The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association

Safe-Guarding Policy

Summary

The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association (CMPA) is committed to creating and maintaining a caring and a safe environment for children, young people, the elderly and any adults considered to be vulnerable in accordance with the principles of Christ Jesus. This is done by:

  • Recognising that it is the responsibility of everyone to protect vulnerable persons.
  • Responding appropriately and without delay to any suspicions or allegations of abuse.
  • Appointing a Welfare Coordinator who takes responsibility for vulnerable adults and acts as the main point of contact for vulnerable persons, carers and external agencies.
  • Ensuring access to confidential information is restricted to those with an appropriate reason and to the appropriate external authorities
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of our Safe-guarding Policy and activities on a regular basis.
  • Ensuring that all staff, trustees and any volunteers whom we appoint are aware of the Safe-guarding policy. Copies of this policy will be made available on request to individuals responsible for vulnerable persons who attend the premises of the CMPA (the ‘Office’).

Introduction

This policy is designed to assist all those responsible for vulnerable persons who may work at the office or from time to time visit the Office. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, children who may be attending Bible Story Time, students on work experience and elderly residents from the Christadelphian Care Homes. This policy is provided to all staff who may find themselves involved with any vulnerable persons at the Office. As vulnerable persons usually attend the Office when accompanied by parents, carers or guardians it is most unlikely that CMPA staff will find themselves in a position of direct responsibility for those individuals. Attendance of unaccompanied vulnerable persons is not encouraged.

Aims

Our objectives in dealing with all vulnerable persons is to ensure that they remain safe and cared for during any visits to the Office. All vulnerable persons should be protected from abuse and exploitation, and it is our responsibility to respond appropriately should abuse be identified and to ensure that whenever possible all vulnerable persons have the support of families, guardians and carers.

Responsibilities

  • To obtain and hold DBS certificates for all those working with children or young people.
  • In the unlikely situation when vulnerable persons are present without parents, guardians or carers, to maintain attendance records with emergency contact details.

General

  • Health and safety assessments are carried out regularly to ensure the Office is a safe place to work and visit.
  • Appropriate first aid kits are available.
  • Attendance records are maintained when any vulnerable persons are attending unaccompanied.
  • An accident book is maintained.

Suggested Good Practice

All vulnerable persons have a right to feel safe and secure. They must be treated with respect and dignity. In the event of an accident (when the parents, guardians or carers may not be present) the parents, guardians or carers are to be informed with all necessary steps taken to safeguard the vulnerable person in the meantime. We should be mindful that all actions should be taken with care and respect for the vulnerable person.

Work experience

From time to time students spend time at the Office as part of their school’s work experienc programme. On such occasions a member of staff is appointed as the principal person with responsibility for the student and for maintaining contact with the school.

Trustee responsibilities

  • To ensure that a Welfare Coordinator is appointed.
  • To ensure that a copy of this policy is provided to those who need it, and that they understand it. Copies will be made available as necessary.
  • To give advice on the matters discussed in this policy document.
  • To carry out an annual review of the Safe-guarding policy.

Dealing with possible abuse

As in all matters we are committed to treating everyone, especially the vulnerable, in a loving, Christlike manner. We strive to obey the laws of the land and should a situation arise we will work co-operatively with the relevant agencies such as the police and social services. However, we recognise that abuse can occur, even in situations in which no problem was suspected. Failure to act appropriately may not only damage those involved but may harm the reputation of the CMPA, the Christadelphian community and, more seriously, the name of the Lord Jesus. The term ‘abuse’ is taken to include:

  • Physical injury caused either deliberately or through neglect.
  • Sexual exploitation.
  • Neglect through an ongoing and serious failure to provide for their needs.
  • Emotional abuse involving persistent or severe ill treatment or rejection.

Staff should be aware of likely indications of abuse, such as unexplained injuries or general signs of poor care or neglect. From time to time training is provided on this subject. Anyone approached by a vulnerable person wishing to talk about abuse, or by someone else wishing to report abuse, should:

  • Allow the informant to speak in their own words, without pushing for further information.
  • Reassure them that they are right to pass on the information.
  • Early in the discussion, explain the need to let someone else know, without promising confidentiality.
  • Listen carefully to what is said and check that it has been understood.
  • Make notes either during the conversation or as soon as possible afterwards, aiming to record what was actually said, what was happening immediately beforehand, and the date and time of the conversation.
  • Speak, as soon as possible, to the Welfare Coordinator, unless they are implicated or unavailable, in which case a deputy should be consulted. They should briefly discuss the facts of the case, to attempt to exclude any false allegation.
  • The Welfare Coordinator (or deputy) and the individual to whom suspected abuse has been reported, should work closely together in determining what action to take. This may, where serious criminal physical or sexual abuse is alleged, involve seeking advice from an outside agency such as the NSPCC or social services.

If abuse is reported

The welfare of the vulnerable person should be our primary concern. If the vulnerable person’s parents, guardians or carers are clearly not implicated, they should be contacted, but otherwise the allegation should not be mentioned to them or to anyone else; abuse is most commonly carried out by close relatives, and is often difficult to prove. In other situations, if the concerns are not as great, it may be appropriate to speak with the parents, guardians or carers and suggest, for example, that help or advice be sought.

Checklist

  • Safe-guarding policy to be reviewed annually.
  • Welfare Coordinator and deputies should be reviewed annually.
  • Public liability Insurance should be reviewed annually.
  • Health and safety to be reviewed annually.
  • First aid kit should be available and the contents checked regularly.
  • An accident book should be maintained.