applicant is employed then a cheque made [payable to ‘The Methodist Church
Fund’ needs to be enclosed, £29.00 for an Enhanced or £24.00 for a Standard Disclosure.
[Costs from April 2004 will be higher £33 and £28 respectively.] NOTE: THESE COSTS
ARE LIABLE TO CHANGE. Please check for latest figures on the CAS website
www.churchsafe.org.uk
8.
The Applicant then sends the CRB Disclosure application form [with CAS form and
verification of identity form] to
Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR
Do not send anything to the CRB directly.
If you have any specific questions about a Disclosure Application returned by the CAS please
contact the. 020 7467 5216 All other questions about Good Practice should be made to the
Youth & Children’s Work office (020 7916 8683) or your YCWTDO.
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For Scotland:
Local United Reformed Churches can obtain a Central Registered Body in Scotland (CRBS)
Disclosure form by telephoning or writing to the CAS. You will receive an application form
and a covering sheet in the form of an envelope, together with a sheet of guidance notes.
Complete the application form. The purpose of the questions is to confirm your identity. Use
the CAS guidance notes to assist you to complete the form alongside the Guidance Notes from
the CRBS.(There is no telephone route for the obtaining the CRBS form from the CRBS as in
England or Wales.)
If the post for which you are obtaining a Disclosure is a paid one the fee is £13.60. The cheque
should be made payable to ‘The Methodist Church Fund’, not to the CRBS. (It is possible that
your church will pay this charge on your behalf).
Take the form to your Church Secretary. Their job is simply to verify your identity. Along
with the form take your birth certificate, passport, driving licence or photo driving licence
and proof of your current address, such as a recent utility bill, credit card statement, bank
statement, mortgage or insurance statement.
The person verifying your identity will complete F4 and put their name and address on the form
for the CAS. S/he will retain the bottom part of the form. The CAS is the countersignatory.
Send the CRBS application form, the CAS form and, if applying for a paid post, the cheque, in
a sealed envelope to:
The Child Protection Registration Officer
The Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding
25 Marylebone Road
LONDON NW1 5JR
Mark your envelope ‘strictly private and confidential’. Send it by first class post. Do not send
anything to the CRBS.
The CAS will check your CRBS form, countersign it, and send it to the CRBS.
_________________________________________________
Following up your Application – England, Wales and Scotland - and the Results
Your application will be checked by the CAS office and if everything is completed correctly will
be sent by them to the CRB. If any error is found, unfortunately your form will be returned.
When you receive an unblemished Disclosure from the CRB, you and your Verifier will then
shortly afterwards receive a letter from CAS as well. If this does not happen then please
contact the CAS office.
If you receive notification of a blemished disclosure you will receive a letter from the CAS
asking you to confirm its accuracy. The United Reformed Church CRBCAS reference group
[see later page in this section] will be informed of the delay and a process will be put into place
to support you and your church in appropriate action
If you have been waiting 8 weeks since sending your Disclosure application form to CAS and
have heard nothing then please contact the CAS office on: Tel: 020 7467 5216 or 5265 or
5206 or 5189 or 5280 Email: [email protected]
Refer to the website for the newest guidance on www.churchsafe.org.uk
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5.5(iii)
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DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE OF IDENTITY
5.5(iv)
Applicants Name
:
Disclosure Form Reference number
Registered body number
:
:
20625600000
Group 1 Documents
Verifier please tick the box below indicating
the original documents seen.
¸
Valid Passport (any nationality)
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
UK Driving Licence (either photocard or paper)
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
Original UK Birth Certificate (issued within 12 months of date of birth)
(full or short form acceptable)
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
Valid photo identity card (EU countries only)
Group 2 Documents
Marriage certificate
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
Non-original UK birth certificate (issued after 12 months of date of birth)
(full or short form acceptable)
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
P45/P60**
Please insert details on the Disclosure
application form
Bank or building society statement*
Utility bill (electricity, gas, water, telephone including mobile phone
contract / bill)*
Valid TV Licence
Credit card statement*
Store card statement*
Mortgage statement**
Valid insurance certificate
Correspondence or a document from; the Benefits Agency; the
Employment Service; the Inland Revenue; or a Local Authority*
Financial statement (e.g. pension, endowment, ISA)**
Valid vehicle registration document
Mail order catalogue statement*
Court summons**
Valid NHS Card
Addressed payslip*
National Insurance number card
Exam certificate (eg GCSE, NVQ)
Child benefit book**
Connexions card
Certificate of British nationality
Work permit / visa**
*documentation should be less than 3 months old **issued within the past 12 months
Signature of Verifier………………......................…………………
Please print name………………………….....................…………..
[This form should be sent with the CAS form and the CRB Disclosure form to the CAS]
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Good Practice
5.5(v)
SPECIFIC ITEMS ABOUT CRB/CAS PROCEDURES
Frequently asked questions a)
Transferability or Portability of Disclosures.
Can a disclosure acquired by an applicant for one situation be used for another?
In the early stages of the use of the CRB then a Disclosure issued within the previous year was
considered re-usable. The checks of identity still needed to be made. Experience showed loopholes
in this procedure and now advice from the CRB is that a three month maximum is recommended.
Again re-checking of identity is required. It may be less complex to simply re-apply.
Local churches are free to decide that this is over-elaborate and accept Disclosures within what
seems to them a reasonable time-scale, say a year, if the person has been known in the community
for some time. Careful identity checks still need to be made and a record kept of the action and
reasoning. For newcomers the church should want to follow the CRB advice more rigorously.
b)
Uniformed Organisations
Does the local church take responsibility for assisting in the application for disclosures? In Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades –
YES – both the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade organisations have indicated their expectation
that local leaders will use their local church procedure.
In Scouts/Guides –
NO – these organisations have their own procedures
c)
Young leaders
At what age can ‘leaders’ apply for disclosures?
Disclosures are available for 10-18yr olds. It is suggested that 16yrs old might be a reasonable
age for a local church to appoint a ‘young leader’ and therefore require a Disclosure. However
although the young person may well exercise considerable responsibility in activities etc they
should not count as an ‘adult’ in adult/child ratios and should always work alongside leaders
who are over 18 yrs old.
d)
Church Secretaries
If a Church Secretary requires a Disclosure then the assistance of a neighbouring Church
Secretary should be sought to verify identity and sign using the neighbouring church number.
e)
Local advice
Area Child Protection Committees [ACPC]
In some parts of the country these groups [usually drawn from Social Service, Police,
Education Departments, Health Services, Probation Services, Housing and voluntary
organisations] are a useful network for providing support, sharing training and encouraging
the development of expertise. Your local Social Services department can advise.
Following the Children Bill, passing through parliament in Spring 2004, these may be renamed Child Safeguarding Boards and be required by law to link up information relating to
children at risk. Local Social services departments can give advice about the stage in their area.
f)
Less usual reasons for Disclosures
Various circumstances, beyond the usual local church youth and children’s worker role,
may mean that people from local churches need a Disclosure. The key questions is ‘Which
organisation is responsible for their being in that role?’ That is then the body through which
the Disclosure should be obtained. [eg a local authority]
If the lay ministry is being exercised through the local church [eg ecumenical after-school play
scheme] then the normal CAS route for youth and children’s workers can be used.
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A blemished Disclosure - What happens?
5.5(vi)
This process is overseen by the CRB CAS reference group in partnership with the Churches’
Agency for Safeguarding. Church Secretaries will receive appropriate information as
it is required. Each Disclosure is unique. General principles are applied to a variety of
circumstances in a conscientious and supportive way. Clear records of all actions taken are
kept in accordance with the CRB Code of Practice.
The United Reformed Church Reference Group
5.5(vii)
Mission Council, acting for the General Assembly, following information in November 2003,
in January 2004 appointed a Criminal Records Bureau (Churches Agency for Safeguarding)
Reference Group to advise on child protection issues, and with the following terms of reference:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
to maintain an overview of the policy offered to local churches with regard to Criminal
Records Bureau disclosures and to make recommendations regarding the development
of policy and practice, including the use of the Churches Agency for Safeguarding.
to outline principles and monitor current practice in synods when responding to child
protection concerns in support of local churches in their implementation of Good
Practice.
to establish and monitor a process which supports churches in response to the receipt of
a blemished Disclosure for a local worker/volunteer.
to ensure support for local churches during times of sensitive action regarding child
protection.
to monitor and advise on the training provision offered to relevant synod and
Assembly-appointed staff regarding sensitive child protection issues.
to advise the General Secretary and Secretary for Ministries in circumstances where
blemished Disclosures are received concerning ministers, CRCWs and nationallyaccredited lay preachers.
to act as a reflecting group for Assembly-appointed staff with child protection
responsibility.
The Reference group shall be responsible to Mission Council through the Mission Council
Advisory Group.
_____________________
There is material circulated to appropriate synod officers to support responses to highly
sensitive situations related to safeguarding children and young people. This is regularly
reviewed in the light of experience.
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use of CAS/CRB. FLOW DIAGRAM
5.5(viii)
CHURCH plans to
appoint worker.
Identifies level of
Disclosure and
advises Applicant
CHURCH completes
Volunteer Contract/
Agreement.
