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.
Remember, if anyone is at immediate risk of harm please refer to the actions above.
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-current 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.
SAFER RECRUITMENT PRACTICE GUIDANCE
The Practice Guidance on Safer Recruitment was published in 2016; it provides guidance to parishes on all matters relating to safer recruitment. This is on the diocesan website safeguarding page under national policy, along with a range of relevant forms to help you with safer recruitment.
Please note that while DBS checks are not necessary for anyone who is a church musician or chorister, if this person moves towards a greater involvement with children and young people, eg, teaching or acting as a musical director, then a check will be required.
In March 2017 the Church of England released a national safeguarding policy for children and young people and adults entitled "Promoting a Safer Church". A shortened 'at a glance' version of this policy statement is available for parishes to display on noticeboards alongside the one page Diocesean policy agreed by Synod in 2016; it can be accessed here.
The National Safeguarding Team have also produced a Parish Handbook (June 2018) which brings into one place the safeguarding responsibilities for parishes detailed in the House of Bishops Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance. The Handbook summarises the safeguarding responsibilities for parishes; the duty to have 'due regard' to guidance under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 applies to this document.
The Handbook has been designed to be easily consulted and to provide quick answers. It is primarily aimed at Incumbents and Parish Safeguarding Officers with specific sections for PCCs and Leaders of activities for children and young people and/or adults who may be vulnerable. It also offers a range of model templates and good practice reference material.
It is hoped that its use will contribute greatly to promoting a safer culture and building good safeguarding practice in your parish. PLEASE NOTE: the Parish Safeguarding Handbook is currently down for editing by the National Safeguarding Team.We will advise you when the Handbook becomes available again..
'Promoting a Safer Church' poster is now available for parishes to print and display; it can be accessed here.
The 'Children in Church' poster (June 2016) is available in the Diocesan Policy and Guidance section of the website. We suggest that parishes display this poster along with their safeguarding policy statement.
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: email@example.com or call 0113 2000 540.
Safeguarding Advisers and Officers
Debbie 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.