Diocese of York

  1. Safe Recruitment: DBS Checks & Confidential Declaration Forms

    Following good practice for safe recruiting is extremely important when safeguarding the vulnerable in our diocese and our parishes. This document can be used as guidance when recruiting in your church, including confidential declaration, references and DBS checks:

    The Diocese of York - Recruitment Guidance for Parishes

    Safeguarding Practice Guidance- Safer Recruitment

    The following documents can be used as templates during the recruitment process for volunteers, workers and leaders for activities and/ or groups which work with young people and vulnerable adults:

    Confidential Declaration Form

    Volunteer Agreement

    Letter and Reference Form (to be sent to a referee)

    The Church of England’s Safer Recruitment Guidelines (which includes who needs to be DBS checked) is available by clicking here.


    DBS

    Disclosure certificates (formerly known as CRB) are an important element in safe recruiting. Here is a short guide to Disclosure and Barring in the Diocese of York:

    • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate is needed for everyone in public ministry and for everyone whose church duties (paid or unpaid) mean they have regular contact with children (under 18) or people who are legally defined as vulnerable adults;
    • Bishopthorpe Palace will remind Clergy and Readers when their DBS Certificates are due for renewal and will ask for the certificate to be sent to the office for checking;
    • All other people who need a Disclosure for parish-based work should get a form and completion notes from either from their Parish Safeguarding Representative or from Becci Richardson, the DBS Administrator at Bishopthorpe Palace. When they receive their certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service, they should show it to their incumbent or Parish Safeguarding Representative;
    • If the certificate has nothing (i.e. no convictions, cautions or any other information) recorded, the PCC, incumbent or Parish Safeguarding Representative must contact the DBS Administrator (Becci Richardson) with the issue date and certificate number. The person’s appointment or continuation can then go forward;
    • If there is anything at all recorded, the certificate must be sent to Bishopthorpe Palace for independent assessment;
    • If there is something recorded on the certificate, it does not automatically mean that the applicant will be considered unsuitable. However, a parish must not confirm someone in post whose certificate has anything recorded until the independent assessment has been made.

    Please download the following documents for further guidance and information:

    A Short Guide to DBS Applications in the Diocese of York

    DBS Update Service - How it Works in the Diocese of York

    If you would like further information or advice about safer recruitment, please contact Becci Richardson, the DBS administrator at Bishopthorpe Palace. Becci is available on 01904 707021 or by emailing becci.richardson@archbishopofyork.org.

  2. Organising Groups and Activities (including trips)

    This section is currently being updated. In the mean time, please feel free to download the resources below for your activities, groups and trips:

    General Consent Form for Regular Groups/ Activities

    Accident and Incident Report Form

    Supplementary Form for Going Away/ Going Abroad

    Information about Mini-Bus Permits

  3. Risk Assessments

    The possibility of risk cannot be completely eliminated. Nevertheless steps can be taken in order that the risk of a child or vulnerable adult coming to harm can be minimised and managed.

    This document (below) is a template for assessing activities or projects – for example, the risk assessment that is required before taking a youth group away for a residential weekend. This type of assessment, which is required in many and widely varied settings, is the responsibility of local church officers:
    Risk Assessment Template

    This document (below) is practice guidance for use by Diocesan and National Safeguarding Advisers, Archbishops, Bishops and their senior staff, Provincial and Diocesan Registrars. It is designed to inform and assist in decisions and processes about assessment of risk which may be posed to children and adults by church officers and members of Christian communities. This guidance provides information on:

    • The decision to undertake a risk assessment for an individual who may pose a risk of harm;
    • The identification of the appropriate risk assessment process, and the procedure for carrying it out; and
    • How any risks identified by the assessment can be minimised and managed.

    Risk Assessment Guidance on Individuals who may pose Risk to Children or Adults

  4. Procedure for Handling Concerns and Allegations

    Please find below the Procedure for the Handling of Safeguarding Concerns, Incidents and Allegations, and document to use if you need to log a concern about a child:

    Procedure for Handling Safeguarding Concerns, Incidents and Allegations

    Responding to Serious Situations

    Logging a Concern about a Child


    If you would like guidance about receiving phone calls which may include disclosures, please read the information below.

