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The following policy was adopted by the P.C.C of St Augustine’s Church, Whitchurch for the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults

Safeguarding Policy


Diocese of Bristol

Parish of St Augustine's

 July 2019

Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults:

Policy and Procedure

“Every person has a value and dignity which comes directly from their creation in God’s own image and likeness. Christians have a duty to value, understand and respect the rights of children and adults as people of faith in the life of the church.” Diocese of Bristol Safeguarding Policy, 2018

Please Note!  Page numbering on this website is different to the printed version which is available from the church due to the restraints of publishing on this web site.

Please contact the Church Office for a printed copy.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 1


1.Policy Context  …… Page 2

Church of England: ….Page 2

Diocese of Bristol: ……Page 2

Statutory Guidance: …Page 3

2. Policy Statement ……..Page 3.

3. Who is a child, young person, adult who may be vulnerable?                      Page 5

4. What is abuse and neglect? ……..Page 6

5. What to do if you are concerned that abuse or neglect may be happening ………Pages 6 & 7

6. Confidentiality and consent ………Page 8

7. Record Keeping ………Page 8

8. Safer Recruitment and ongoing support and supervision  ……………………………Page 9

9. Roles and Responsibilities ……….. Page 10

10. Additional Related Policies  

    Photography & Videos………………Page 11

    Communications & Social Media      Page 12

Hire of Church Premises for none Church events and activities (whether a fee is chargeable or not)  …….….…….….……    Page 13

11. Policy implementation and Review ..Page 13

Appendix 1: Useful Contact numbers ….Page 14

Appendix 2: Categories of Abuse and additional information ….….…………Pages 15 to 17


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 2

1. Policy Context

In developing this policy the parish of St Augustine's commits to following the safeguarding policies of the Church of England, safeguarding policy and guidance as issued by the Diocese of Bristol and commits to working within legislation and statutory guidance as related to the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Adults.

The main relevant polices guidance documents are:

Church of England:

Protecting all God’s Children, 2010

Promoting a Safe Church, 2006

Promoting a Safer Church – Policy Statement, 2017

Practice Guidance: Safer Recruitment, 2016

Responding Well to Domestic Abuse, 2017

Responding Well to those who have been Sexually Abused, 2011

Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers, 2017

Roles and Responsibilities of Church Office Holders and Bodies, 2017

Safeguarding Records Joint Practice Guidance, 2015

Safeguarding Records Retention Tool Kit, 2015

General Statement on Safeguarding Children in Towers, 2015

These documents can be found on the Diocese of Bristol Website here: look under National policies and procedures.

 Diocese of Bristol:

Safeguarding Policy, 2018

Allegations Management Procedure, 2018

Ministering to those who may present a risk, 2018

Safer Recruitment Guidance and Toolkit, 2017

These documents can all be found on the Diocese of Bristol website: and descriptions are given where these policies are referenced in this policy document.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 3

Statutory Guidance:

Working Together 2018: This guidance from the Department for Education describes safeguarding processes and the safeguards that every organisation must have in place, including faith organisations, when safeguarding children. See the guidance at

Or online:

Care and Support Statutory Guidance 2016:

This is guidance from the Department of Health which describes safeguarding processes for adults and the responsibilities of different organisations:

 2. Policy Statement

It is the responsibility of all members of the parish of St Augustine's to give paramount importance to the nurture and care of children, young people and vulnerable adults, in a safe and secure environment. It is about preventing harm to children and adults wherever possible.

We recognise that:

 The welfare of the child, young person or vulnerable adult is paramount.

 Everyone has different levels of vulnerability and each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives

 All children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable (regardless of age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation) have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse which can occur in all families and communities.

 Working in partnership with children, young people, vulnerable adults and their parents, carers and other agencies is essential in promoting their welfare.

We will develop a culture in our church that:

 Enables a safe and caring community to provide a loving environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse.

 Enables and encourages concerns to be raised and responded to openly and consistently and protects children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable from actual or potential harm.

 Ensures all people feel welcomed, respected and safe from abuse.

 Values, listens to and respects children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable, encouraging them to be active contributors to the church community.