Applicant signs
Application
Registration Form &
Volunteer Contract/
Agreement held on
file by the CHURCH
DESIGNATED
PERSON verifies
identity of Applicant
& completes CAS
Form and CAS
Verification of
Identity form
APPLICANT
completes
Application
Registration Form
CRB validates
identity and sends
form to Applicant
APPLICANT
completes CRB
form following CRB
guidelines
APPLICANT sends
CRB form and both
CAS forms to CAS
CAS countersigns
CRB form and sends
it to CRB
*
*
If all clear, CAS
informs Applicant &
Designated Person
)
APPLICANT
requests Disclosure
Form from CRB
CAS Checks
Disclosure
CRB issues
Disclosure to
Applicant & CAS
If problem
exists, CAS
informs relevant
denomination
CAS informs
Applicant and
Designated Person
of delay
*
DESIGNATED
PERSON advises
Church of Decision
URC CRB/CAS
Reference Group
considers whether
appointment can/
should be made
CHURCH
appoints Applicant
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
CRB Checks
application
Reference Group
liaises with
Designated Person
and with CAS
Ä
x
*
*
DESIGNATED
PERSON informs
Church of advice
CHURCH might not
make appointment
Local support may
be requested/
offered.
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CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU – CODE OF PRACTICE
5.5(ix)
– for information for local churches and use of the ‘designated person’ verifying the applicant’s identity
[A further explanatory guide to the Code of Practice can be found on the Disclosure
Website of the Criminal Records Bureau]
This Code of Practice is published under section 122 of the Police Act 1997 (‘The Act’)
in connection with the use of information provided to registered persons (‘Disclosure
information’) under Part V of that Act.
•
•
•
••
•
••
Disclosure information is information
contained in criminal record certificates under section 113 of the Act (which are
referred to in this Code as "Standard Disclosures"), or
contained in enhanced criminal record certificates under section 115 of the Act
(referred to in this Code as "Enhanced Disclosures"), or
provided by the police under section 115(8) of the Act.
Except where indicated otherwise, the Code of Practice applies to all recipients of Disclosure
information - that is to say
registered persons,
those countersigning Disclosure applications on behalf of registered persons, and
others receiving such information.
Where reference is made to "employers", this should be read as including any person at whose
request a registered person has countersigned an application, including
voluntary organisations and others engaging, or using the services of, volunteers, and
regulatory and licensing bodies.
Further information in relation to the Code, and other matters relating to registered
persons and others having an involvement with Disclosure information, is contained in an
Explanatory Guide.
Purpose of the Code
The Code of Practice is intended to ensure - and to provide assurance to those applying for
Standard and Enhanced Disclosures - that the information released will be used fairly.
The Code also seeks to ensure that sensitive personal information is handled and stored
appropriately and is kept for only as long as necessary. Guidance to employers on other
matters will be issued separately.
Obligations of the Code
These are as follows:
1.
Fair use of Disclosure information
Recipients of Disclosure information shall:
observe guidance issued or supported by the Criminal Records Bureau ("the Bureau")
on the use of Disclosure information - and, in particular, recipients of Disclosure
information shall not unfairly discriminate against the subject of Disclosure
information on the basis of conviction or other details revealed.
In the interest of the proper use of Disclosure information and for the reassurance of persons
who are the subject of Disclosure information, registered persons shall
have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, so that a copy can be given to
all applicants for positions where a Disclosure will be requested.
ensure that a body or individual at whose request applications for Disclosures are
countersigned has such a written policy and, if necessary, provide a model for that body
or individual to use.
In order that persons who are, or who may be, the subject of Disclosure information are made
aware of the use of such information, and be reassured, Employers shall
ensure that application forms for positions where Disclosures will be requested contain
a statement that a Disclosure will be requested in the event of a successful application,
so that applicants are aware of the situation;
•
•
•
•
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•
•
•
•
include in application forms or accompanying material a statement to the effect that a
criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position, in order to reassure
applicants that Disclosure information will not be used unfairly;
discuss any matters revealed in Disclosure information with the person seeking the
position before withdrawing an offer of employment.
make every subject of a Disclosure aware of the existence of this Code of Practice, and
make a copy available on request; and
in order to assist staff to make appropriate use of Disclosure information in reaching
decisions, make available guidance in relation to the employment and fair treatment of
ex-offenders and to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
2.
Handling of Disclosure information
Recipients of Disclosure information
must ensure that Disclosure information is not passed to persons not authorised to
receive it under section 124 of the Act. Under section 124, unauthorised Disclosure is
an offence;
must ensure that Disclosures and the information they contain are available only to
those who need to have access in the course of their duties;
must securely store Disclosures and the information that they contain;
should retain neither Disclosures nor a record of Disclosure information contained
within them for longer than is required for the particular purpose. In general, this
should be no later than six months after the date on which recruitment or other
relevant decisions have been taken, or after the date on which any dispute about
the accuracy of the Disclosure information has been resolved. This period should
be exceeded only in very exceptional circumstances which justify retention for a
longer period.
Registered persons shall
have a written security policy covering the correct handling and safe-keeping of
Disclosure information; and
ensure that a body or individual at whose request applications for Disclosures are
countersigned has such a written policy, and, if necessary, provide a model for that
body or individual to adopt.
•
•
••
•
•
3.
Assurance
Registered persons shall:
cooperate with requests from the Bureau to undertake assurance checks as to the proper
use and safekeeping of Disclosure information.
report to the Bureau any suspected malpractice in relation to this Code of Practice or
any suspected offences in relation to the misuse of Disclosures.
•
•
4.
(a)
(b)
(c)
Umbrella Bodies
An Umbrella Body is one which has registered with the Bureau on the basis that it will
countersign applications on behalf of others who are not registered.
Umbrella Bodies must satisfy themselves that those on whose behalf they intend to
countersign applications are likely to ask exempted questions under the Exceptions
Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Umbrella Bodies must take reasonable steps to ensure that those to whom they pass
Disclosure information observe the Code of Practice.
5.
Failure to comply with the Code of Practice
The Bureau is empowered to refuse to issue a Disclosure if it believes that
a registered person, or
someone on whose behalf a registered person has acted has failed to comply with the
Code of Practice.
••
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A
5.5(x)
SECURE KEEPING OF INFORMATION
Criminal Records Bureau - Privacy Statement
The CRB is fully committed to compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
The following principles will apply when we handle your personal information:
Overall Principles
Your personal information is only processed with your knowledge
Only information that we actually need is collected and processed
Your personal information is only seen by those who need it to do their jobs
Personal information is retained only for as long as it is required
Decisions affecting you are made on the basis of reliable and up to
date information
Your information is protected from unauthorised or accidental disclosure
We will provide you with a copy of your personal information on request
Inaccurate or misleading data will be corrected as soon as possible
Procedures are in place for dealing promptly with any disputes
••
••
•
••
••
Local churches should implement this – paying particular attention to
1)
keeping CAS disclosure slips only until a response is received.
2)
Being clear who has responsibility for secure keeping of forms and how it will be done
3)
Destroying response forms after action on them has been taken [ie appointment made
and probationary period completed or any dispute over accuracy settled] BUT keeping a
record that a Disclosure was sought.
A Sample sheet is given overleaf of a method of
Recording the handling of CRB Disclosures
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Good Practice
B
5.5(x)
SECURE KEEPING OF INFORMATION
It is good practice to ensure that all sensitive material of a personal nature is kept securely and carefully.
The Criminal Records Bureau Code of Practice requires that those using their services have a written policy.
The Churches Agency for Safeguarding might be seen to be in breach of the CRB Code of Practice if local
churches do not have such a policy and operate it carefully.
[SAMPLE] POLICY STATEMENT
on the secure storage, handling, use, retention & disposal of Disclosures &
Disclosure information
General principles
As an organisation using the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service to help assess the suitability of
applicants for positions of trust, ___________________________________________________local church,
complies fully with the CRB Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal
of Disclosures and Disclosure information. It also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act
and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use storage, retention and disposal of Disclosure
information and has a written policy on these matters, which is available to those who wish to see it on request.
Storage & Access
Disclosure information is never kept on an applicant’s personnel file and is always kept separately and securely, in
lockable, non-portable, storage containers with access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to
see it as part of their duties.
Handling
In accordance with section 1245 of the Police Act 1997, Disclosure information is only passed to those who are
authorised to receive it in the course of their duties. We maintain a record of all those to whom Disclosures or
Disclosure information has been revealed and we recognise that it is a criminal offence to pass this information
to anyone who is not entitled to receive it.
Usage
Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the
applicant’s full consent has been given.
Retention
Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, we do not keep Disclosure information for
any longer than is absolutely necessary. This is generally for a period of up to six months, to allow for the
consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints. If, in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered
necessary to keep Disclosure information for longer than six-months, we will consult the CRB about this and will
give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights individual subject before doing so. Throughout
this time, the usual conditions regarding safe storage and strictly controlled access will prevail.
Disposal
Once the retention period has elapsed, we will ensure that any Disclosure information is immediately suitably
destroyed by secure means, i.e. by shredding, pulping or burning. While awaiting destruction, Disclosure or any
copy or representation of the contents of a Disclosure. However, notwithstanding the above, we may keep a
record of the date of issue of a Disclosure, the name of the subject, the type of Disclosure requested, the position
for which the Disclosure was requested, the unique reference number of the Disclosure and the details of the
recruitment decision taken.
