Safeguarding Policy


(St Mary’s Parish Church, Abbotskerswell, Newton Abbot TQ12 5NY)

Safeguarding Policy

Revised September 2018


1.1 Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

1.2 As members of the Abbotskerswell Parochial Church Council (PCC) we commit our church community to the support, nurture, protection and safeguarding of all, especially the young and vulnerable.

1.3 We recognise that our work with children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of the whole church community.

1.4 We are fully committed to acting within current legislation, guidance, national frameworks and the Diocesan Safeguarding procedures.

1.5 We will also act in an open, transparent and accountable way in working in partnership with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Children and Adult Social Care Services, the Police, Probation Services and other agencies to safeguard children and vulnerable adults.

1.6 We welcome staff and volunteers who are recruited in accordance with Safer Recruitment Practice Guidance 2016. This means we will ensure that those who are employed or who volunteer to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults are suitable for the role, that they know what the role entails and that they are supported in carrying it out.

1.7 This policy is supplementary to the Exeter Diocesan Safeguarding Policy Statement 2017 and should be read in conjunction with that document. Revised September 2018



2.1 If anyone is worried about a child or vulnerable person they should make a referral to the appropriate agency. Anyone can make a referral, statutory agencies should be contacted as a first priority if there is an immediate risk of continuing harm to a vulnerable person.

2.2 Referral to statutory agencies as follows:

Call Devon MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) regarding Safeguarding concerns for Children on 0345 1551071

Call Devon Care Direct regarding Safeguarding concerns for Vulnerable Adults on 0800 444000

Police (Devon and Cornwall Constabulary) on 999 for emergencies and 101 for less urgent matters

2.3 The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser should be contacted as soon as possible in every circumstance and they will help to guide you in deciding who to contact next and how to manage the process.

2.4 The PCC should also consider contacting other interested organisations, such as the parish insurers, the Disclosure and Barring Service and the Charity Commissioners

2.5 If a child or vulnerable person makes a disclosure (i.e. tells you they are being abused) you should:

Listen and don’t interrupt;

Encourage the person to talk without asking questions;

Don’t make promises or keep secrets; 

Reassure that it was right to tell you;

Explain who you will have to tell;

Do write it down as soon as possible;

Do pass on the information to the right person;

2.6 The PCC is committed to cooperate fully with the Diocese and appropriate statutory agencies during any investigation into abuse, including when allegations are made against a member of the church community

2.7 Other useful numbers:

Diocesan Safeguarding Team – 01392 345908/345909/345910

Torbay MASH – 01803 208100

CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Centre – 0870 0003344

ChildLine – 0800 1111

Samaritans – 08457 909090



3.1 Our church is committed to the provision of pastoral care to children and vulnerable adults and their families and to any member of the church community against whom an allegation is made. The PCC will provide (where possible and safe) pastoral support and care where appropriate.

3.2 The PCC, in partnership with the Diocese and other agencies, will provide (where possible and safe) care and supervision for any member of our church community known to have offended against a child or vulnerable adult, or has posed a risk to them. Revised September 2018

3.3 The PCC will assess the groups of people to whom services are being offered, the ways in which they may be vulnerable and what the risks are assessed as being.



4.1 The PCC will identify and appoint people within the PCC and the parish who hold formal responsibilities for safeguarding (such as safeguarding representatives, people who are advertised as being safe to report a concern to, etc.), with a summary of their responsibilities.

4.2 The PCC will include Safeguarding as an agenda item at every Parochial Church Council meeting.

4.3 The Parish Safeguarding Representative should be suitably qualified to provide safeguarding advice, support and guidance and trained through recognised accredited training to at least Safeguarding Level 2.

4.4 The Parish Safeguarding Representative is responsible for regularly updating the PCC and providing an annual report to the parish.

4.5 The Parish Safeguarding Representative is responsible for coordinating Disclosure and Barring Service checks in the parish.

4.6 The Parish Safeguarding Representative position should be reviewed annually.



5.1 The PCC will recruit, manage, supervise and support staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable people in accordance with the latest legal requirements and national church guidance. Revised September 2018

5.2 The PCC is responsible for holding a central record of all persons helping (paid or voluntary) in the parish, e.g. bell-ringers, choir, flower arrangers, sacristans, social committee.

5.3 The central record must be current, accurate and relevant and stored within the constraints of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, specifically securely stored with restricted access.

5.4 The central record should include at least basic personal details, i.e. name, address (including addresses of last 5 years) and role within the parish.

5.5 The central record should be reviewed regularly i.e. at least every three years, by the Parish Safeguarding Representative, on behalf of the PCC. The formal review should ensure that records held are current, accurate and relevant.

5.6 Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checks will be conducted as per Diocesan Policy.

5.7 All persons formally helping with children or vulnerable adults will require a Safe Recruitment assessment, which may include a DBS check, as well as providing details for the Parish Central Record.

5.8 If a DBS check required by the PCC is outside Diocesan requirements, the PCC may incur the cost.

5.9 Any child or vulnerable adult provision supplied by the PCC will only be at a level which does not require Local Authority, OFSTED or CQC registration.

5.10 The PCC will ensure Safe Recruitment by including evidence from two referees (at least one from a professional such as solicitor, police officer, teacher, doctor, etc.) and the role appointment/supervision corroborated via interview. Revised September 2018

5.11 A formal record of the Safe Recruitment process should be generated and stored securely.



6.1 The PCC will take specific care with personal data, including photographs, taking into account the legal requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

6.2 In this policy, data will be deemed sensitive by virtue of it relating to a child or vulnerable adult.

6.3 Extra care should be exercised with consent and the sharing of sensitive data, particularly if in the public domain.



7.1 All members of the PCC should have a basic Safeguarding Awareness, preferably through recognised accredited training (Level 1).

7.2 The PCC will identify need, and provide information, about the provision of the relevant safeguarding training for staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable people.

7.3 All Safeguarding training should be regularly reviewed and updated.



8.1 The Abbotskerswell Parochial Church Council Safeguarding Policy should be reviewed annually. Revised September 2018 8.2 Once reviewed and adopted a copy of the Safeguarding Policy should be posted on the parish website.



9.1 Policy adopted:

Signed:                                                      (Chairperson Parochial Church Council)

Signed:                                                        (Parish Safeguarding Representative)

9.2 Policy Review Date:

Safeguarding Policy Review Schedule

Date    Amendment   By whom   Signature


Revised September 2018

Safeguarding Contacts