 Encourages adults who may be vulnerable to lead as independent a life as possible.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 4

When concerns are raised we will:

 Respond without delay to every concern raised that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may have been harmed, or may be at risk of harm, through abuse or neglect.

 Work with police, local authority and other partners in any investigation, including where allegations are made against a member of the Church community.

 Challenge any abuse of power, especially by anyone in a position of trust.

If abuse has occurred we will ensure:

 Informed and appropriate pastoral care is offered to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse, including support to make a complaint if so desired.

 Supervision is provided for any member of the Church Community known to pose a risk of harm to others.

 Appropriate pastoral care is provided to any member of our church against whom an allegation is made.

In all recruitment we will:

 Carefully select those with any responsibility within the Church (including voluntary workers) in line with the Church of England Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance, 2016 and provide ongoing supervision, support and training.

In our publicity we will:

 Share information about good safeguarding practice with children, young people and vulnerable adults, their parents, carers and all those working and worshipping with them.

 Where the Parish has a website we will ensure there is clear information available regarding our safeguarding arrangements, including a copy of the Parish Safeguarding Policy and other relevant information.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 5

 3. Who is a child, young person, adult who may be vulnerable?

Children and young people: for the purposes of this policy, means anyone under the age of 18 years.  Children and young people may be abused by an adult or child, male or female. It is far more common for a child or young person to be abused by a person known to them than by a stranger. This could be a parent, family member, friend, teacher, minister or anyone else. Children may be abused in person or via electronic media, they may experience harm as a result of seeing or hearing the abuse of others.

Where conflicts of interest arise between the welfare of the child and that of adults, the child’s wellbeing must always be of paramount importance and priority.

Adults who may be vulnerable: The Care Act 2014 defines an adult to whom statutory safeguarding duties apply as an adult who:

Has needs for care and support (whether or not the Local Authority is meeting any of these needs)

Is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect

As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of or the experience of abuse or neglect.

(Care and Support Statutory Guidance, 2016)

The definition may apply to anyone 18 years old and over who may not be able to protect themselves from abuse, harm or exploitation, which may be by reason of illness, physical, sensory or learning disability or impairment, mental illness, use of drugs or alcohol. Increased vulnerability may be temporary or permanent and may be visible or invisible.

An adult may be abused or neglected by family (including spouses, parents and children), friends, carers (paid and unpaid), strangers and professionals and members of the community. Those at risk may live alone or may live with family or in a care setting e.g. residential home.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 6

 4. What is abuse and neglect?

Please see the table attached as Appendix 2 This outlines the forms of abuse noted in legislation related to safeguarding children, young people and adults alongside some examples and potential indicators that abuse or neglect may be occurring.

5. What to do if you are concerned that abuse or neglect may be happening

You may see or hear something of concern or someone may tell you something of concern (a disclosure).  If a child, young person or adult tells you that they have experienced abuse, are experiencing abuse or are concerned that they may be at risk:

Do’s & Don’t

DO- Listen. Try to move to a quiet space if possible

Don’t - Tell them to speak to someone else

DO- Let the person talk at their own pace and say what they want to say. If you need to clarify points ask open questions like:

Tell me.. what happened,

Explain … about the incident

Describe …where it was , what happened

DON’T- Investigate Ask leading questions

e.g. why did they do that, was it ‘name’, did it hurt you?

DO- Take it seriously

DON’T- Try not to react as though unbelieving or shocked

DO- Reassure. Confirm they are doing the right thing by telling you.

DON’T- Tell them not to tell stories

DO- Tell them you need to share the concern with the right people e.g. Parish Safeguarding Officer, police, social care DON’T-  Promise to keep a secret or tell people who don’t need to know.