Currently ____________________________ [church secretary] has oversight of secure keeping of documents.
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Good Practice
Record of handling of CRB disclosures in
________________________________________________ local church
Name
Type of Disclosure
Position
Disclosure ref no
Date info received
Appointment
decision yes/no
Date of decision
Date all material
destroyed
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Good Practice
A sample policy for use by local churches
POLICY AND GUIDELINES FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF
PEOPLE WITH A CRIMINAL RECORD
5.5(xi)
Background
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that certain offences may be disregarded as
‘spent’ after set periods of time, and ex-offenders are not required to disclose their conviction.
This makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an ex-offender on the grounds of
a ‘spent’ conviction.
Some posts within United Reformed Churches, including those with unsupervised or substantial
access to children, young people and other vulnerable people, are exempted from the provisions of
the Act. Applicants for such posts [either paid or unpaid] will be advised that they will be subject
to a criminal record check from the Criminal Records Bureau [CRB] before the appointment is
confirmed. This will include details of cautions, reprimands or final warnings, as well as convictions.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Principles
People with criminal records applying for posts within ________________________
[local church] will be treated according to their merits and to any special criteria of the post
(for example, caring for children and vulnerable adults, which debars some in this category).
Questions may be asked at short-listing stage about criminal records in order to ensure
that people with such records are not inadvertently placed in vulnerable positions
within the organisation.
Having a criminal record, in itself, does not necessarily prevent a person from being
appointed any post, unless the offence debars the person.
Where it is judged, however, that a recent or serious offence might mean that person
presents a risk to children or vulnerable adults, or could cause damage to the reputation
of the United Reformed Church, then that person should not be appointed.
Discrimination either in favour or against those persons currently in employment who
have disclosed their criminal record is not permissible (unless the offence debars them).
Information relating to disclosure of criminal records will be treated as confidential and
restricted to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.
Training programmes for staff who are responsible for recruitment should include
material on the recruitment of people with a criminal record.
•
Guidance
During the preparation of appointment material consideration should be given to
whether Disclosure is relevant. Reference should be made to Good Practice – Safeguarding
Children and Young People in the Church. If relevant, the job description will state that the
appointment is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure from the CRB
In such cases offers of appointment should be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure from
the CRB.
If either the applicant or the Disclosure reveals a serious criminal record, particularly
if recent, then consideration should be given to whether the appointment can proceed;
advice may be sought from the United Reformed Church CRB/CAS reference group
through United Reformed Church House.
Generally, a decision to reject an applicant because of, or partly because of, a criminal
record should relate to an aspect of the person specification which is seen to be unmet.
Generally, an applicant who is rejected should be advised of the reasons.
An applicant who is rejected will have a right to appeal to ____________________.
Where a person is employed within the ________________________ [local church] and
subsequently it becomes evident that the individual failed to disclose relevant information
the matter should be treated as a disciplinary issue and could result in dismissal.
•
•
•
••
•
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Good Practice
A sample statement for use by local churches in their recruitment procedures
Statement on the employment
of those with a criminal record
5.5(xii)
As a local church using the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure service through the
Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust
______________________________ [local church] complies fully with the CRB Code
of Practice and undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to
discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the bases of conviction or other
information revealed.
We are committed to the fair treatment of its staff, potential staff, volunteers or users
of its services, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, responsibilities for
dependants, age, physical/mental disability or offending background.
We have written a policy on the recruitment of those with a criminal record, which is made
available to all Disclosure applicants at the outset of the recruitment process.
We actively promote equality of opportunity for all; with the right mix of talents, skills and
potential and welcome applications from a wide range of candidates for interview based on
their skills, qualifications and experience.
A disclosure is only requested after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both
proportionate and relevant to the position concerned. For those positions where a Disclosure
is required, all job advertisements and recruitment briefs will contain a statement that a
Disclosure will be requested in the event of the individual being offered the position.
Unless the nature of the position allows this church to ask questions about your entire
criminal record we only ask about ‘unspent’ convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974.
We ensure that all those in the United Reformed Church who are involved in the recruitment
process have been suitably trained to identify and assess the relevance and circumstances of
offences. We also ensure that they have received appropriate guidance and training in the
relevant legislation relating to the employment of ex-offenders, e.g. the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974.
At interview, or in a separate discussion, we ensure that an open and measured discussion
takes place on the subject of any offences or other matter that might be relevant to the
position. Failure to reveal information that is directly relevant to the position sought could
lead to withdrawal of an offer of employment.
We make every subject of a CRB Disclosure aware of the existence of the CRB Code of Practice
and make a copy available on request.
We undertake to discuss any matter revealed in a Disclosure with the person seeking the
position before withdrawing a conditional offer of employment.
Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar you from working with us. This will depend
on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of your offences.
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6
SUPPORT and CONTACTS for Good Practice
Background:
Many denominations have their own guidelines, policies and helpful leaflets/packs. This is not because
those responsible do not work closely together but because our various structures, understanding of
accountability and disciplinary procedures differ.
Methodist Church – Safeguarding A4 booklet www.methodistchurch.org.uk
Congregational Federation – Keeping Safe A5 booklet
Baptist Union – Safe to Grow A4 booklet
Roman Catholic Church – Review on Child Protection led to COPCA
Church of England – refer to Diocesan variations – launch of new policy Feb 04
The United Reformed Church – Good Practice www.urc.org.uk
A number of churches are linked together under the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding as an Umbrella
Body for the use of the Criminal Records Bureau. www.churchsafe.org.uk
Key Legislation:
Education Reform Act 1988
Children Act 1989
Police Act Part V 1997
Protection of Children Act 1999
Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000
Sources of further Information:
Safe from Harm – A Code of Practice for Safeguarding the Welfare of Children in Voluntary
Organisations in England and Wales. Home Office1993
Superhighway Safety – Children’s safe use of the internet – DfEE
PO Box 5050 Sherwood Park, Nottingham NG15 0Dl (0845 602260)
www.safety.ngfl.gov.uk [also ChildLine]
The Protection of Children Act 1999 – A practical Guide to the Act for all organisations working
with children – Department of Health, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH
www.doh.gov.uk/scg/childprotect
Safer Recruitment to protect the Vulnerable – Criminal Records Bureau, PO Box 91, Liverpool
L69 2UH CRB Information Line: 0870 90 90 811 www.crb.gov.uk
Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 – Protection of Children Guidance, Home Office
Working against Racism in Children’s Resources (WARCR) 460 Wandsworth Road, London
Sw8 3LX (020 7627 4594)
MiDAS – Minibus Drivers Awareness Scheme
www.communitytransport.com/midas/midas.htm
Data Protection Information Commissioners Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF. Information line 01625 545745 www.dataprotection.gov.uk
Criminal Records Bureau www.crb.gov.uk
Scottish CRC www.disclosurescotland.co.uk
DfES circulars can be found via www.des.gov.uk/publications There is a comprehensive
search facility.
Practical help:
The Children’s Legal Centre,
University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ (01 206 872466)
e mail [email protected] www.childrenslegalcentre.com
Kidscape 152 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9TR (020 7730 3300)
ChildLine (0800 1111) Freepost 1111, London N1 0BR
Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, PO box 133, Swanley, Kent BR8 7UQ 01322 667207
www.ccpas.co.uk
Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse (CSSA) BM-CSSA, London WC1N 3XX
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH
(020 7825 2500) www.nspcc.org.uk
National Association of Child Contact Centres, Minerva House, Spaniel Row, Nottingham
NG1 6EP (0115 948 4557) www.naccc.org.uk
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Resource books:
Worth Doing Well – Methodist Church
NYA Handbook of Policies and Procedures in Scotland
Leaflet: ‘Towards a Charter for Children’ from The United Reformed Church
Booklets:
Caring for Young People and the Vulnerable? – Home Office - Sentencing & Offences unit
(020 7273 2985)
Why speak out against smacking – Barnardos, Tanners Lane, Barkingside, Ilford, Essex IG6 1QG
(020 8550 8822) www.barnardos.org.uk
Guidance to churches – protecting children and appointing children’s workers -Churches Child
Protection Advisory Service /Congregational and General Ins. PLC
Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 – Protection of Children Guidance, Home Office
Useful organisations:
Family Policy Studies Centre
231 Baker Street, London, NW1 6XE (020 7486 8179)
Children are Unbeatable! Alliance
77 Holloway Road, London N7 8JZ (020 7700 0627)
Churches’ Network for Non-Violence
6 Sylvia Avenue, Hatch End, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 4QE (020 8428 3275)
[email protected] www.churchesfornon-violence.org
National Council for Voluntary Youth Services
2 Plough Yard, Shoreditch High Street, London EC2A 3LP
(0207 422 8630) e mail [email protected] www.ncvys.org.uk
National Council for Voluntary Child Care Organisations
Unit 4, Pride Court, 80-82 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF
(0207 833 3319) e mail offi[email protected] child.org www.ncvcco.org
National Youth Agency
17-23 Albion Street, Leicester, LE1 6GD (0116 285 6789)
Employment guides:
AMAZE – employment manual
Association of Christian Youth and Children’s Workers
PO Box 5898, Hinkley, LE10 2YX
(0121 503 0824) email [email protected] www.amaze.org.uk
Children’s Work Handbook – YMCA
YMCA, 640 Forest Road, London E17 3DZ (020 8509 4567)
National Council for Voluntary Organisations – Good Employment Guide
Regent’s Wharf, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9ERL (020 7713 6161)
Training materials:
Sections of Kaleidoscope – Ecumenically written and produced Training Material for children’s
workers and Spectrum – for Youth Workers
Society of Friends – Firm Foundations - Health, Safety and the Law
Taking Care – National Children’s Bureau
8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE (020 7843 6000)
First Aid Courses:
St John Ambulance – www.sja.org.uk –search for local courses and book online
St Andrews Ambulance Association – www.firstaid.uk 48 Milton Street, Glasgow G4 0HR
British Red Cross – www.redcross.org.uk – free first aid guides, branches throughout the UK.
