ANCHOR COMMUNITY CHURCH (ACC)

SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND VULNERABLE ADULTS POLICY 

Summary of safeguarding policy

ACC works to:

Safeguard the welfare of young people we come into contact with by protecting them from all forms of harm.

Create an environment where young people are listened to and encouraged to talk about their lives, themselves and  any concerns they may have.

ACC will endeavour to safeguard by:

Valuing and listening to individuals and showing mutual respect.

Recruiting employees and volunteers, ensuring safer recruitment procedures are followed.

Sharing good safeguarding practices with young people, parents, staff and volunteers.

Sharing information of concerns by liaising with agencies and parents where appropriate.

Providing support and training for members and volunteers.

ACC recognises that abuse and harm can take place in many forms:

Physical abuse

Sexual abuse

Emotional abuse

Neglect

Child sexual exploitation 

Radicalisation 

Modern slavery (trafficking)

FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

Forced marriage.

ACC will respond to suspicions or allegations of abuse:

Offering support and guidance to the young person and vulnerable persons ensuring immediate safety

Recording incidents / concerns on appropriate proforma and informing DSL (designated safeguarding lead), Nicky Davies or Deputy, Louisa Petley.

If advice is needed this can be sought in the first instance from Thirtyone:Eight PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone:  0303 003 11 11  Email:[email protected]

alternatively contact Social Services or the police.

Disclosure resulting in immediate danger

Contact DSL immediately . Nicky Davies 07736788610

MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) 
Civic Centre 
Southampton 
SO14 7LU

If unable to make contact with DSL – make contact with one of the following agencies:

For Young People:

Emergency duty team multi agency safeguarding hub – 023 8083 3336

Out of hours emergency duty team 023 8023 3344 (after 5 pm)

If unable to contact these offices, call 999.

Reporting social media abuse and exploitation – report through CEOP – www.ceop.police.uk

For Vulnerable adults:

If an adult is in immediate danger, contact the police by telephoning 999.

Complete form on https://www.southampton.gov.uk/health-social-care/contact-social-care/report-abuse-or-concerns-about-an-adult.aspx 

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 023 8083 3003

Address: Adult social care, Southampton City Council Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY

If the suspicions implicate both the DSL (Nicky Davies) and the Deputy (Louisa Petley), then the report should be made in the first instance to the Thirtyone:Eight PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ. Telephone 0845 120 4550. 

Alternatively contact Social Services or the police

ACC will maintain confidentiality in all aspects :

Written records of any concerns will be kept securely by the leadership team, unless due to the nature of the incident it is not appropriate to involve certain members of the team. 

Privacy and confidentiality will be respected at all times but if doing so leaves an individual at risk of harm then the individual’s safety will come first.

Code of conduct:

  • Treat all children, young people and adults with respect.
  • Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow.
  • Ensure that wherever possible there is more than one adult present during activities with children/young people, or at least you are within sight or hearing of others.
  • Remember that someone else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
  • Be aware that special caution is required when discussing sensitive issues with children or young people.
  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations and or suspicions of abuse.

You should NOT :

Have inappropriate physical or verbal contact with children or young people.

Allow yourself to be drawn into inappropriate attention- seeking behaviour, making suggestive or derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people.

Act in a way that is contrary to policy and good practice.

Signed                                                                    Date                      Review date – March 2022  

Organisation details

Anchor Community Church (ACC)

26 Quob Lane

West End

Southampton

Hampshire

SO30 3HN

Tel No: 07729750545 (Pastor Ben Davies)  or  07736788610  (Mrs Nicky Davies) 

Email address: [email protected]    

Website: www.anchorcommunitychurch.com        

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anchorcommunitychurchwestend      

The following is a brief description of ACC and the type of activities we undertake with children and adults.

Activities take place at the Main church hall and in the future, in an upstairs room at the above address.  

Sunday worship services  (Weekly)

Prayer meetings (regularly)

Youth club (Fortnightly for youth aged 8-12 during term time)

Anchor Explorers (Monthly for youth aged 8-12 during term time)

Tots group (Fortnightly for under 5’s during term time)

Anchor Women (Women’s group meets once a month)

Messy Church (Once a month for families)

Pastoral support of congregation (visits/meetings/phone calls)

Social events (Occasional)

Our commitment

ACC is committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and ensuring their well being.  As a Leadership, we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults.  We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.  We accept the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Human Rights, which states that everyone is entitled to “all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.  We also concur with the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that children should be able to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse.   They have a right to be protected from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of the child.”  As a Leadership, we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance.  We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.  