DO- Record what was said and the facts as accurately as possible as soon as possible Try to just remember it

DON’T-  Contact the person the allegation is about

Whether a child, young person or adult has shared a concern with you or you have seen or heard something of concern…

If the situation is urgent i.e. there is an imminent risk of harm: contact the police on 101 or 999 as appropriate or contact the Local Authority Children or Adults safeguarding Teams:

 Bristol City Council Children's safeguarding  team

 Tel number ‐ Monday to Friday 0117 9036444

 Tel number ‐ Out of hours/Weekends 01454 615165

Bristol City Council Adult Safeguarding Team

 Tel Number ‐ Monday to Friday 0117 9222700

 Tel Number ‐ Out of hours/Weekends 01454 615165

Police 999(emergency) or 101 (non emergency)


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 7

Once you have sought advice from police or the Local Authority and the situation is made safe, inform the Parish Safeguarding Officer as soon as possible of the concern and actions taken; provide a written record of this. If the concern is about the Parish Safeguarding Officer contact the Incumbent or Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

If the situation is of concern but is not urgent: Contact the Parish Safeguarding Officer to report the concern and provide a written record (if the concern is about the Parish Safeguarding Officer contact the Incumbent or Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser). They will decide with you whether to discuss with the child, their parents or carers or the adult and any carers and whether a referral to the Local Authority Children or Adults Safeguarding Team is needed or any other action.

Note: Anyone can report a concern directly to police or the Local Authority at anytime.

The Parish of St Augustine's hopes that all will follow this policy but where there is any concern that an issue has not been reported and should be or any reluctance to inform the church of an incident the parish of St Augustine's wishes to make clear that the most important point is that those concerns are reported to the appropriate authority so that they can be acted upon where needed.

If there is an allegation that a person in a position of trust (minister, PCC member, staff member or volunteer) has abused or neglected a child or adult or that such a person may present a risk to a child or adult: The Diocese of Bristol ‘Allegations Management Procedure’ will be followed (copies of this procedure can be found on the Diocesan website and copies are held by the Parish Safeguarding Officers, Clergy and in the Parish Office). In brief this procedure requires that:

 The concern should be reported as above; report should reach police and Local Authority within 1 working day.

 The concern should not be made known to the person against whom the allegation is raised without agreement with police and or the Local Authority.

 Next steps will be decided in conjunction with police, Local Authority representatives (including Local Authority Designated Officer where there is a concern for the welfare of a child), the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and parish representatives (usually PSO, Incumbent and Churchwardens).

If a person is identified who has a caution or conviction for abuse of children and or adults who may pose a risk to others: (usually those with convictions for sexual or violent offences) the Diocese of Bristol guidance ‘Ministering to those who may pose a risk’ (Copies of this guidance can be found on the Diocesan website and copies are held by the Parish Safeguarding Officers, Clergy and in the Parish Office) will be followed. In brief this guidance advises that that Parish Safeguarding Officer and Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser are made aware and that the individual is informed that:

 To support their being part of the congregation as safely as possible, contact will be made with police, probation and other agencies connected with their case.

 The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and Church leaders will need to know of their circumstances.

 That a risk assessment will need to be completed

 And that a written agreement will be needed between the individual and the Church which agrees when the individual will or will not be involved in church services and activities, boundaries of behaviour and support offered.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 8

 6. Confidentiality and consent

Confidentiality: The parish of St. Augustine's accepts the principle that only those with a need to know should be made aware of safeguarding concerns or other confidential information. All staff, ministers and volunteers are expected to share confidential information appropriately and to ensure that written records and verbal information is shared responsibly and stored securely.

Consent: The parish of St Augustine's accepts that all people have a right to make their own views and wishes known and that these wishes should be followed wherever possible.

Children: Where there is a concern that a child is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect they may ask those that know not to tell anyone. The parish of St Augustine's accepts that we can not do this; these concerns must be reported to the appropriate authorities to enable the child or young person to receive appropriate help and support. The parish of St Augustine's asks all staff, ministers and volunteers to explain this to children in their care when appropriate.  Where there is concern that a child is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect. The parish of St Augustine's expects that parents and carers will be communicated with and will have their consent sought for information to be shared with the Local Authority or other agencies. This should happen except where there is concern that to do so would place a child at increased risk or where a parent or carer may be involved in the sexual abuse of the child. In those circumstances advice of the Local Authority or police should be sought before informing the parents or carers of the concern.  Where the allegation is against an individual who may have access to other children or vulnerable adults the referral should be made without seeking consent from parents or carers - how they are made aware of the concerns will be decided alongside statutory agencies.

