St. Columba’s United Reformed Church Safeguarding Policy Statement
The following statement has been agreed by the leadership of St. Columba’s URC, Oxford
This church is committed to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk, and to ensuring their well-being.
● We believe that all children and adults at risk should know that they are valued within the church and safely enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of our church.
● We respect the personal dignity and rights of children and adults at risk (for example, as set out in the Human Rights Act 1989 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) and will ensure that our policies and procedures reflect this.
● We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect of children under 18 years of age.
● We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, financial, discriminatory abuse and neglect of adults at risk.
● We recognise that domestic abuse affects both adults and children and believe that domestic abuse in all its forms is unacceptable and inconsistent with a Christian way of living.
● We will report any abuse of children or adults at risk that we discover or suspect.
● Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed, the police will be contacted as a matter of urgency.
● We recognise that Children’s Services has responsibility for investigating allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about a child, and that Adult Services do so for adults at risk.
● We acknowledge that Local Authority Designated Officers (LADOs) have responsibility for dealing with allegations and concerns about people working with children, whether paid or voluntary workers, lay or ordained.
● We recognise that safeguarding is a whole church responsibility. We are committed to:
● The establishment of a loving environment, which is safe and caring, and where there is an informed vigilance about the dangers of abuse.
● Following the relevant legislation, statutory, denominational and specialist guidelines in relation to safeguarding children and adults at risk.
● Ensuring that we keep up to date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.
● Building constructive links with the relevant Voluntary and Statutory Authorities.
● Taking all reasonable steps to ensure that as a church, everyone works within the agreed procedures of our safeguarding policies.
● Supporting the Safeguarding Coordinator and Deputy in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults at risk.
● Following safer recruitment principles in the appointment and selection of all those who work with children and adults at risk, be they volunteer or paid staff, lay or ordained.
● Supporting, supervising, resourcing and training all those who undertake work with children and adults at risk.
● Ensuring that the children and adults we have contact with know that they are valued and feel empowered to tell us if they are suffering harm.
● Reporting, as appropriate, any abuse of children or adults at risk that we discover or suspect.
● Supporting all those in our church who are affected by abuse.
● Supporting and supervising those who pose a risk to children or adults at risk, implementing contracts of behaviour, whilst bearing in mind the overarching principle that the welfare of the child is paramount.
● If an assessment is made that someone poses an unmanageable risk to those in need of protection and could not safely attend our church, we will ensure that they continue to be offered pastoral care and will signpost them to appropriate agencies for support.
Name (on behalf of the church leadership): Adrian Moore
Signed: Adrian Moore
Date: 4 April 2023