What is the purpose of a parish safeguarding policy?

The policy exists for several reasons:

  1. To clearly state the commitment of the church to prioritise promoting the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults;
  2. To establish a clear framework for those entrusted with the care of children and vulnerable adults
  3. To give confidence to parents and carers when they entrust those running activities and groups at the church; and
  4. To give confidence to those who act on behalf of the church when action needs to be taken.

Where should the policy be available?

The safeguarding policy should be displayed in every place where activities involving children and/ or vulnerable adults could take place, such as within the church and on church hall noticeboards. The safeguarding policy should be reviewed, signed and dated annually, and the copy on display should be updated following every review.

The safeguarding policy should also be available from the Diocese of York’s safeguarding team. A reviewed and signed copy should be sent to the Diocese annually.

To send us a copy of your (2016 reviewed) safeguarding policy, please email it as an attachment to safeguarding@yorkdiocese.org, or post it to:

Diocesan Safeguarding Officer
Diocese of York
Aviator Court
Clifton Moor
YO30 4WJ

When should parishes refer to their policy?

The policy should be consulted every time a new activity which could involve children and/ or vulnerable people is planned. The policy should be consulted when recruiting leaders and helpers, and for guidance when taking photographs and using social media.

Is there a Church of England template for a parish safeguarding policy?

The National Safeguarding Team is presently revising a template for a parish safeguarding policy which combines children and vulnerable adults into one policy. The team is taking a phased approach to consultation to facilitate this as a more meaningful exercise, spread over a number of months, with a view to the policy going to the House of Bishops in December 2016.

As a result of this, a national standard parish safeguarding policy should be available for parishes to adopt at the beginning of 2017. However, it is important that all our churches have an up-to-date safeguarding policy to refer to during 2016, so for this reason, we have included interim template documents which can be adopted by your parish until the national template is available.

Parish Policy Templates

Here are templates you can use to update your parish safeguarding policy in 2016. Please click on the links below to download.