If a child or adult is at immediate risk of significant harm, in the first instance you should always contact your local social services team or local police (call 101). You must then inform your Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) - listed below.
OUT OF HOURS ADVICE
A DSA will usually be available between 09.00 and 17.00, Monday to Friday. Please see below for contact details of the DSA for your Episcopal area.
If you require URGENT safeguarding advice outside these hours, or if you are unable to speak to a DSA, then please contact your Archdeacon. If they are unavailable then you must contact any of the Archdeacons in the Diocese of Leeds.
USEFUL DOCUMENTS - QUICK ACCESS
WHAT PARISHES SHOULD DISPLAY - MARCH 2019
Please note that it has been the House of Bishops’ policy since 2017 that parishes must display information about their safeguarding arrangements, specifically that the parish should display:
- A formal statement of adoption of the House of Bishops’ ‘Promoting a Safer Church; Promoting a Safer Church Booklet; Safeguarding Policy Statement’. This should be signed on behalf of the PCC;
- Contact details of the PSO, churchwarden and any other local leaders;
- Information about where to get help with child and adult safeguarding issues, eg local authority contact details, domestic abuse and key helplines, e.g. ChildLine (see Appendix 5 for model in ‘Safeguarding in Parishes - Who’s Who’ which can be accessed via this link http://leeds.anglican.org/safe-diocesan-policy-guidance (see section what parishes should display)
Additionally, the Parish Safeguarding Handbook published in 2018, states that a parish should also ‘ensure that safeguarding arrangements are clearly visible on the front page of the parish website’. It recognises that not all parishes have a web page and, in this situation, the parish may want to put the information attached onto the National Church website A Church Near You. https://www.achurchnearyou.com/ This has a ‘safeguarding’ tab on every page which will take the user through to a map highlighting safeguarding details
We would encourage you to comply with these requirements as speedily as possible and to take a fresh look at information on your website. While we realise the Handbook was only finalised at the end of last year, very few parishes have complied with this guidance. It is possible that a failure to comply with the publication requirement on the web page could be a failure to have ‘due regard’ to the House of Bishops’ Guidance and thus lead to disciplinary proceedings against responsible clergy under the Clergy Discipline Measure.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I am worried about the safety of a child or adult; what should I do?
If the individual is at immediate risk of harm then you should notify the police without delay and thereafter let your Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO) and/or Vicar know. In all other circumstances you should contact your PSO and/or Vicar in the first instance, as soon as possible. They will take appropriate action and inform the DSA. If you are unable to speak to anybody within the diocese then you should contact the Local Authority for advice. Contact numbers for Local Authority Children and Adult Services can be found at the foot of this page.
I am the victim or survivor of abuse; can the diocese help me?
If the abuse is ongoing then we would encourage you to speak to somebody, for instance: someone you know and trust, your Ministry team, your DSA or the police. We can offer you pastoral support to assist you through this difficult time or we can put you in touch with an Authorised Listener or appropriate external support agencies.
If the abuse is non-recent we can still offer support and assistance as set out above.
If the person who has harmed you is, or was, a Church Officer, volunteer or staff member then we encourage you to tell your DSA so that we can take action. Alternatively, you can report the matter directly to the police.
I have concerns about the mental wellbeing of one of the members of our congregation; what should I do?
If you think someone may have suicidal thoughts and may harm themselves you should contact the police or your Local Authority immediately. If you have any other concerns then you should discuss them with your PSO or Vicar. If there are safeguarding issues then they will seek assistance from the DSA team.
A sex offender wants to join my church; what should I do?
You should contact your DSA who will assist you with an assessment of the risk that this individual may pose. The DSA will liaise with police and probation to ensure that both the offender and the congregation are safeguarded. You should note that the offender should not be attending church services until the risk assessment has been completed.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is running an awareness campaign in January 2019 to make victims and survivors aware that they can speak to the Inquiry through the Truth Project.
The Truth Project enables victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences with the Inquiry and put forward recommendations for change.
Key campaign messages
- The Truth Project will listen without judgement to the experiences of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.
- By sharing their experiences victims and survivors can make an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry.
- The Truth Project is part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
(Please note: if you have a safeguarding enquiry that does not require the assistance of a Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (e.g. D.B.S. or training) please contact: enquiries [at] leeds.anglican.org or call 0113 2000 540.)
Diocesan Safeguarding AdvisersDebbie Child - Diocesan Secretary and Safeguarding Lead
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Bradford and Huddersfield Areas
0113 3530 258
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Wakefield and Leeds Areas
0113 3530 259
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
0113 3530 256
What we do
As Safeguarding Advisers, Jenny, Jenny and Narinder:
· Ensure effective safeguarding arrangements are in place across the diocese;
· Act as a point of contact to assist with safeguarding concerns, including those where someone may appear to pose a risk to a church community;
· Offer practical advice on policies, procedures and practice guidance;
· Deliver safeguarding training in line with the national programme;
· Advise on safe recruitment and DBS issues where there are blemished disclosures.