9 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X 7EJ (020 7235 5454)
New materials and policy developments are always highlighted in
URCHIN – United Reformed CHildren’s Information Network (£5.00 for 3 issues - March/July/
November) United Reformed Church House, Youth and Children’s Work Office, 86 Tavistock Place,
London WC1H 9 RT (020 7916 8683) Email: [email protected] www.urc.org.uk
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Good Practice
The United Reformed Church
PARENTAL CONSENT AND MEDICAL FORM
7.1
Over 18 yr old participants and leaders also fill in as appropriate
_______________________________________________________________________________ (group)
_______________________________________________________________________________(event)
_____________________________________________________(venue)_____________________(date)
To the child/young person handed this form:
You can not take part in this event unless this form has been signed by your parent/guardian and
returned by _________________ date. This is for reasons of your own health and safety, concern to see that
the event is properly organised and that we have a good time.
If you are 18 years or over you may complete the form yourself, but it must still be returned.
Leaders/workers should also complete the record of information for use if needed.
To parent/guardian:
We want young people under the age of 18 years to enjoy activities to the full and to feel secure and
protected during their participation in them. Please understand that children and young people can not
participate in events unless this parental consent form has been completed and returned.
This form is to be completed and returned to:
Name:
(please keep a note of telephone contact number -
)
Address:
Full Name of Participant:
Address:
Date of birth (if under 18):
1
I, the undersigned (name of parent/guardian or young person 18 years or over) being the parent/
guardian/participant over 18 give permission for him/her to take part in the event named above.
2
I have read the programme regarding the event and understand what is involved.
I acknowledge the need for obedience and responsible behaviour on his/her part throughout the period
and the need for him/her to take special note of any safety instructions.
I am satisfied that all reasonable care will be taken for the safety of those participating and that adequate
staffing and other insurance and safety measures have been taken.
I understand the extent and limitation of the insurance cover provided.
I understand that my son/daughter will not be able to participate unless this form has been returned
completed by me.
I understand also that during periods of free time close supervision by leaders may not be possible at
all times.
I consider my son/daughter to be medically fit to participate in the activities outlined.
I require that my son/daughter be excluded from the following:
I would like you to be aware of the following special needs, not mentioned on the reverse of this form, of
my son/daughter:
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3
Declaration
a.
I agree to
(name)
receiving emergency dental, medical or surgical treatment, including anaesthetic or blood transfusion, as
considered necessary by the medical authorities present.
b.
The person to contact in case of emergency during this event is:
Name:
Relationship:
Address:
Tel: Day
c.
Evening
Mobile
Should the above not be available, please contact:
Name:
Relationship:
Address:
Tel: Day
d.
Evening
Mobile
The participant’s doctor is:
Name:
Address:
Tel:
e.
The participant’s National Health Number is:
f.
The participant has the following allergies (e.g medicine, food, insects) :
g.
The participant has the following medical conditions that you should be aware of (eg asthma, fits,
migraine, epilepsy …)
h.
The participant has the following disability that you should be aware of:
i.
The participant is taking the following medication at present:
(please complete the administering medication form and return with this form)
j.
The participant was last immunised against Tetanus:
k.
The participant’s blood group is:
l.
Has the participant been in contact with or suffered from any disease which is or may be contagious or
infectious, in the last four?
If yes, please give brief details:
(please give date)
Please note that your daughter/son will not be able to participate in this activity unless all parts of the above
form have been completed. Any information given on this form will be treated in confidence and only used if
necessary. Inadequate information could put your child’s life at risk.
I UNDERTAKE TO INFORM THE LEADER
SHOULD ANY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION CHANGE BY THE EVENT DATE.
Signed: ………………………………………………………………………
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Good Practice
REQUEST TO ADMINISTER MEDICATION FORM
7.2
The United Reformed Church
___________________________________________ Church
The leaders will not give your child medicine unless you complete and sign this form
Event Details:
Name of event:
Date of event:
Details of participant:
Full Name:
Address:
Male / Female:
Date of Birth:
Condition or illness:
Medication:
Name/Type of Medication (as described on the container):
For how long will your child take this medication?:
Date dispensed:
Full Directions for use:
Dosage and method:
Timing:
Special Precautions:
Side Effects:
Self Administration:
Contact details:
Name:
Relationship:
Address:
Daytime Telephone No:
Evening Tel. No:
I understand that I must deliver the medicine personally to my son/daughter’s group leader.
Procedures for emergency action are noted overleaf and will be discussed with the leaders beforehand.
Signature:
Date:
Relationship to young person:
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Good Practice
Request for YOUNG PERSON
TO CARRY HIS/HER MEDICATION
7.3
The United Reformed Church
Event Details:
Name of event:
Date of event:
Details of young person:
Full Name:
Address:
Male / Female:
Date of Birth:
Condition or illness:
Medication:
Name/Type of Medication (as described on the container):
Contact details:
Name:
Relationship:
Address:
Daytime Telephone No:
Evening Tel. No:
I would like my daughter/son to keep her/his medication on her/him for use as necessary.
Procedures for emergency action are noted on the reverse and will be discussed with the leaders beforehand.
Signature:
Date:
Relationship to young person:
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Good Practice
APPLICATION FORM
FOR YOUTH AND CHILDREN’S WORKERS
7.4(i)
for volunteers
Everyone who is involved in any capacity in working with children and young people will want to ensure care and
protection within a safe environment.
This application form is for volunteers and unpaid workers to record information and ensure that the best
possible care is taken for the protection and safety of all.
This form can be used in conjunction with the monitoring form if appropriate.
PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLACK INK
APPLICATION for the post of:
Location/Church
Please check - Voluntary worker, unpaid
yes [If ‘no’ please use the other more comprehensive form]
PERSONAL DETAILS
Surname
First Names
Title
Address
Post Code
Telephone Numbers: Home
Work
Mobile
Email
All/Any former names
Date & place of Birth
If you have lived at the above address less than three years please give previous address/es with dates:
SKILLS, ABILITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Why do you want to apply to do this work?
What ability, knowledge, commitment and experience do you have?
What is your church background and current place of worship?
Is there any other information you think should be known?
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REFERENCES
References will be taken up as one way of checking your suitability and to demonstrate the church’s attention to
proper care for children.
Please give the name, address and contact number of two people who can provide an assessment of your
suitability for the post
q
First reference
Name
Address
Telephone
Connection with you
q
Second Reference
Name
Address
Telephone
Connection with you
DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 ex offenders have to disclose their criminal convictions when
applying for Exempted posts. Work with Children and Young People is ‘Exempted’.
Do you have any criminal convictions, cautions or bind overs :
Yes
No
If you have answered yes please enclose details with your application form
Is there any other information you should declare that might affect your suitability for working with children and
young people
Yes
No
(e.g. Allegations which have been the subject of investigation; any current criminal investigations)
If you have answered yes please enclose details with your application form
DISCLOSURE
Do you agree to undergo the relevant vetting processes, including ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ through the Criminal
Records Bureau, that shall be in place from time to time to establish your identity and your suitability for work
with children and young people. The processes are in accordance with legal requirements and Good Practice
guidelines of the United Reformed Church
Yes
No
(A separate form will be issued for the implementation of this procedure)
DECLARATION
I declare that the information in this application is true and complete. I agree to references being taken up.
If I am successful in obtaining this post and the information is later discovered to be incorrect I understand that
the appointment can be cancelled.
Signed
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Good Practice
APPLICATION FORM
FOR YOUTH AND CHILDREN’S WORKERS
7.4(ii)
Everyone who is involved in any capacity in working with children and young people will want to ensure care and
protection within a safe environment.
This application form can be used for both paid and unpaid workers to record information and ensure that the
best possible care is taken for the protection and safety of all.
Good Practice Guidelines, including current legislation and Equal Opportunities are followed here.
This form should be returned with an accompanying letter from the applicant giving
PERSONAL DETAILS - Name, address, contact numbers, date and place of birth.
These will be held separately from any material shared in the short-listing and interview process.
PLEASE COMPLETE IN BLACK INK
APPLICATION for the post of:
Location/Church
Please tick as appropriate
Paid
_____
Voluntary _____
EDUCATION
From Age 11
School
Qualifications gained (Total GCE’s; GCSE’s/A levels only)
FURTHER EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
College/University
Qualifications gained
TRAINING
Please list your training with the most recent first – use extra sheets if required and mark them with your name
and post for which you are applying
Course
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Length of course
Qualification
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PRESENT EMPLOYMENT/VOLUNTARY WORK
Name and address of Employer or Organisation
Postion held
From
To
Brief outline of Duties and Responsibilities
Reason for Leaving
If Paid – Salary £
p.a.