  • We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children and young people (those under 18 years of age) and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
  • We believe every child should be valued, safe and happy.  We want to make sure that children we have contact with know this and are empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
  • All children and young people have the right to be treated with respect, to be listened to and to be protected from all forms of abuse.
  • We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of adults who have care and support needs and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
  • We recognise the personal dignity and rights of adults who find themselves victims of forced marriage or modern slavery and will ensure all our policies and procedures reflect this.
  • We believe all adults should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life at ACC unless they pose a risk to the safety of those we serve.
  • We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of all those who will work with children and adults with care and support needs.

We are committed to:

  • Following the requirements for UK legislation in relation to safeguarding children and adults and good practice recommendations.
  • Respecting the rights of children as described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Implementing the requirements of legislation in regard to people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring that workers adhere to the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policy.
  • Keeping up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding. 
  • Supporting the safeguarding co-ordinator/s in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children/vulnerable adults.
  • Ensuring that everyone agrees to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this place of worship/organisation.
  • Supporting parents and families.
  • Nurturing, protecting and safeguarding of children and young people.
  • Supporting, resourcing, training, monitoring and providing supervision to all those who undertake this work.
  • Supporting all at ACC affected by abuse.

We recognise:

  • Hampshire Social Services has lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child. 
  • Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed then the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.
  • Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

We will review this statement and our policy and procedures annually.

If you have any concerns for a child or adult with care and support needs then speak to Nicky Davies who has been approved as safeguarding coordinator for ACC.

This policy applies to all volunteers who will recognise and respond appropriately to any allegation or suspicion of abuse.

Definitions of abuse

Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm, or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.

Signs and symptoms of abuse

Behaviours

Behaviours indicating abuse: Withdrawn, suddenly behaves differently, anxious, clingy, depressed, aggressive, problems sleeping eating disorders, wets the bed, soils clothes, takes risks, misses school, changes in eating habits, obsessive behaviour, nightmares, drugs, alcohol, self-harm, thoughts about suicide.

Physical abuse 

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child or vulnerable adult causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.

It isn’t accidental – children who are physically abused suffer violence such as being hit, kicked, poisoned, burned, slapped or having objects thrown at them. Shaking or hitting babies can cause non-accidental head injuries (NAHI). Sometimes parents or carers will make up or cause the symptoms of illness in their child, perhaps giving them medicine they don’t need and making the child unwell – this is known as fabricated or induced illness (FII).

There’s no excuse for physically abusing a child. It causes serious, and often long-lasting, harm – and in severe cases, death.

Physical signs

Burns shakes , bruising, bites, fractures / broken bones , other health issues.

Sexual abuse 

There are 2 different types of child sexual abuse. These are called contact abuse and non-contact abuse.

Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a child, including penetration. It includes:

  • sexual touching of any part of the body whether the child’s wearing clothes or not.
  • rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a child’s mouth, vagina or anus.
  • forcing or encouraging a child to take part in sexual activity.
  • making a child take their clothes off, touch someone else’s genitals or masturbate.

Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing.

It includes:

  • encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts.
  • not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others.
  • meeting a child following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them.
  • online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images.
  • allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images.
  • showing pornography to a child.
  • sexually exploiting a child for money, power or status (child exploitation).

Children or vulnerable adults who are sexually abused may:

  • Stay away from certain people.
  • They might avoid being alone with people, such as family members or friends.
  • They could seem frightened of a person or reluctant to socialise with them.
  • Show sexual behaviour that’s inappropriate for their age.
  • A child might become sexually active at a young age.
  • They might be promiscuous.
  • They could use sexual language or know information that you wouldn’t expect them to.
  • Have physical symptoms.
  • Anal or vaginal soreness / unusual discharge/ STI ( sexually transmitted diseases) / pregnancy.

Child sexual exploitation(CSE)

Child sexual exploitation Is a form of sexual abuse – Child sexual exploitation is a hidden crime. Young people often trust their abuser and don’t understand that they’re being abused. They may depend on their abuser or be too scared to tell anyone what’s happening. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults, including oral and anal rape. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Child sexual exploitation doesn’t always involve physical contact and can happen online.

Children in exploitative situations and relationships receive something such as gifts, money or affection as a result of performing sexual activities or others performing sexual activities on them. Children or young people may be tricked into believing they’re in a loving, consensual relationship. They might be invited to parties and given drugs and can be groomed online.

Neglect 

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s or vulnerable adult’s basic needs and is the most common form of abuse.

A child/vulnerable adult may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care.

A child/vulnerable adult may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm.

They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents/carers

A child/vulnerable adult who’s neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage – even death.

Types of neglect:

Physical:  Failing to provide basic needs such as food, clothing or shelter.  Failing to adequately supervise or provide for safety.

Educational: Failing to ensure a child receives an education.

Emotional: Failing to meet needs for nurture and stimulation, perhaps by ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them.  It is often the most difficult to prove.

Medical: Failing to provide appropriate health care including dental care and refusal of care, or ignoring medical appointments and advice.

