What is the purpose of a parish safeguarding policy?
The policy exists for several reasons:
- To state clearly the commitment of the church to prioritise promoting the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults;
- To establish a clear framework for those entrusted with the care of children and vulnerable adults;
- To give confidence to parents and carers when they entrust those running activities and groups at the church; and
- 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 made available to 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 (annually reviewed) safeguarding policy, please email it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it to:
Diocesan Safeguarding Officer
Diocese of York
Amy Johnson Way
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.
Parish Policy Templates
The Church of England offers a range of downloadable templates and resources to help compile and review your Parish Safeguarding Policy at www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding/templates-resources.
In addition here are the Photo and Video Parish Policy and Social Media Guidelines recommended by the Diocese of York: