More and more tragic cases of abuse linked to churches have been uncovered by the police or media in recent years. How are we, as part of the Church of England, responding?
Rosie Brooks is our ‘Parish Safeguarding Officer’ - she helps make sure that we implement the ever-stricter guidelines about who can work with children or vulnerable adults. She also liaises with the PCC and leaders of activities to help make sure that safeguarding guidelines are followed.
Everyone involved in church leadership has to be safely recruited and complete several levels of safeguarding training, and everyone who works directly with under 18s or vulnerable adults has to be recruited and trained appropriately. That doesn’t just include Junior Church leaders – it includes (for example) band leaders where there’s an under 18 playing in the band.
Some people think safeguarding is just about DBS checks. Rosie explains: “Those shouldn’t be used in isolation. We have to take up references and follow safe recruiting procedures as well.”
Training courses are available online and in person, and help staff and volunteers alike ensure good practice, recognise situations where someone might be at risk, and know how to respond when a situation arises.
If you have any safeguarding concerns, there are signs in all the church buildings for contacting Rosie, or you can look at stjamesbythepark.org/safeguarding – which also has our safeguarding policy.
We are very grateful to everyone involved in safeguarding, who together help make sure that everyone who attends is safe and secure. If there’s a form you haven’t yet completed or training you haven’t yet done, please do!
If you have been the victim of abuse and would like to chat confidentially, you are welcome to chat with Rosie or one of the clergy.
“If you have any safeguarding concerns, contact Rosie.”