Adults: Adults have the right to make their own decisions about their lives. Consent should be sought from an adult before information is shared about them. However, where an adult withholds consent for a safeguarding concern to be shared with statutory authorities (police and local authority), this should be accepted except where there may be others at risk (e.g. is the abuse or neglect is happening in a care home or hospital or the abuser has access to other vulnerable adults or children) or where there is reason to doubt that the individual has capacity to make that decision or where there is imminent risk of serious harm. Advice should be sought from statutory services (Adult social care or police) or the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser where there is any doubt as to whether a concern should be referred.

 7. Record Keeping

Records of all safeguarding concerns will be kept by the Parish Safeguarding Officers. They will keep a record of the initial concern and all actions taken. The records will be securely held in the Church safe at St Augustine's.  All those involved with any safeguarding concern must ensure that they provide to the Safeguarding Officer any records related to that case for secure storage.

Records will be retained as per Church of England guidance ‘Safeguarding Records: Joint Practice Guidance for the Church of England and the Methodist Church’ 2015 (Available on the Diocese of Bristol website).

The parish of St Augustine's does not have access to secure email systems. Therefore great care should be taken where email is used to ensure that confidential information is not open to being accessed by unauthorised individuals. Individual’s confidential information should not be communicated via email (e.g. any information should not make the individual identifiable by name, address etc.).Records must be maintained of staff and volunteer training and DBS checks. These will be maintained by the Parish Safeguarding Officer.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 9

 8. Safer Recruitment and ongoing support and supervision

All recruitment of staff and volunteers will be undertaken in line with Church of England policy ‘Safer Recruitment, 2016’.

Recruitment of staff and volunteers will only be undertaken by those delegated such responsibility from PCC.

Recruitment of staff and volunteers will only be undertaken according to agreed process.

All recruited staff and volunteers will be made known to PCC.

No one who has not been safely recruited will be permitted to work unsupervised with children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable.

In brief: All staff and volunteers will:

 Have all recruitment checks completed and approved prior to starting in role.

 All eligible staff and volunteers will have a repeat DBS disclosure every 5 years. Any lapsed DBS check will require the post holder to stand down until the check has been completed.

 Attend safeguarding training as required by the Church of England

 Attend any other training as decided by the PCC

 Have a named supervisor


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 10

 9. Roles and Responsibilities

NAME: Parochial Church Council (PCC)

 Agree, implement, monitor and review annually  this safeguarding policy and all associated policies

 Ensure all staff and volunteers are recruited safely

 Agree and implement supporting good practice guidance and processes

 Ensure adequate insurance for all activities

 Recruit and provide adequate support to Parish Safeguarding Officers

 Ensure all staff and volunteers are adequately trained and supervised

NAME: Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO)

 Respond to all safeguarding allegations and concerns according to policy and guidance

 Monitor and report to PCC regarding adherence to policy and practice

 Arrange safeguarding training and maintain records

 Process DBS disclosures for the church and maintain records   

NAME: Incumbent

 Act as a point of contact should there be any safeguarding allegation or concern regarding a PSO

NAME: Church Wardens

 Take part in the allegations management procedure when required

 Take part in an ‘agreement’ as per ‘ministering to those that may present a risk’

NAME: Activity Leaders

 Follow the Safeguarding policy and associated good practice guidance

 Ensure that activities are run according to good practice guidance

 Report any safeguarding concerns as per policy

 Ensure all volunteers are safely recruited

 Ensure all volunteers have in date training and DBS check as required

 Ensure all new volunteers receive agreed induction

 Supervise agreed volunteers

NAME: Staff and Volunteers

 Follow the safeguarding policy and associated good practice guidance

 Report any safeguarding concern as per policy

NAME: Church members

 Be aware of the safeguarding and associated policies

 Report any concerns as per policy


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 11

 10. Additional Related Policies

Photographs and videos

It is the policy of the parish of St Augustine's that no one should take photographs of children or young people without the written consent of that child’s parent or carer and the consent of that child where they are old enough to give consent.

Where photographs are to be taken consent will be gained from parents and carers in advance, using the agreed form. This will stipulate: who will take photos, for what purpose they may be used, how they will be stored and after what period they will be destroyed.