Value of other benefits
PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT/VOLUNTARY WORK
Please include any previous paid or voluntary work with children and young people
From
To
Employer/Organisation
Brief details of duties and reasons for leaving
SKILLS, ABILITIES, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
ON A SEPARATE SHEET (marked with your name and the post)
PLEASE GIVE YOUR REASONS FOR APPLYING FOR THIS WORK
Please include specific information providing examples of your ability, commitment, knowledge and experience
by some reference to your professional, personal or voluntary life that relates to the job description and person
specification.
You must be able to demonstrate that you can satisfy the essential criteria on the person specification.
Please also include details of your church background, current place of worship and any other information you
consider should be known.
DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1995
This information will not be used in the short-listing process
If you have a disability according to the DDA, please give details. If you fulfil the criteria for the post you will
be given an interview. It will only be used in the interview process to assess whether any adjustment would be
needed for you to carry out the work of the post.
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REFERENCES
Please give the name, address and contact number of two people who can provide an assessment of your
suitability for the post. If you are employed one of these referees should be your current employer, if you are a
volunteer it should be the current organisation. If you are not currently working or volunteering please give the
last employer/organisation.
q
First reference
Name
Address
Telephone
Connection with you
q
Second Reference
Name
Address
Telephone
Connection with you
A job offer will not be made without two satisfactory references
HEALTH
How many days were you absent due to sickness in the past two years?
Please give details of any absences/illnesses of over five days:
For some posts there may be a request for a medical check.
DISCLOSURE OF CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 ex offenders have to disclose their criminal convictions when
applying for Exempted posts. Work with Children and Young People is ‘Exempted’.
Do you have any criminal convictions, cautions or bind overs :
Yes
No
If you have answered yes please enclose details with your application form
Is there any other information you should declare that might affect your suitability for working with children and
young people
Yes
No
(e.g. Allegations which have been the subject of investigation; any current criminal investigations)
If you have answered yes please enclose details with your application form
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DISCLOSURE
Do you agree to undergo the relevant vetting processes, including ‘Enhanced Disclosure’ through the Criminal
Records Bureau, that shall be in place from time to time to establish your identity and your suitability for work
with children and young people. The processes are in accordance with legal requirements and Good Practice
guidelines of the United Reformed Church
Yes
No
(A separate form will be issued for the implementation of this procedure)
ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION ACT 1996
National Insurance Number:
If you have no national insurance number available do you have evidence of your entitlement to live and work in
the UK
Yes
No
DECLARATION
I declare that the information in this application is true and complete. I agree to references being taken up.
If I am successful in obtaining this post and the information is later discovered to be incorrect I understand that
the appointment can be cancelled.
Signed
Date
IF THIS APPLICATION FORM IS NOT COMPLETED AND SIGNED
YOU CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR EITHER PAID OR UNPAID WORK
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MONITORING FORM
7.5
ALL INFORMATION IN THIS FORM IS STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AND WILL ONLY BE USED FOR MONITORING
PURPOSES TO ENSURE THAT ALL APPLICANTS ARE TREATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOOD PRACTICE GUIDELINES
AGE
Under 16
16 - 17
18 - 20
55-60
61 - 65`
66 +
GENDER
FEMALE
21 - 25
26 - 34
35 - 54
MALE
ETHNICITY
The categories for ethnic origin reflect those chosen by the Office for National statistics for the 2001 UK
Population Census
White
British
Irish
Black or Black British
African
Asian or Asian British
Bangledeshi
Other white (please state)______________
Caribbean
Indian
Other black(please state)________
Pakistani
Other Asian(please state)___________________
Mixed
White & Black
White & Asian
Caribbean
White & Black African
Other mixed (please state)_______________
Chinese
Other ethnic group _____________________
DISABILITY
Do you consider yourself to have a disability? Please note that under the disability Discrimination Act 1995 you
are considered to be disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment which has a long term adverse effect
upon your ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
Yes
No
Please give details:
Date:
Signed___________________________________________
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INDUCTION - PRACTICALITIES LIST
7.6(i)
Do you know –
q
q
q
The whereabouts of any keys you may need
Where equipment is stored
Where cleaning materials are kept
q
q
The names and phone numbers of others in the team
q
q
q
q
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Where
What time
How they are circulated
Where they are kept
Is it suitable
Routine arrangements for your group
q
q
q
q
q
q
what record keeping is needed
When the next training event is happening
q
q
how to get it
What reference packs/books are available
q
q
Who to alert if you are ill
What information mailings eg URCHIN and periodicals are received
q
q
Who to contact if you are unexpectedly delayed
When the next meeting of workers takes place
q
q
q
The name and role of any helpers
What money is available for equipment
q
q
q
Who cleans up afterwards
Timings of sessions and within sessions
Arrival routines
Record keeping
Finishing and dismissal arrangements
What happens when unexpected children arrive
Who you should talk to if you are not sure of anything
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
7.6(ii)
INDUCTION CHECK LIST
This check list can be used for all staff, adapting wherever necessary for unpaid staff. e.g. Employment details
might include an agreed time off for holidays, whether training is to be included in the volunteer hours or will it
be additional and undertaken in the worker’s own time
PRE STARTING DATE
q Job Description and person specification
q Terms and conditions of employment
q Basic introduction to the church/organisation
q Starting information – date, time and place
q List of existing staff and their job titles
q Induction timetable
q Dates to note
q Welcome and support on arrival
FIRST DAY OF EMPLOYMENT
q Welcome and someone to begin the induction
q Talk through induction programme and agree any amendments and additions
q Tour of working environment
q Fire regulations and procedures
q Introduction to any other staff
q Time to chat informally about the job
q Employment details
q P45
q Bank account and payment dates
q Pension scheme
q Next of Kin information
q Procedure for absences
q Time on own to read, observe , chat and settle in
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
q Equal Opportunities Policy
q Health & Safety Policy
q Child Protection Policy & Procedures
q Complaints Procedure
q Disciplinary & grievance Procedure
q Code of Conduct (Behaviour policy)
q Good Practice Guidelines
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Good Practice
OVERSIGHT AND SUPERVISION
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
Philosophy/strategy of church towards children/young people
Relevant history of recent work
Meet with children/young people
Plan activities
Staff meetings
Timekeeping, including time off in lieu, holidays etc.
Financial arrangements, petty cash, expenses etc.
Local networks
Other introductions, e.g. ecumenical partners, local authority workers
Resources and other local provision
Existing commitments which need to be met
Place within structure of the Organisation
Accountability
Oversight responsibilities
Supervisory responsibilities
Support/management/supervision group
Appraisals
Work priorities and set goals
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
q
q
q
Staff Development Policy
Training available
How to access training
EVALUATION AND REVIEW OF INDUCTION
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
q
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Is the member of staff confident and clear about the work?
Has anything been left out?
Where to seek information in the future
Is the organisation satisfied that the worker has all the information required to do the job?
Review any probationary period and if all is well confirm the appointment
Arrange for any omissions from the induction process to be completed
Are future work review processes in place?
Is there a framework for discussing and agreeing change
Set goals for the future
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Good Practice
Job description grid and training log
for Youth and Children’s workers
7.6(iii)
_______________________________________________ United Reformed Church
Qualifications
Name _________________________________
Job title_______________________________
Time commitment
Skills and interests
Weekly:
Monthly:
Annual:
Occasional:
Terms of service
q
Specific responsibilities
month initial exploration
From ___________ to ___________
q
year appointment
From ___________ to ___________
Accountable to:
Support from:
Training record
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Good Practice
To assist churches unfamiliar with requesting references two templates are given
Seeking a reference
7.6(iv)
What needs to be said in a letter requesting a reference?
The sample below is for use with volunteers.
Dear XXXX
_________ has applied to work as ______________ and given your name as someone willing to supply
a reference.
Please will you write giving your views on their suitability for this post. A stamped addressed envelope is
enclosed.
Thank you for your help.
Yours sincerely
For paid employment the more
formal suggestion is [Name of referee]
Dear [referee]
[date]
[name of short-listed candidate]
The above named has been short-listed for the post of [POST title] and has given your name as a referee.
I write, therefore, to seek you views on the suitability of this candidate for the post.
Enclosed for your information is a copy of the Job Description and Person Specification. If you need anything
further please contact me by telephone.
When replying, would you please give details of any absences for sickness which are recorded. Would you please
state also whether you would re-employ [short-listed candidate] and that you know of no reason why we should
not employ [him/her].
We are interviewing on [date] so would you please ensure that I receive a reply by that date. A stamped
addressed envelope is enclosed.
Thank you in anticipation of your help in our endeavours to fins the most suitable person for this important post.
Yours sincerely,
XXX
Encs: Job Description and Person Specification
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Good Practice
Photographs use - permission form
7.7
Photographs for display on the premises, use in the press or on our website may be taken only if, under the Data
Protection Act 1988, permission has been received from adults whose photographs may be used and the parents
of children who may be photographed.