 

Emotional abuse

There often aren’t any obvious physical symptoms of emotional abuse or neglect but you may spot signs in a child’s actions or emotions.

Changes in emotions are a normal part of growing up, so it can be really difficult to tell if a child is being emotionally abused.

Babies and pre-school children who are being emotionally abused or neglected may:

  • be overly-affectionate towards strangers or people they haven’t known for very long
  • lack confidence or become wary or anxious
  • not appear to have a close relationship with their parent, e.g. when being taken to or collected from nursery etc.
  • be aggressive or nasty towards other children and animals.

Older children may:

  • use language, act in a way or know about things that you wouldn’t expect them to know for their age
  • struggle to control strong emotions or have extreme outbursts
  • seem isolated from their parents
  • lack social skills or have few, if any, friends.

Child trafficking 

Signs

Signs that a child has been trafficked may not be obvious but you might notice unusual behaviour or events. These include a child who:

  • spends a lot of time doing household chores
  • rarely leaves their house, has no freedom of movement and no time for playing
  • is orphaned or living apart from their family, often in unregulated private foster care
  • lives in substandard accommodation
  • isn’t sure which country, city or town they’re in
  • is unable or reluctant to give details of accommodation or personal details
  • might not be registered with a school or a GP practice
  • has no documents or has falsified documents
  • has no access to their parents or guardians
  • is seen in inappropriate places such as brothels or factories
  • possesses unaccounted for money or goods
  • is permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings, required to earn a minimum amount of money every day or pay off an exorbitant debt
  • has injuries from workplace accidents
  • gives a prepared story which is very similar to stories given by other children.

FGM ( female genital mutilation) 

A girl at immediate risk of FGM may not know what’s going to happen. But she might talk about, or you may become aware of:

  • a long holiday abroad or going ‘home’ to visit family
  • relative or cutter visiting from abroad
  • a special occasion or ceremony to ‘become a woman’ or get ready for marriage
  • a female relative being cut – a sister, cousin, or an older female relative such as a mother or aunt.

Indicators FGM may have taken place:

A girl or woman who’s had female genital mutilation (FGM) may:

  • have difficulty walking, standing or sitting
  • spend longer in the bathroom or toilet
  • appear withdrawn, anxious or depressed
  • have unusual behaviour after an absence from school or college
  • be particularly reluctant to undergo normal medical examinations
  • ask for help, but may not be explicit about the problem due to embarrassment or fear.

The physical effects of FGM

FGM can be extremely painful and dangerous. It can cause: severe pain, shock, bleeding, infection such as tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C, organ damage, blood loss and infections that can cause death in some cases.

Radicalisation

“Prevent”

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of our wider safeguarding duties.  Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and other forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. .As with managing other safeguarding risks, we should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour that could indicate that they are in need of protection.

Personnel should use their professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately. This may include making a referral to the Channel programme (Keeping Children Safe in Education, Department for Education, July 2015) Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/ 447595/KCSIE_July_2015.pdf

How to respond to a child wishing to disclose abuse :

Remain calm, accessible and receptive.

Listen carefully without interrupting.

Make it clear you take the allegations seriously.

Reassure they have a right to tell.

Let them know what you are going to do everything you can to help them and what might happen as a result.

Do not probe for more information than is offered.

Do not make promises that everything will be alright.

Do not agree to keep it a secret.

Ensure they understand who you will have to share the information with.

Never delay getting emergency help if needed.

As soon as possible using their own words, record in writing what was said- note the date and the time, names mentioned, ensure all is ordered dated and signed by you, and the DSL.

Follow the procedures outlined in the summary policy . 

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people or vulnerable adults 

If an accusation is made against a member of ACC or any volunteer assisting whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will need to liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the volunteers, also making a referral to a designated officer formerly called a Local Authority Designated Officer (DO). Or if appropriate, Adult social services. 

Safer recruitment

The Leadership will ensure all volunteers will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment.  This includes ensuring that:

  • Safeguarding has been discussed at time of appointment
  • Written references have been obtained, and followed up where appropriate
  • A disclosure and barring check has been completed where necessary (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)
  • A suitable training programme is provided for the volunteers
  • The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.

Management of Volunteers – Codes of Conduct

As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all volunteers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All volunteers have been issued with a code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs – see summary of policy 

Pastoral Care

Supporting those affected by abuse

The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of ACC.

Working with offenders

When someone attending the place of worship is known to have abused children, or is known to be a risk to vulnerable adults, the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care, but in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and vulnerable adults, set boundaries for that person which they will be expected to keep. 

Working in Partnership

The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.

We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership, whether in the UK or not. We will discuss with all partners our safeguarding expectations and have a partnership agreement for safeguarding. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises, as part of the letting agreement, will either abide by this policy or have their own policy that meets CCPAS’ safeguarding standards.

Good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding. 

Signed by: ________________________________

Date: ________________________________