Safeguarding

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Referring a Safeguarding issue to the District Safeguarding Team 

If you have an enquiry or need to seek advice from the District Safeguarding Team (DST) in relation to a generic and  non-urgent safeguarding issue, or wish to enquire about safeguarding training or  a policy issue please complete the  Safeguarding Generic Enquiry Form 

If you need to  consult or advise the  DST about an allegation or safeguarding incident relating to a child or adult in your church/circuit, concerns in respect of a specific situation or individual, or are contacted by another agency regarding someone who might pose a risk then you should use the Safeguarding Notification and Referral FormThe form is designed to be filled in on your PC, but you need to save it to your PC first. 

Completed forms which contain personal information relating to a concern or an individual should be sent by encrypted email using Galaxkey if you are a Galaxkey user or as a password protected word document.  Passwords should be provided to the recipients using  a different means to the original email (section 5.2 of the Methodist Safeguarding policy). 
 All safeguarding enquiries, notifications and referrals should be sent to:  safeguarding@northamptonmethodistdistrict.org.uk     This inbox will be reviewed daily during office hours.

The responsibility for Safeguarding

Every Church is required to appoint a safeguarding representative, though this role could be shared across a number of churches. Every Circuit is required to appoint a safeguarding co-coordinator.  Please inform the District Safeguarding Officer and the District Office if there is a change in church or circuit safeguarding representatives. The District Safeguarding Officer is the point of contact within the district for safeguarding but may refer matters to the Chair of District, The Connexional Safeguarding Team, and to others as and when appropriate.

Safeguarding Handbook

To enable churches to follow good practice the Methodist Church originally produced the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook. This has now been completely replaced with a new document entitled "Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church". This and other useful documents can be found on the Methodist Church web site Here.

Promoting Safer Practice - Safer Recruitment and DBS check  

The aim of safeguarding within the Methodist Church is to create safe, caring communities which provide a supportive environment where there is a culture of informed vigilance as to the dangers of abuse. 

Critical to good safeguarding is safer recruitment and safe working practices. In line with our policies and procedures, it is essential that safe recruitment processes are followed in relation to the appointment of all paid staff and volunteers.  Procedures in relation to  both these areas can be found in Section 6 of the Safeguarding Policy Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/15910/bookmarked-safeguarding-policies-procedures-and-guidance-for-the-methodist-church-october-2019.pdf

Practice guidance for carrying out Disclosure and Barring (DBS) checks as part of safer recruitment can be found here www.methodist.org.uk/media/7253/safer-recruitment-guidance-january-2018.pdf

DDC (Due Diligence Checking Ltd.) is the new Registered Body that will be processing all DBS / PVG application for the Methodist Church. All DBS applications will be done electronically.

Within each Circuit, Superintendents, ministers and some circuit and some church safeguarding officers have been authorised to undertake DBS checks on behalf of the Methodist church. 

Role descriptions 

To support the work in the Circuits with recruitment to volunteer and paid roles, we have begun to put some role descriptions together for your use. These model role descriptions, parts of which can be adapted to suit the specific requirements and tasks with individual churches and circuits are available below 

The role descriptions available are for: 

We shall continue to add to these over the coming months.  We would also welcome copies of those you might be using to assist us in this work and as always, we welcome comments about these so that they can be developed and amended further in the future. Email us at safeguarding@northamptonmethodistdistrict.org.uk

Safeguarding Training

Creating Safer Space Foundation Module 2020

The Creating Safer Space Foundation Module (CSS FM 2020) has been updated to serve either as a basic training course for those new to the church or a role requiring safeguarding training and as a refresher course. The course will help you understand safeguarding in the Methodist Church and our collective responsibility for creating safer spaces for all.

The training's overall aim is to increase safeguarding awareness, so that the Church can exercise its duty of care to all its members, office holders, and anyone who comes through its doors.

Training is offered and delivered at Circuit level.  

More information about who should attend and courses in your area  are available from your Circuit Safeguarding officer and general information about the training courses offered by the Methodist Church is  available on the Methodist Church website using this link.

Creating Safer Space Advanced Module 2019

The aim of Advanced Module is to consolidate and develop previous safeguarding learning and to explore what this means in your designated role of responsibility within the Church. The course will further equip those in leadership positions with the skills and resources to be confident in promoting good practice in the Church and community and help to extend their understanding of responding well to different groups within the Church community.  

It is a requirement that all active ministers, local preachers, worship leaders, circuit safeguarding officers, those in paid employment involving work with children or vulnerable adults, and a number of other specified groups must attend the Advanced Module. A programme of training sessions is offered by the District Safeguarding Team and  details of forthcoming training days can be obtained from the District office.

Who should attend these courses

Lists of those who are required to attend the above courses are available by clicking on the links below:

Creating Safer Space Foundation module https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/15559/css-foundation-module-required-attendance-list-updated-oct-2019.pdf

Creating Safer Space Advanced module https://www.methodist.org.uk/media/15556/advanced-module-required-attendance-list-updated-oct-2019.pdf

Training requirements and frequency

The Methodist Church requirement is for safeguarding training to be renewed every four years.   Refresher training will only apply to the highest level of safeguarding training undertaken by any individual.  Therefore, if an individual qualifies for and completes the Advanced Level course this is where they will need to renew within 4 years of completing the Advanced module.  Similarly those who are required and encouraged to attend the Foundation Module should seek to renew this training every four years.

Church and Circuit Activity and Event planning and risk assessment document   

Section 6.7 of the Safeguarding Policy for the Methodist church sets out guidance for church sponsored activities and events. The aim of these guidelines is to try and minimise risk when working with vulnerable groups, the church community and the public, recognising that it is not possible to avoid all risk. When planning any event with children or adults it is important to consider the guidance within the Methodist Safeguarding Policy and apply this at all stages of the event planning process.

So that Churches and Circuits can be more confident and safer in the knowledge that all aspects of the events and activities they are planning are considered the DST have developed a model template for use when planning an event or activity and needing to complete a risk assessment.  This document provides:

  • a checklist and templates to assist the planning of an event or activity
  • a risk assessment template for an activity or event 

Planning and early preparation for events and activities are essential and therefore it is suggested that you work through this guidance and complete the template at an early stage in the planning process and update the forms as the planning progresses.  It is important that all sections are completed, even if they may not seem relevant. That said, for smaller events there may be sections that are not applicable – if this is the case, please mark them as such

To access the document please click on the link here Activity and Risk Assessment Document

Past Cases Review [PCR]

The report on the Past cases review, Courage Cost and Hope, can be read here One year on a progress report was published and can be read here.

Safeguarding: Recording of information

It is important that all information relating to safeguarding is held securely. The circuit safeguarding officers are responsible with the superintendents for ensuring that this is happening at both circuit and church level. All incidents, accidents, concerns must be written up and kept in a safe place. If the statutory authorities are consulted regarding any such incident, this needs to be notified to the District Safeguarding Officer. All contact with statutory authorities regarding concerns needs to be in writing with a copy to the district.

Safeguarding information has to be kept for 75 years.It must be kept in the circuit and the safeguarding officer must know where any information is held and who has access to it.

Gill Crippen: Northampton District Safeguarding Officer

General Safeguarding enquiries/referrals: safeguarding@northamptonmethodistdistrict.org.uk

Safeguarding Strategy

The District Safeguarding Group have been developing a strategy document which provides a framework for Safeguarding in the Northampton District over the next few years. The stratetgy was considered and approved by the District Executive in August 2016 and an Executive Summary was approved at the September Synod. Both documents can be downloaded using the links below.

Full version (24 pages)              Executive Summary (2 pages)


District Office

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