Photographs used publicly will not
will only
-
show the outside of the building identifiably
name children
be of one child alone or close-up
show activities and groups with obvious adult supervision
Photographs used within the building or organisation will be general and will be displayed without surname or
any identification of home address or contact details.
Adult PERMISSION TO PHOTOGRAPH form: [16 or over]
I do/do not give my permission for my photograph to be used, following the guidelines above, for use
In the building
in the press
on our website
[delete as appropriate]
Signed:
Date:
Print name:
Child PERMISSION TO PHOTOGRAPH Form: [UNDER 16]
I do/do not give my permission for photographs of
_______________________________________________ to be used, following the guidelines above, for use
In the building
in the press
on our website
[delete as appropriate]
Signed:
[parent/guardian]
Date:
Print name:
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Good Practice
Users of Church Premises
7.8
Advice about including Safe from Harm requirements
as part of Lettings Agreements:
Churches are reccommended to include the following in the conditions they apply to outside users of their premises.
“The user is required to make arrangements for children complying with the Children Act 1989 and
consistent with the recommendations in the Code of Practice “Safe from Harm” issued by the Home Office”.
A suggested ‘Safe from Harm’ Statement for use in local churches.
___________________________
Safe From Harm
All groups working with children and young people under the age of 18 years and using these premises are
required to agree to uphold the principles of the Home Office Document Safe from Harm.
Therefore, all such groups are required to have in place a policy, drawn up under the guidelines in the Home
Office document ‘Safe from Harm’ and to implement it and also review it regularly and update it when necessary.
The United Reformed Church has a policy which you are welcome to use as the basis for your own policy if you
so wish.
I agree that whilst using these premises the principles underlying Safe from Harm will be upheld by this group
Signed:
Group:
Date:
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Good Practice
Safeguarding Children
and
Young People
Policy & Guidelines
A SPECIMEN CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
offered for use within
THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
This material can be discussed, adjusted and adapted
to provide a Child Protection policy to be accepted by
a church meeting, district or synod
and acted upon by all concerned with children and young people.
A CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
For the United Reformed Church
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Good Practice
Some material adapted with permission from YMCA England
First offered June 2001
This update offered April 2004
CONTENTS
1.
INTRODUCTION
2.
POLICY STATEMENT
3.
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.
GUIDELINES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
Plan the work to minimise the possibility of abuse
Have policies and procedures on the management of all activities
Appoint two ‘link’ people
Give all workers, staff and volunteers, clear roles
Carry out a full recruitment procedure
Use supervision and support as a means of protecting young people and children
Establish a system whereby young people and children know they may talk with an
independent person
Implement and issue guidelines to all workers with young people and children on how to deal with
abuse or suspected abuse.
Confirm with groups/organisations, who work with young people and children and wish to hire/use
United Reformed Church premises, that they undertake to follow the Home Office code of practice
Safe from Harm
4.8
4.9
5.
HOW TO DEAL WITH ABUSE
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
Duty to prevent and report
Types of Abuse
Reacting to abuse – a known abuser in the congregation
Reporting abuse
Dealing with allegations or suspicion of abuse within the United Reformed Church
APPENDICES
Appendix I
Appendix II
Appendix Ill
Appendix IV
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church
Safe from Harm - Summary of Recommendations
Guidelines for Staff working Alone
Incident Report Form
Procedure Flow Chart
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Good Practice
1.0
Introduction
This Child Protection policy is drawn up with close reference to the Home Office
Guidelines ‘Safe from Harm’. See Appendix l.
The policy is designed to encourage the development of good practice in local churches,
districts and synods and groups such as FURY to prevent the neglect, physical, emotional
and sexual abuse of young people and children while they are in the care of the United
Reformed Church. It stresses the responsibility of all workers to be alert to signs of abuse and
provides for a prompt and effective reporting procedure should abuse be suspected, disclosed
or discovered, regardless of the setting in which the abuse has taken place. The policy is
also intended to protect those who work with young people and children from unfounded
accusations or from behaving in ways which may be well-intended but inadvisable, and to
enable the United Reformed Church to fulfil its ‘duty of care’.
There are cross references to a YMCA publication within this document. A copy of the YMCA
Children’s Work Handbook is available in each Synod through the Youth and Children’s Work
Trainer, Youth Leadership Training Officer or the Synod Training Team. It is recommended
that further information be sought through the Synod.
NB : Failure to observe the provisions of The Children Act [1989] can result in the withdrawal of licensing and
permission for certain types of children’s activities, and may lead to civil and criminal prosecution. It may
also effect insurance cover.
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Good Practice
2.0
POLICY STATEMENT
Child Protection Policy
Safeguarding Young People and Children
As one of its major activities _____________________________Church seeks to
serve the needs of young people, promoting holistic development.
In doing so, ________________________Church takes seriously the welfare of all
young people and children who come onto its premises or who are involved in
its activities.
__________________________Church aims to ensure that they are welcomed into
a safe, caring, Christian environment with a happy and friendly atmosphere.
__________________________Church recognises that it is the responsibility of each
one of its staff, paid and unpaid, to prevent the neglect, physical, sexual or emotional
abuse of young people and children and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
__________________________Church recognises its responsibility to implement,
maintain and regularly review procedures, which are designed to prevent and to be alert
to such abuse.
__________________________Church is committed to supporting, resourcing and
training those who work with young people and children and to providing supervision.
__________________________Church is committed to maintaining good links with
the statutory child care authorities.
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3.0
Child Protection
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
1
Plan work to minimise situations where the possibility of abuse of young people or
children may occur
2
Have policies and procedures on the management and supervision of all activities,
and provide training on the implementation of them
3
Appoint two ‘link’ people
4
Give all workers, staff and volunteers, clear roles
5
Carry out a full recruitment procedure as for all workers, staff and volunteers
6
Use supervision and support as a means of protecting young people and children
7
Establish a system whereby young people and children know they may talk with an
independent person
8
Implement and issue guidelines to all workers with young people and children on
how to deal with abuse or suspected abuse. Ensure training is available on the use of
these guidelines
9
Confirm with groups/organisations, who work with young people and children and wish
to hire/use United Reformed Church premises, that they undertake to follow the Home
Office code of practice Safe from Harm (Appendix l)
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
4.0
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.1
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Plan work to minimise situations where the possibility of abuse of young
people or children may occur.
Arrange that, as far as possible, an adult is not left alone with a child or young person
where there is little or no opportunity of the activity being observed by others. This
may mean groups working within the same large room or working in an adjoining room
with the door left open. This good practice can be as much benefit to the adult as to the
child or young person.
Ensure that all workers with children and young people do not meet a child or young
person off United Reformed Church premises without a parent or other adult carer
being present.
Always have at least two adults present with a group*. Particularly when it is the only
activity taking place on United Reformed Church premises.
Always ensure appropriate ratios of leadership to children are observed according to age
and gender*.
Never take a group off the premises with fewer than two adults*.
Think about the use of premises. For example, do not expect children or young people
to have to walk along a dark unsupervised path in order to enter the United Reformed
Church
It is good practice to keep a record of each activity/session. This record should include a
register of children and staff and details of any significant incidents
Where children and young people have to be transported by car or minibus, arrange as
far as possible, to have more than one passenger in the vehicle and that children are
seated in the back seats of the vehicle
Ensure that children leaving the premises do so only in the presence of adults known to
have permission to do so
There may be rare but necessary occasions when a worker has to work individually
with a child/young person (e.g. pastoral care). Guidelines for workers can be found in
Appendix ll
* ratios of adults to young people/children can be found in Section 4 of the Good Practice Pack.
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.2
•
•
•
•
Have policies and procedures on the management and supervision of all
activities and provide training on the implementation of them.
Ensure that clear guidelines exist for each activity and that appropriate training
is provided
Ensure that a risk assessment* is developed for each activity which addresses child
protection as well as other safety issues.
Ensure that working links are maintained with local Social Services. You can offer a
copy of your policies.
Appoint two ‘link’ people. A ‘link’ person will be given responsibility for overseeing
the policy and the way it is put into practice. These people will also be responsible for
ensuring that child protection issues are reported to the relevant authorities.
* a method is given in Section 3 of the Good Practice pack
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.3
Appoint two ‘link’ people
A ‘link’ person should be appointed who has responsibility for the co-ordination and
implementation of the Child Protection policy and procedures. It is suggested that two
people share the task.
Guidelines for the appointment of a ‘link’ person for child protection :
i.
The appointment/s should be ratified by the Elder’s Meeting/Area/District Council/
Synod as appropriate
ii.
A ‘link’ person should be someone with experience of working in children/youth/social
services context.
iii.
The person must be capable of being sympathetic to young people and children but
objective in the pursuance of their task - with an ability to cope with the shock and
upset abuse allegations may produce.
iv.
The person must be able to act confidentially, speedily and decisively, relating well to
statutory authorities, parents/carers etc
v.
The person must be willing to undergo training in procedures and be prepared to brief
staff and the church and elders’ meetings on appropriate local policies, procedure
development and review their effectiveness.
vi.
The person must have clear lines of accountability to the Elders and/or District Council
and Synod and have clear links with other staff.
vii.
The person should be alerted to opportunities for support and networking with others
In this church/district/synod (delete as appropriate)
the people appointed as ‘link’ people for child protection are:
1____________________________________________
Date of Appointment _______________________
2____________________________________________
Date of appointment_______________________
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.4
Give all workers, staff and volunteers clear roles.
