Trinity Vineyard Church values the dignity and wellbeing of every individual. It makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe.
Trinity Vineyard Church comes into contact with children and / or vulnerable adults through the following activities:
A. Sunday Morning Services B. Vineyard Kids C. Lunch Club D. Bible Club E. Small Groups F. One-off events G. Pastoral visits
The types of contact with children and / or vulnerable adults will be:
– Regulated: i.e. Frequent contact (average of once or more per month) with vulnerable people in a regulated environment. Activities A-E above. – Ad hoc: i.e. Infrequent contact (less than once per month) with vulnerable people in a less regulated environment. Activities F-G above. – Remote i.e. Trustees and Staff who can access data on vulnerable people.This policy seeks to ensure that Trinity Vineyard Church undertakes its responsibilities with regard to protection of children and / or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support paid and unpaid staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.
The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are: – Working together to safeguard Children 2010 – The Children Act 1989 – The Adoption and Children Act 2002: – The Children act 2004 – Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 – Care Standards Act 2000 – Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 – The Police Act – CRB 1997 – Mental Health Act 1983 – NHS and Community Care Act 1990 – Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Trinity Vineyard Church is also registered with the Church Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).
Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organisation to ensure the protection of children and / or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.
Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.
It can take a number of forms, including the following: – Physical abuse – Sexual abuse – Emotional abuse – Bullying – Neglect – Financial (or material) abuse
For further information see “An Introduction to Safeguarding” (Dropbox).
Definition of a child A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).
Definition of Vulnerable Adults A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who: – Is elderly and frail – Has a mental illness including dementia – Has a physical or sensory disability – Has a learning disability – Has a severe physical illness – Is a substance misuser – Is homeless
4. Supervision of vulnerable people
Below are suggested ratios for the number of adults to children for an activity (NSPCC: 2017)
Adult : Child
Under 2 — 1 : 3 2 – 3 years — 1 : 4 4 – 8 years — 1 : 6 9 – 12 years — 1 : 8
It is Trinity Vineyard Church’s policy that at least 2 helpers are needed to run any activity.
For children over 8 years old there is no official guidance. A suggested ratio is two adults (preferably one of each gender) for up to 20 children, with an additional leader for every 10 children. Following a risk assessment, this ratio would need to be increased for outdoor activities. It would need to be further increased if the activity is considered high risk or dangerous, or when catering for children with disabilities/special needs. Similarly, the appropriate ratio for supervising vulnerable adults should be agreed following a risk assessment of the specific activity and in agreement with the Senior Pastors and Safeguarding Officer.
For definitions regarding different people groupings in this document see “Standard Definitions to use in TVC policies” (Dropbox).
All staff and volunteers have a responsibility to follow the guidance laid out in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures. We expect all staff and volunteers to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.
Additional specific responsibilities
Trustees have responsibility to ensure: a. All policies and procedures are reviewed and approved at least once every 2 years. b. All staff (paid and unpaid) are aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures. c. All staff (paid and unpaid) have resources and support available to apply these policies and procedures in their work.
The Church Leadership Team have responsibility to ensure: a. All staff (paid and unpaid) abide by these policies and procedures and flag concerns with individuals where behaviour falls outside of these. b. All staff (paid and unpaid) attend appropriate Safeguarding Training where relevant to their role and responsibilities.
The Designated Safeguarding Officer has the responsibility to ensure: a. All child and adult protection issues are reported, recorded and closed according to policies and procedures. b. All staff (paid and unpaid) have an in-date DBS check where relevant to their role and responsibility. c. They promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. d. Keep up to date with national and local Safeguarding legislation and best practice.
The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad ranging and in practice it will be implemented via a range of procedures within the organisation.
These procedures can be found on Dropbox and include: A. Sunday Morning Services Safeguarding B. Vineyard Kids Safeguarding C. Lunch Club Safeguarding D. Bible Club Safeguarding (owned by and obtained from “Genesis Impact”) E. Small Groups Safeguarding F. One-off events Safeguarding G. Pastoral visits Safeguarding H. DBS checks I. Reporting Safeguarding Issues
The Safeguarding policy is also to be implemented alongside other relevant policies, such as: – Equal Opportunities – Health and Safety – Data Protection – Employee Complaints, Grievances and Discipline – Staff Values and Ethos Statement
All staff and volunteers that work with children and vulnerable adults must undergo a formal recruitment process before they begin working with vulnerable people: – All staff and volunteers are to be known by Trinity Vineyard Church for at least 4 months or have a relevant reference provided (with exceptions only to be made at the discretion of the Senior Pastors and Safeguarding Officer). – All staff and volunteers must have a DBS check where necessary. Current guidelines available here – All staff and volunteers must read and sign the relevant Safeguarding procedure. – At all times the Senior Pastors and Safeguarding Officer can refuse to accept a person, on grounds of suitability.
8. Communication, training and support for staff and volunteers
Trinity Vineyard Church commits resources for induction, training of staff and volunteers, effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding. Induction will include verbal instruction and signing of a Safeguarding procedures form.
All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children and/or vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level. Sources of training will include: CCPAS, VCUKI, other local churches and organisations. These will be emailed out for staff to access.
Communications and discussion of safeguarding issues
Commitment to the following communication methods will ensure effective communication of safeguarding issues and practice: staff briefings, clear channels of communication & a designated Safeguarding officer.
We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. The mechanisms in place to support staff include: support from the Church Leadership Team and access to external support where required.
9. Professional boundaries
Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a staff member or volunteer and a child or vulnerable adult. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place.
Trinity Vineyard Church expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organization and must adhere to the “Staff Values and Ethos Statement”. If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures.
The process for raising and reporting safeguarding concerns can be found in the “Reporting Safeguarding Issues” procedure. Trinity Vineyard also recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its staff or volunteers within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation. The process for raising and dealing with allegations is outlined in the Employee Complaints, Grievances and Discipline policy.
The organisation will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects: – Safe recruitment practices – DBS checks undertaken – References applied for new staff – Records made and kept regarding activities relating to children and vulnerable adults (see Section 1) – Training – register/ record of staff training on child/ vulnerable adult protection – Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned – Checking that policies are up to date and relevant – Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place – Presence and action of Designated senior manager responsible for Safeguarding is in post
12. Managing information
Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Policy. All staff must be aware that they cannot promise vulnerable people or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.