1. Displaying your parish Safeguarding arrangements

    The Church of England’s House of Bishops policy is that parishes need to display information about their safeguarding arrangements.

    Parishes should display:

    • A formal statement of adoption of the House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church; safeguarding policy statement’. This should be signed on behalf of the PCC
    • Contact details of the Parish Safeguarding Adviser (PSA), churchwarden and any other local leaders
    • Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding issues e.g. local authority contact details, domestic abuse and key helplines such as Childline.

    Parish Websites

    The Parish Safeguarding Handbook offers additional guidance that a parish should also ‘ensure that safeguarding arrangements are clearly visible on the front page of the parish website’.

    Each parish may decide what information to put on its website.

    If it has no website it may offer some information on the national Church’s A Church Near You (ACNY) website (www.achurchnearyou.com).

    Every parish church has an ACNY page (and can edit it), with a ‘safeguarding’ tab (red arrow) at the foot, taking the user through to an interactive map which locates the correct diocesan safeguarding details.

    Additionally, if they wish, churches can add a page to their ACNY profile with their own parish Safeguarding details.

    A guide on how to add pages to ACNY can be found on the ‘Editor Help Centre’ which is also visible at the foot of each ACNY page for logged-in editors: bit.ly/acnyaddapage.

    The ACNY Editor Help Centre also provides blogs on how to use ACNY more widely, including how to become an editor if your church does not yet use the site.

    • If you have further questions, please contact your diocesan communication team (www.dioceseofyork.org.uk/communications) who are regularly briefed about ACNY updates and are in contact with the national digital team.

    Download a printable version of this information

  2. I'm a priest / deacon / reader / churchwarden; what do I need to know?

    Download briefings from the Diocesan Registry on the current legislation and best practice adopted by the Church of England's House of Bishops:

  3. Safe Recruitment: DBS Checks & Confidential Declaration Forms
  4. Organising Groups and Activities (including trips)
  5. 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

    • This should only be undertaken in partnership with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
  6. 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:

    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.

  7. 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 - The Diocese of York

  8. Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults

    What is a vulnerable adult?

    A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 or over whose ability to protect her or himself from violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation is significantly impaired through physical or mental disability or illness, old age, emotional fragility or distress, or otherwise; and for that purpose, the reference to being impaired is to being temporarily or indefinitely impaired. From the Church of England's national Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance.

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 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 documents below for full guidance on keeping yourself safe:
    Keeping Yourself Safe
    Guidance on working alone

  11. 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.

    Safeguarding does not have to be a lonely place, and you are part of a wider team within the Diocese of York.

    You are supported in your role by:

    • Julie O'Hara, our Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
    • Becci Leckenby, DBS Administrator
    • Andy Broom, Archdeacon of the East Riding
    • Sam Rushton, 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.