 Photographs and videos commissioned by the parish of St Augustine's of children, young people and other images where the content may be a cause for concern shall be stored securely. Where such images are commissioned by the church, it is recognised that the author will have specialist software not available on equipment belonging to the PCC. The commissioning document or email shall state that after processing is complete the author shall store the images on secure devices belonging to the PCC only and shall not store the completed images on personal equipment. Any original  images shall be stored on a device not normally connected to the internet. The English law of copyright is acknowledged by the PCC. Copyright of all images and videos is the property of the author except where the author has accepted a specific commission. This paragraph does not apply to general images of the church building and its contents, the congregation, church activities or descriptive photographs used, for example, on the church website or church publicity material.


No photo will be taken, shared or used for any purpose which shows a child in any state of undress.

Children will not be named in publicity related to photographs or video.

Where an event may be photographed and is open to the public; signs will be displayed noting that photographs and or video may be taken and inviting anyone not wishing to be in any photos or video used to make this known to a named person. The photographer/ videographer will be named on these signs and will wear ID.  

Only those delegated with that responsibility by PCC may ask for parental consent and arrange the taking of any photo or video.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 12

Communications and Social Media

It is the policy of the parish of St Augustine's that no one employed on a paid or voluntary basis, serving as a PCC member or as a licenced minister will contact children or young people directly via social media, email, phone or text without the knowledge and consent of that child or young persons parent or carer.

Where such contact needs to be made (for example a text to advise of a change of time for an activity) the child’s parent or carer will be asked for consent in advance and the parent or carer will be copied into that communication.

Very rarely contact may be made with a child or young person without the knowledge of the child’s parents or carers (for example where there are serious safeguarding concerns for a child and it would increase the risk to the child to contact the parent). In this case the person making contact with the child must agree in advance with the Parish Safeguarding Officer that this is appropriate, a second adult should be copied into all communications e.g. Parish Safeguarding Officer or Incumbent and must keep a record of all communications and provide these to the Parish Safeguarding Officer for the case record.   

Where a group wishes to have a social media account to publicise or communicate regarding their group or activity the following will apply:

The account shall not be a personal account belonging to any group member or leader; it will be a separate group account.

More than one adult will be administrator for the account so that all content and messages can be seen by more than one adult.

All users will be made aware that bullying, harassment or other anti social behaviour will not be tolerated. Information will be available to all users about how to raise a concern about the conduct of others and who with.

Steps must be taken to prevent people outside the group having access to the names or personal details of anyone who is part of the group e.g. if a group Facebook page is used, the account settings should prevent group members being identified and any message sent to anyone other than the administrator.

All those in a leadership role will ensure that their language is professional and appropriate e.g. not adding ‘xx’ to messages, not using nicknames that are not what the leader is called by everyone else, avoiding addressing others by endearments which would be ambiguous, such as ‘love’.

Further advice and information regarding online safety is available from the Diocese Safeguarding Team.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 13

 Hire of Church Premises for none Church events and activities (whether a fee is chargeable or not)

Organisations and individual users meeting at the parish of St Augustine's will be expected to adhere to this safeguarding policy or where they work regularly with children, young people or adults who may be vulnerable, to have their own safeguarding policy.

The parish of St Augustine's is responsible for overseeing users and ensuring that that agreed hire process and forms are in use. This will include obtaining a copy of the hirers safeguarding policy where relevant and providing a copy of this policy.   

 11. Policy implementation and Review

This policy is agreed by the Parish of St Augustine's PCC on 24th July 2019.

All staff, volunteers and ministers are required to abide by this policy and associated good practice guidance.

This policy will be made available on the Church website; a copy will be available in each church building.

This policy will be monitored via annual audit and annual report to PCC

This policy is to be reviewed annually.

Next Review Due:  24th July 2020

Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 14

 Appendix 1: Useful Contact numbers

 Our Parish Safeguarding Officer is: Rachel Lewis    Tel: 01275 891950 / 07851 668364

 Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: Tel: 0117 906 0100.

 If advice is needed on a safeguarding issue and the PSO or DSA are not available, the Thirty One:Eight provide a helpline that can be contacted on 0303 003 11 11. Please state that you are calling from a Diocese of Bristol church and contact your PSO as soon as possible to report that you sought advice from Thirty One:Eight  and action taken.

