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Child Protection

Policy statement on children, young people the church

This statement is based on the original policy agreed at the church meeting held on 16th June 1996 with the revision as agreed at the September 2002 meeting, and further revisions at the meeting on 20th September 2011, 17th September 2013 and 16th September 2014.

We have a specific vision to become a Christ-centred, Spirit-filled community of God’s people, growing in our resemblance of the early church born on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2: 42-47.
In fulfilling this vision, the church:
     • has a programme of activities with children and young people
     • welcomes children and young people into the life of our community
     • makes our premises available to organisations working with children and young people.
The church recognises its responsibilities for safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18 (regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability) as set out in The Children Act 1989 and 2004, Safe from Harm (HM Government 1994) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2010).
As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with the church and pray for them regularly.
In pursuit of this we commit ourselves to the following policies and to the development of procedures to ensure their implementation.
Prevention and reporting of abuse
It is the duty of each church member and each member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people and the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.  The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.
Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers
The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary.  All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.
Respecting children and young people
The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that all the children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.
Safe working practices
The church is committed to provide a safe environment for activities with children and young people and will adopt ways of working with children and young people that promote their safety and well-being.
A safe community
The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people.  The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.
Responsible person
The church has appointed Tony Nelson as the Safeguarding Trustee to:
• oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church’s charity trustees;
• advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and young people;
• take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
The church appoints George and Alison Blair as the children's advocates.
Policy and procedures
A copy of the policy statement will be displayed permanently on the noticeboard in the entrance hall.
Each worker with children and young people whether paid or voluntary, will be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and will be required to follow them.
A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the church, the parents or carers of any child or young person from the church or any other person associated with the church.
The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually.
The policy statement will be read annually at the church meeting in September.



Policy statement on equal opportunities

This statement was agreed at the Church Meeting held on 24th September 2002 with a revision as agreed at the meeting on 16th September 2014.
As an organisation using the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, this church undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly. It undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information received.

We welcome people to serve the church on the basis of the right mix of talent, skills,
Character, potential and call of God, including those with criminal records.
A Disclosure is requested only after a thorough risk assessment has indicated that one is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.
A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to a person serving with children and young people. This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offences. 
In order to protect the confidentiality of those with criminal records we will access Disclosures through the Churches’ Agency for Safeguarding. We invite the Baptist Union’s Child Protection Advisory Panel to advise us in the appointment process when necessary, and we agree to act on their advice for the protection of children and young people.