Safeguarding Policy launched
The Church in Wales commits to being a “safe church” where all people can thrive, in its revised policy on safeguarding, launched today (November 20).
It makes it clear that safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone and all those who work for the church are expected to adhere to it.
The new policy revises and replaces the Church’s previous policy from four years ago. It separates the aim and purpose of safeguarding from the procedures and practice guidelines in order to make the policy clearer and more accessible.
It outlines the principles of safeguarding and the role of the Provincial Safeguarding Team. It also emphasises that every part of the church must adopt the policy and put it into action in order to ensure its effectiveness.
The policy says, “Those who work for and support the church, both lay and ordained and whether volunteers or paid, are crucial to ensuring that all people are treated with dignity and respect and valued at all times, whether they be children, adults at risk, adults who are vulnerable in the Church context, survivors of abuse or offenders.
“The Church in Wales has a responsibility to ensure that all church members, including those who work in the church, are cared for and protected by providing effective training and appropriate support. To this end the Church in Wales is committed to being a Safe Church.”
Endorsing the new policy, the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, said it was a “living document” that would be regularly updated. He said, “The Church in Wales is fully committed to ensuring the highest standards of behaviour in its work with both children and vulnerable adults. We have a duty to protect all such individuals who come to us, and our churches must be safe places where they are never exploited or harmed in any way whatsoever. We have to exercise vigilance so as to ensure that our work with them provides the level of care and protection which they have a right to expect.
“This work is underpinned by our safeguarding policy, a living document which will be regularly refreshed and updated as needs arise and sets out a framework and guidance for all who exercise a ministry with the young and the vulnerable.
I hope that it will enable the work of all those involved in safeguarding across the Church in Wales to exercise a loving, caring and supportive responsibility in this vital area of church life.”
Revised practice guidance to accompany the policy will be available in the coming weeks.
You can read the policy here.
Safeguarding Awareness Course
The Church in Wales has also launched an online safeguarding awareness course which it urges everyone to complete.
Delivered by St Padarn’s Institute, the training arm of the Church, the course takes people through a series of animated films to explain the role of safeguarding in church life as clearly as possible. It covers subjects such as how to recognise signs of emotional, physical or sexual abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse is taking place. Once signed on, the course takes about 90 minutes to complete. It features two quizzes which people have to pass before being awarded a certificate.
You can sign up here.