 Bristol City Council Children’s Safeguarding Team

 Telephone number ‐ Monday to Friday 01179036444

 Telephone number ‐ Out of hours/Weekend                                      01454615165

 Bristol City Council Adult Safeguarding Team

Telephone Number ‐ Monday to Friday 01179222700

 Telephone number ‐ Out of hours/Weekends                                      01454615165

Police: 999 (emergency) or                   101 (non emergency)


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 15

Appendix 2: Categories of Abuse and additional information

Categories, Definitions and Indicators of Harm (Last Updated April 2017 v4)

Type Of Harm, Definition, Examples & Indicators

TYPE OF HARM: Physical

Adults and Children

DEFINITION: Non-accidental harm to the body. From careless rough handling to direct physical violence.

Unlawful or inappropriate use of restraint or physical interventions.  

EXAMPLES: Hitting, slapping, pinching, shaking, pushing, scalding, burning, dragging, kicking, physical restraint, locking an individual in a room or a car.

INDICATORS: History of unexplained falls or minor injuries, bruising which is characteristic of non-accidental injury – hand slap marks, pinch marks, grip marks, bite marks, scalds, flinching, reluctant to undress.


Adults and Children

DEFINITION: Direct or indirect involvement in sexual activity without capacity and/or consent. Individual did not fully understand or was pressured into consenting.

Note: A child under 16 years old can never consent to any sexual act

EXAMPLES: Coercion to be involved in the making or watching of pornographic material.  Coercion to touch e.g. of breasts, genitals, anus, mouth, masturbation of either self or others, penetration or attempted penetration of vagina, anus, mouth with or by penis, fingers and or other objects

INDICATORS: Pegnancy in a women unable to give consent, difficulty in walking or sitting with no apparent explanation, torn, stained or bloody underclothes or bedding, Bleeding, bruising to the rectal and/or vaginal area, bruising. Behavioural changes, sexually explicit behaviour, explicit language, self harm, obsession with washing, fear of pregnancy may be exaggerated

TYPE OF HARM: Emotional

Adults and Children

DEFINITION: Behaviour which has a harmful effect on an individual’s emotional well being or development, causing mental distress undermining their self-esteem and affecting individual’s quality of life.

Wilful infliction of mental suffering by a person in a position of trust and power.

Shouting, coercion, bullying, blaming, insulting, ignoring, threats of harm or abandonment, intimidation, harassment, humiliation, depriving an individual of the right to choice and their privacy, dignity, self -expression, deprivation of contact, undermining self-esteem, isolation and over-dependence. Failure to provide a loving environment for a child.

INDICATORS: Loss of interest, withdrawn, anxious or depressed, frightened, avoiding eye contact, irritable, aggressive or challenging behaviour, unexplained sleep disturbance, self harm, refusing to eat, deliberate soiling, unusual weight gain or loss.



Adults and Children

DEFINITION: Failure of any person who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult at risk or child to provide the amount and type of care or treatment that a responsible person could be expected to provide.

EXAMPLES: Fail to meet basic needs including food, environment, access to health care and education, failure to provide for social needs.

INDICATORS: Unwashed/ dirty appearance, clothes too small/big, untreated sores or infections, isolation.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 16

TYPE OF HARM: Financial


DEFINITION: The unauthorised taking (theft), deprivation or misuse of any money, income, assets, funds, personal belongings or property or any resources of an adult at risk without their informed consent or authorisation.

EXAMPLES: Misuse of power of attorney or appointeeship. Money and possessions stolen, misuse or misappropriating money, valuables or property, possessions or benefits, undue pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, denying the adult at risk the right to access funds, unauthorised disposal of property or possessions, being asked to part with money on false pretences,

INDICATORS: Unexplained or sudden inability to pay bills, Power of Attorney obtained and misused when a person lacks or does not lack mental capacity to understand, unexplained withdrawal of money with no benefits, person lacking goods or services that they can afford, extortionate demands for payments for services

TYPE OF HARM: Organisational


DEFINITION: Involves the collective failure of an organisation to provide safe, appropriate and acceptable standards of service to adults at risk.