    The document below is what we call a Phone CRiB - that's a Considered Response in Brief. This gives you guidance of how to respond to a telephone call which may involve a disclosure, discussions of a concern or any other questions to do with safeguarding. We suggest that you keep Phone CRiB guidance in an accessible place near the phone if your church has an administrative office. Please click on the link below to download the Phone CRiB, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

    Phone CRiB 2016 - The Diocese of York

  5. Disclosing Abuse

    If you are a survivor of abuse, and would like to talk to someone, there are a number of people who would like to help.

    If you want to speak to someone within the Diocese of York, you can speak to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 07551 124951 or safeguarding@yorkdiocese.org.

    If you want to inform the Statutory Authorities, you can speak to a Local Authority Designated Officer, and you can find their details through the Local Safeguarding Children Boards listed below.

    If you would value support from people who have been through similar experiences, you can contact MACSAS, Minsters and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors. MACSAS is a support group for women and men from Christian backgrounds who have been abused by Ministers or Clergy, as children or as adults. Please see their website at www.macsas.org.uk.

    The following groups may also be of help:


    If you would like guidance about receiving phone calls which may include disclosures, please read the information below.

    The document below is what we call a Phone CRiB - that's a Considered Response in Brief. This gives you guidance of how to respond to a telephone call which may involve a disclosure, discussions of a concern or any other questions to do with safeguarding. We suggest that you keep Phone CRiB guidance in an accessible place near the phone if your church has an administrative office. Please click on the link below to download the Phone CRiB, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

    Phone CRiB 2016 - The Diocese of York

  6. Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults

    What is a vulnerable adult?

    An adult is vulnerable when their capacity and capability to make decisions for themselves in their own best interests is in some way compromised.

    For example:

    1. They have reduced capacity, including (but not limited to):
      Physical (mobility), mental (Dementia), environmental (housing), financial (low income), dependency (substance misuse), unable to take care of self, neglect, learning difficulty, disability, bereavement, suffered trauma or loss, a survivor of abuse, health issues, caring for another.
    2. They have capacity to make their own decisions but are:
      Always wanting others to make decisions for them, wanting others to care for them, isolated and lonely, stubbornly independent, declining help or supports even when needed, open to manipulation or exploitation, caring for another.

    Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

    There is a Parish Policy for the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults template available on the Policy section on our website. Please feel free to download and adopt it for your parish, and let us know if you have any questions.

    The Care Act 2014

    The Care Act 2014 sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect. You can view the Care Act here.

    The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) offers resources to help you implement the Care Act. Please click here to visit their website.

  7. Where should I store confidential information and safeguarding records?

    Guidance for keeping safeguarding records for your parish are available here:

    Practice Guidance for Safeguarding Records in Parishes

    If you would benefit from further assistance or advice for storing records and confidential documents, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.

  8. Keeping Yourself Safe

    As an adult in a position of trust, it is important to keep yourself safe in the world of safeguarding. Some key considerations put together by Dave are:

    1. Risk assessments - have you completed one for the activity or task you are engaging in?
    2. The person who needs to be protected comes first - not the reputation of the church.
    3. Keep things confidential where possible - but inform the DSA and authorities as soon as you have to.
    4. Could your actions be misinterpreted?
    5. You can only keep others safe if you keep yourself safe.
    Please download the document below for full guidance on keeping yourself safe:
    Keeping Yourself Safe

  9. I need support - who can I contact?

    If you need support, advice, answers to any questions on any matter to do with safeguarding, please get in contact with us.

    You are supported by:

    • Dave Finan, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
    • Becci Richardson, DBS Administrator
    • Andy Broom, Archdeacon of the East Riding
    • Sam Rushton, Archdeacon of Cleveland
    • Sarah Bullock, Archdeacon of York

    You can also contact local safeguarding boards for help, and national support networks.

    All of these contact details are available on our Contact Safeguarding page. To visit it, please click here.