Safeguarding Children – guidelines for preventing & reporting abuse

Understanding abuse:

Somebody may abuse or neglect a child by inflicting harm, or by failing to act to prevent harm. A child maybe abused in a family, institutional or community setting. There four official types of abuse physical, sexual, emotional or neglect however in a faith community spiritual abuse can also occur. Examples of this may be when pressure is placed on children to make decisions that are not appropriate to their age or developmental stage or by creating an environment in which children are discouraged from asking questions or holding alternative views.

If a worker has safeguarding concerns in relation to a child or young person (anyone under the age of eighteen) they must contact the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) listed in our policy.

If a child or young person talks about harm or abuse they are suffering the worker must:

You can use the TED approach: Tell me about… Explain to me…. Describe to me….

The worker must not promise or lead a child to believe that anything they have said will be kept confidential

The worker must not act against an accused person, investigate or decide whether abuse is taking place.

It is the worker's responsibility to:


Report of any concern must be made within 24 hours to the DPS.

If the child is in imminent danger of harm the DPS must be informed immediately. Only in this situation if the DPS is not contactable should the worker make a referral to the police or social services themselves.

It is the DPS responsibility to REVIEW AND REFER

The DPS must review the report and any other relevant information and then decide (often in liaison with others) as to what action should follow. Any referral to Social Services should take place as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of receiving the report.

The DPS, Safeguarding Trustee and the Minister(s) may need to then offer support to all parties affected and review and reflect on safeguarding procedures.

Record keeping

Records of safeguarding incidents, allegations or concerns should be kept for 75 years after last contact with the individual concerned or 75 years after employment or role ceased. Risk assessments/safeguarding contracts concerning known or alleged offenders should also be kept for 75 years after last contact with the individual concerned.

Records of events or activities specifically for children/young people/adults at risk (where no safeguarding incidents or concerns raised) should be kept for 3 years.

Minister personnel records where there are safeguarding allegations or investigations, regardless of the findings, records of a ministers DBS check history and records of a minister’s disciplinary procedure relating to safeguarding allegations/offences should be kept for 75 years from the date of the minister’s death.

Personnel records relating to church workers whose role involves contact with children and adults at risk, record of a DBS checks being undertaken and records of disciplinary procedures relating to safeguarding allegations/ offences should be kept for 75 years after employment/role ceases.

Records should be kept in a lockable fire proof cabinet on the church premises or electronically on a cloud-based system with appropriate security arrangements in place. At the end of an investigation only one copy of the safeguarding records should be kept. After the storage period has elapsed paper records should be shredded and electronic records permanently deleted.

Issue 29/10/22