Abuse of children and young people is most easily concealed where there is confusion amongst
adults about roles and responsibilities for the protection of children and young people.
Volunteers should have a clear idea of what is expected of them.
All workers should be aware that their contact with young people and children in the course
of their work within the United Reformed Church puts them in a relationship of trust. (i.e.
in a position of power or influence over another by virtue of their work or the nature of the
activity, both within and outside of working hours).
Staff guidelines should include directions on acceptable behaviour in ‘out of hours’ situations.
See Appendix ll
No relationships should be encouraged in which either the young person or worker could be
at risk. Nothing should occur which gives rise for ambiguity and misunderstanding.
Further information can be found in Good Practice.
YCWTDO’s and the Youth and Children’s Work Office or Pilots’ Desk are all available for
further assistance.
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.5
Carry out the full recruitment procedure for all workers - staff and volunteers
Application Form
As part of the recruitment procedure all workers, paid or unpaid, should complete an
appropriate application form. All situations which involve work with children and/or young
people are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Therefore all applicants
should be asked to disclose information about criminal convictions. A form should be
used asking the applicant to give details of criminal convictions and informing them that
the United Reformed Church can ask that a criminal background check (CRB Enhanced
Disclosure) be completed. Failure to return this form should halt the application process.
Pastoral support may need to be offered.
Worker’s contacts with children and young people
It is important that the worker’s previous contacts with children and young people are
explored thoroughly at interview/in conversation. These may be through earlier work in
the United Reformed Church, through family contacts, through work with a voluntary
organisation or in other ways. If the responses raise any concerns further more searching
questions should be asked.
References
A determined abuser may well lie or distort the truth. It is for this reason that a reference
should be obtained. If the worker/volunteer has moved frequently from one organisation to
another it would be advisable to find out why. References should be sought in writing. It must
be made clear that the person is to work /volunteer with children/young people and that it is
their views on the applicant’s suitability for this work which are being invited. If replies are
vague or ambiguous it may be necessary for them to be followed up in person or by telephone.
It is vital that equal opportunities are taken into consideration. Applicants can also be asked
to provide evidence of their criminal record, which is available, at a cost to each individual,
through the Criminal Records Bureau. (NB there is no charge from the CRB for volunteers but
administration costs may be charged by some bodies registered to use the CRB)
Criminal background /suitability check. CRB Enhanced Disclosure
A criminal background /suitability check should be carried out - see Good Practice Pack
When a known abuser is in your congregation. There are procedures which can be
undertaken. Relevant material can be shared as appropriate with a local church.
See next section for an outline on supervision and support as a means of child protection.
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GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.6
•
•
Use supervision and support as a means of protecting young people and children
Regular opportunities should be made for workers to meet together to review and
plan their work, to share their experiences, to receive training and to talk about their
relationships with the children and young people. Special attention should be paid to
any situation in which a child or young person is being either highly favoured or harshly
treated as these could be signs of abuse.
Opportunities should be taken to observe those working with children and young
people by someone sensitive to the issues and able to support the workers.
When a known abuser is in your congregation.
An individual convicted of an offence against a child continues to be a risk to children with
whom she or he comes in contact. People who offend against children whether it be physical
or sexual assault need treatment, support and protective networks to prevent them from
reoffending. Such offences are rarely ‘one off’ and are usually a result of inadequacies or other
problems in the life of the offender. Sadly, there is an addictive quality about these types
of offences against children which mean that such offenders should be closely supervised
in the presence of children. They cannot undertake any role which is directly concerned
with children. This should not prevent such people from having some part in the life of a
congregation. The Elders meeting should consider how children are to be protected and the
adult supported and properly supervised.
A full discussion with the person concerned should be held with the minister and two
selected Elders, or appropriate members of the congregation. These representatives
should have relevant experience in social services, the police, or schools etc. They
should ensure sensitivity and confidentiality and have an ability to be open and frank
about the nature of the offences
It may be appropriate to seek help from Synod or District/Area ‘link’ people
Offenders will seek to minimise the seriousness of past offences and rationalise
their behaviour.
Agreement needs to be reached as to how they will ensure together that the offender is
not left alone with children at any time during social events, church weekends outings
etc. Eg. A constant other adult alongside the offender, a night time procedure.
A written agreement should be made to safeguard both church leaders and children in
the congregation.
People who have abused children may be vulnerable themselves, and in need of much
pastoral support. Whilst the church is a forgiving community it is important that
the necessary safeguards are in place. Offences are likely to recur at times of stress or
difficulty. The church can provide a prayerful and supportive network. A more detailed
collection of advice is available from the Youth and Children’s Work office.
q
q
q
There may be some adults in the congregations who were themselves abused as children. They
may not have disclosed this to anyone. Support networks for survivors of abuse exist both
within the church and elsewhere.
There are also support organisations for those who believe themselves falsely accused.
A list of helpful organisations is included in Section 6 of the Good Practice material.
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.7
Establish a system whereby young people and children know they may talk
with an independent person
Arrange for a person to be available for children and young people to talk to if they feel they
have been abused in any way. The person should be totally independent of the activities the
children and young people are participating in, but should be someone to whom they could
relate. It may be necessary or appropriate to ask someone from different United Reformed
Church or organisation to undertake this role.
If this is done the appointed person must be given clear, written guidelines as to what
actions to take to report any abuse disclosed by a child or young person, otherwise they may
unwittingly permit the abuse to continue. It is recommended that contacts should be by
telephone although it is recognised that children are more likely to speak to a known adult
face to face.
Ensure that children and young people know who the person is and how they can be
contacted.
Display the telephone number of Childline or a similar organisation, on a notice board which
is regularly seen by children and young people.
Children can be alerted to the Childline number – See activity ‘Being Safe’ in the Good
Practice pack. Some children may also have had similar instruction in school.
Make sure that all adults working with children and young people know the name of a suitable
person with whom they could put the child or young person in contact, or to whom they could
turn for help.
Consider the need to provide opportunities for workers to talk to independent people about
any difficulties or anxieties in relation to their work.
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GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.8
Implement and issue guidelines to all workers with children and young people
on how to deal with abuse. Ensure training is available on the use of these
guidelines.
Ensure that all staff receive a copy of this document as part of their induction.
Arrange training sessions for workers with children and young people.
Training resources are available. Information and assistance can be obtained from
The Youth and Children’s Work Office, Pilots Desk, YCWTDO’s and Synod Office and the
Social Services. It is recommended that a record is kept of training and that refresher training
takes place regularly.
An Incident Report form is given at Appendix III.
The flow chart, Appendix IV demonstrates a procedure to be followed where abuse is
suspected, disclosed or discovered.
Make it clear that sometimes emergency action needs to be taken immediately. A damaged
child must be taken at once to the Accident and Emergency department of a hospital.
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Good Practice
GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES
4.9
Confirm with group/organisations who work with children or young people
and who wish to use United Reformed Church premises, that they undertake
to follow the Home Office code of practice Safe from harm
It is recommended that when contemplating hiring out or providing space for use of United
Reformed Church premises to groups/ organisations whose work involves children or young
people that the following clause be included in any letting agreement:
I
or
-
have and understand the policy of ____________________ church regarding
the safeguarding of children and young people and will implement it
have in place a similar policy (attached) drawn up under the guidelines in the
Home Office document Safe from Harm.
I agree that whilst using these premises the principles underlying Safe from Harm
will be upheld by this group.
A template statement is given in Section 7 of the Good Practice material
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5.0
HOW TO DEAL WITH ABUSE
5.1 : Duty both to prevent abuse and to report abuse
It is the United Reformed Church’s duty both to prevent abuse and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
The normal rule of client confidentiality cannot be observed when abuse is discovered or suspected. When
workers suspect, discover or are told/learn about abuse occurring in or outside the United Reformed Church
setting, they should follow the reporting procedures outlined in the paragraph entitled Reporting Abuse suspected, disclosed or discovered.
5.2 : Types of abuse
Workers should be given guidance on what constitutes abuse and how to recognise it. The Definitions of child
abuse by the Department of Health, DfEE, The Home Office and Welsh Office (1991) are as follows:
Physical Actual or likely physical injury to a child, or failure to prevent physical injury (or suffering) to a child,
including deliberate poisoning, suffocation and Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy.
Sexual
Actual or likely sexual exploitation of a child or adolescent.
Emotional
Actual or likely severe adverse affect on the emotional and behavioural development of a
child caused by persistent or severe emotional treatment or rejection. All abuse involves some
emotional ill treatment. This category is used where it is the main or sole form of abuse.
Neglect
The persistent or severe neglect of a child or the failure to protect a child from exposure to any
kind of danger, including cold and starvation or extreme failure to carry out important aspects
of care, resulting in the significant impairment of a child’s health or development, including nonorganic failure to thrive.
The following may be signs of abuse
NB : Physical abuse and neglect are difficult to hide. Sexual abuse can be almost impossible to identify and prove. Many
symptoms of distress can point to abuse but there may be other explanations. It is important, therefore, that the above signs are
not taken as indications that abuse has taken place. They should make us stop and think, but not necessarily jump to conclusions.