Mainly relates to health and social care provision but aspects may be relevant to Church settings  

EXAMPLES: Lack of individualised care, inappropriate confinement or restriction, sensory deprivation, inappropriate use of rules, custom and practice

INDICATORS:Whistle blowing policy not in place and accessible, insufficient employees training and development. Organisational standards not meeting those laid down by regulatory bodies, service users not treated with dignity and respect, diverse needs not recognized and valued in terms of age, gender, disability, ethnic origin, race or sexual orientation, services not flexible

TYPE OF HARM: Discriminatory


DEFINITION: Exists when values, beliefs or culture result in a misuse of power that denies opportunity to some groups or individuals.

EXAMPLES: Verbal abuse, harassment or similar treatment, unequal treatment, deliberate exclusion from services such as education, health, justice and access to services and protection, harmful or derisive attitudes, inappropriate use of language

INDICATORS: Repeated exclusion from rights afforded to citizens such as health, education, employment and criminal justice

TYPE OF HARM: Modern Slavery

DEFINITION: Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

EXAMPLES:  Adult or Child trafficked into UK or between places in UK for purpose of sexual abuse or labour.

Adult or Child forced to work as domestic servant.

Adult or child forced to work as sex worker, farm labourer, car cleaner.

INDICATORS: Individual may not have their passport or Identity documents. They may not have access to or contact with friends and family.

May never be left alone, live in poor conditions, not be able to leave of own free will. May have no access to funds. May not know where they are or who they are with.

TYPE OF ABUSE: Self Neglect

DEFINITION: A wide range of behaviour involving neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

EXAMPLES: May not react to or appropriately  fulfil needs for health care, food, warmth. May live in an environment that is an environmental or fire risk and not take any measure to reduce risk or inadequate measures.

INDICATORS:  Environment which is poorly maintained, dirty, animal infested, cramped to the degree that it places the individuals wellbeing at risk.

May have untreated or inadequately treated physical health issues.

TYPE OF HARM:  Domestic Violence

DEFINITION: Incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality. Age range 16+

EXAMPLES: Includes: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence; Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage.

INDICATORS: Appears to be afraid of partner / of making own choices, behaves as though she/he deserves to be hurt or mistreated, low self-esteem or appear to be withdrawn, appears unable or unwilling to leave perpetrator, makes excuses for or condones the behaviour of the person alleged to have caused harm, blames abuse on themselves

TYPE OF HARM: Spiritual Abuse

(not defined in Statutory Guidance)

DEFINITION: Inappropriate use of religious belief or practice.

EXAMPLES: The misuse of the authority of leadership or penitential discipline, oppressive teaching or intrusive healing or deliverance ministries which may result in various types of harm.

INDICATORS: Could be any of the above.


Policy Date:         July 2019

Version Number:  1

Due for Review:   July  2020                 Page 17

Some Additional Information:

Child Sexual Exploitation:

All children and young people can be at risk of sexual exportation. This includes boys and girls of any age.  This is a form of sexual abuse. Whilst young people can give consent to sexual acts from the age of 16 (so long as they have the capacity to do so) they continue to be a risk of sexual exploitation beyond their 16th birthday. Any concern that a child or young person may be at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation must be reported immediately to Children’s Social Care or the police. Sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child’s immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.  

Female Genital Mutilation:

Female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as female circumcision) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is illegal in the UK. It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM. However, the true extent is unknown, due to the "hidden" nature of the crime. The girls may be taken to their countries of origin so that FGM can be carried out during the summer holidays, allowing them time to "heal" before they return to school. There are also worries that some girls may have FGM performed in the UK. Any concern that a child of adult who may be vulnerable may be at risk of FGM must be reported immediately to the relevant Local Authority or directly to police.

Terrorism and Extremism:

Any person may become drawn into extremism or sympathy with such views and into terrorism. This will often happen through contacts made via the internet but a culture that supports this can develop in any community, group, school or faith organisation. The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places duties on certain bodies, not including Faith Organisations (excepting where such an organisation runs a school or other relevant premises) to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Everybody should be alert to any indication that a person or group may be developing or has developed an interest or ideology that may include harm to others.

Any concern related to this whether for a child or adult must be reported to the police without delay.

End of safeguarding policy document

If you require a printed copy please contact the church office by email  -

Due to Covid-19 the review is postponed

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St. Augustine’s, Whitchurch 2021