Physical
unexplained injuries or those which have received no medical attention, hidden injuries, shrinking
away from unexpected arm movements
Sexual
allegations made by the child or young person, pre-occupation with sexual matters, sexual
activity through words, play or drawings, severe sleep disturbances with fears and phobias, being
sexually provocative with adults
Emotional
regression in behaviour, nervousness, sudden under-achievement, inappropriate relationships
with peers/adults, attention seeking, running away/stealing/lying, looking uncared-for
Neglect
scavenging for food, unkempt clothing, listlessness, underweight, poor hygiene
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Good Practice
5.3 : Reacting to abuse
Because of obvious physical damage a child may tell you of abuse.
In an emergency act at once.
If a child is clearly in distress from a physical injury seek medical attention immediately.
Take the child to A & E or phone for an ambulance. Tell the medical services what the child has told you or of any
suspicions you may have.
Remember anything the child says and record this as soon as possible.
You may suspect abuse, you may discover or witness abuse or someone may report abuse to you. However you
become aware of abuse, it is important that you follow the following guidance
•
•
•
•
•
•
Do not delay
Do not confront the person who is alleged to be responsible for the abuse
Record any observations and keep an account of what you have been told by staff or the child or young
person. These records must be accurate and factual. A sample report form is in Appendix Il
It is not your role to investigate - concentrate on presenting information clearly.
Pass on your information to the appropriate person - see flow chart appendix lll
Do not discuss with anyone other than the person to whom you should report the matter.
If a child or young person wants to talk about abuse
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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accept what the child or young person says, keeping calm and looking at them directly from time to time
let them know that you need to tell someone else, do not promise confidentiality
even when a child or young person has broken a rule they are not to blame
be aware that the child or young person may be being threatened
never push for information, avoid asking questions, let the child talk
reassure the child or young person they were right to tell you
let the child or young person know what you are going to do next, who you need to tell
make notes as soon as possible, writing down exactly what was said and when he/she said it. Record
dates and times of these events and keep the hand-written record, even if these are subsequently typed
up, for an indefinite period. See Incident Report Form, Appendix ll
If it is considered that the person making the disclosure is likely to be at risk by returning home,
immediate contact should be made with the Social Services or the Police
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Good Practice
5.4 : Reporting abuse - suspected, disclosed or discovered
All workers should be aware of the appropriate reporting procedure - this process is illustrated by the flowchart
in Appendix lV
Workers should inform their line manager or a ‘link’ person appointed within your United Reformed Church or
another appropriate person.
It is the responsibility of the ‘link’ person to ensure that cases of abuse are reported. It is normal procedure to
contact the local Social Services team. If the child or young person is in immediate danger the police should be
contacted. The number of your local Social Services Duty team should be readily available.
The NSPCC can be contacted for advice - the helpline is open 24 hours a day, the number is 0880 800 500.
Also available for advice is the CCPAS [Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service] - 01322 660011
Any worker, staff or volunteer, can bypass the procedures and share concerns with an outside agency - Social
Services, NSPCC - if they feel that their line manager or management team/committee are not dealing with
their concern or are implicated in some way.
In every area Social Services and police have procedures for investigating cases where a child may be at risk.
Sometimes a child protection case conference will be convened. It may be appropriate for a United Reformed
Church representative to attend. This person may be present to share information or in a support capacity. It is
important to be clear which role is being undertaken.
Consideration should be given, on a case by case basis, to the support which can be given to an abused child or
young person, recognising that the support needs to be non-judgemental, appropriate and long term. External
help, available through Social Services or other Counselling agencies, may be advisable.
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Good Practice
5.5 : Dealing with allegations or suspicions of abuse within
the United Reformed Church
Any allegation made against any volunteer, paid employee, minister of any other officer of the United Reformed
Church must be taken seriously. It is recognised that this can be a distressing and stressful situation for all
involved but it is vital that the church acts responsibly with regard to children who have been entrusted into the
care of church workers.
When a report of an allegation or suspicion is received it is important to respond immediately by reporting it to a
‘link’ person, and ensuring a detailed record is kept, dated and signed.
When the informant is an adult the ‘link’ person should clarify the following:
••
••
•
the nature of the allegation or suspicion
details of the child/children and family/families involved
any relevant information relating to the person against whom the allegation is made
dates and times of the incident as appropriate
details of any others involved and/or any witnesses
This information should be reported immediately to the local Social Services (children’s services) immediately.
Social services will be able to advise about what will happen next.
When the allegation is made by a child the process as described at 5.4 should be followed.
Additionally the following should also be considered when an allegation or suspicion of abuse involves a
volunteer, an employee, a minister of any other officer of the United Reformed Church:
•
•
Does the person against whom the allegation is made have ongoing contact with children? In most
circumstances where social services become involved they can assist in offering advice about suspending
any activity that involves contact with children.
•
•
For any allegation against a Minister of the United Reformed Church there is clear guidance about
suspension/disciplinary matters. Synod Moderators should be informed of any concern immediately.
They will be able to advise which District Council members should be informed and how to proceed.
For a paid employee there will be a need to consider whether a period of suspension from active duties
is appropriate while an investigation is ongoing. Depending on the type of post of the employee it
should be clear in their contract who has responsibility for this level of decision making and which United
Reformed Church bodies need to be consulted and advised.
Who can offer appropriate care and pastoral support to the person under suspicion? This should not be
the same person offering support to any alleged victim or informant.
It should be noted that in these circumstances the practice of a short term suspension pending the outcome
of any investigation is a measure used to protect the volunteer, staff member, minister as well as the child. It is
not a method of apportioning blame but should be regarded as a neutral way of protecting all involved until an
investigation can be concluded.
At the conclusion of an investigation opportunities should be created for all those who have been involved in any
supportive capacity to debrief and obtain any support they may need themselves.
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Good Practice
Appendix I
SAFE FROM HARM
(Home Office Publication 1993)
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
1.
Adopt a policy statement on safeguarding the welfare of children.
2.
Plan the work of the organisation so as to minimise situations where the abuse of children may occur.
3.
Introduce a system whereby children may talk with an independent person.
4.
Apply agreed procedures for protecting children to all paid staff and volunteers.
5.
Give all paid staff and volunteers clear roles.
6.
Use supervision as a means of protecting children.
7.
Treat all would-be paid staff and volunteers as job applicants for any position involving contact with
children.
8.
Gain at least one reference from a person who has experience of the applicants paid work or volunteering
with children.
9.
Explore all applicants’ experience of working or contact with children in an interview before appointment.
10.
Find out whether an applicant has any conviction for criminal offences against children.
11.
Make paid and voluntary appointments conditional on the successful completion of a probationary period.
12.
Issue guidelines on how to deal with the disclosure or discovery of abuse.
13.
Train paid staff and volunteers, their line managers or supervisors and policy makers in the prevention of
child abuse.
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Good Practice
Appendix Il
Guidelines for Staff Working on their Own with Children / Young People
1.
Always let your Line Manager know the time and place of meeting with child/
young person.
2.
Always meet at a ‘neutral place’ if possible, never in a home if possible.
3.
Let other people know that you are there and/or remain visible in a public place.
4.
Establish mutually understood behaviour of both parties at the outset.
5.
Keep a detailed record of the appointment.
6.
Ensure good non-line management supervision.
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Good Practice
Appendix lll
INCIDENT REPORT FORM
NAME OF CHILD
NAME OF WORKER
POSITION OF WORKER
DATE & TIME OF REPORT
NATURE OF CONCERN
[If you have not already done so make a factual written record of your observations and any conversations.
Sign and date it.]
WHO HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS?
Child
Yes/No
Carer
Yes/No
Senior Staff/ ‘link’ person
Yes/No
Name
Social Services
Yes/No
Name
Feedback
Signature of Worker :
Date & time
Signature of ‘Link’ person/Line Manager:
Date & Time:
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Report to the ‘link’ person for your congregation or
other appointed person in the district/synod.
YES
YES
Is a United Reformed Church worker
suspected of abuse?
Agree on-going support
for the child/young
person.
NO
NO
Agree with Social Services any further action to
be taken (e.g. suspension of worker, informing
carers etc)
Report the case
to the local
Social Services
team.
Is the child in immediate danger?
Speak with the person to whom the abuse was
reported. Inform your district/synod ‘link’ person.
Contact the
police or the
Social Services.
YES
ACT IMMEDIATELY
DO NOT DELAY
ACTION BY ‘LINK’ PERSON
If you are not satisfied that the person to whom you have reported your observations is dealing with your concerns, it is open to you to contact the relevant authorities direct.
Action to be taken by a ‘link’ person
NO
Do you suspect that a minister or person of
responsibility in the church may be involved.
YES
Has the alleged abuse occurred during United Reformed
Church activities or do you suspect that a United Reformed
Church worker, paid or unpaid, is involved?
Keep a detailed record.
Fill out an incident form.
Reassure the child/
young person.
Explain the process.
UNITED REFORMED CHUIRCH
Appendix IV
Share your
concerns with the
person designated
to support you.
NO
IN AN
EMERGENCY
GET MEDICAL
HELP
DO NOT DELAY
ACT IMMEDIATELY
DEAL WITH A DISCLOSURE of ABUSE
It is everyone’s responsibility to be alert to and report signs of abuse
Good Practice
Flow Chart
3rd Edition – The United Reformed Church