29/9/22 WE ARE PLEASE TO SHARE SOME EXCITING NEWS ;THE NEW UPDATED HANDBOOK IS HERE FOR YOU TO DOWNLOAD. Click the link for more info
HOW ARE YOU DOING? More specifically how is your church doing in regard to safeguarding vulnerable groups? As we come to the end of the summer holidays and start to think about getting ready for the new terms' activities in September - How about doing a safeguarding self assessment as part of your preparations?
We have been working on some updates for the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook for a while. They are currently at the printers and each church should be receiving their copy of the updates in the Autumn but here is a preview of one of the new additions.: Appendix 10: The Safer Church - self assessment checklist
It asks some important questions which will help you to assess how you are doing locally. Here are a few examples:
- o Is everyone aware of your church’s safeguarding policies and procedures and where to find them?
- o Are your trustees/leaders aware of their safeguarding responsibility?
- o Do you follow safer recruitment guidelines when finding and employing volunteers and staff including DBS checks?
- o Are you confident that leaders, staff and volunteers in your church are aware of their safeguarding role and responsibility? Have they attended appropriate training including refresher training?
There are also links which will lead you to more information and advice.
The checklist is based on the interactive safeguarding checklist from the Ann Crafft Trust: We are very grateful to them for giving us permission to use this https://www.anncrafttrust.org
Safeguarding Sunday - SAVE THE DATE >>>20TH NOVEMBER 2022
This year, the Interdenominational Safeguarding Panel is encouraging you to join thousands of other churches across the UK to highlight the importance of protecting vulnerable people as part of Safeguarding Sunday, an awareness-raising campaign initiated by the Christian safeguarding charity Thirtyone:eight.
This year’s Safeguarding Sunday campaign takes place on 20th November, (coinciding with the start of National Safeguarding Adults Week 21–27 November). If you can’t make that date, why not choose another Sunday, or use part of a service to raise awareness of safeguarding in your church. Last year, more than 2,000 churches took part in the event, with this year looking to be bigger than ever.
How to get involved:
- You can visit our special website page Safeguarding Sunday (panel.cymru) for more information and download our resources in Welsh or English from mid September 2022 or get in touch with us if you would like more information or advice.
- You can register with thirtyoneeight.org and download a free resource pack to help you to plan the event, including a range of activities for children.
- We would love to know if you are planning to take part in any Safeguarding Sunday activities. please drop us a line to let us know:
Justin Humphreys, Joint Chief Executive at Thirtyone:eight, said:
“While we can’t and shouldn’t ignore abuse that has happened within the Church, of which there has been plenty of media coverage, Safeguarding Sunday is a chance to shine a light on what so many churches are doing to make places of worship safer. We mustn’t forget that protecting vulnerable people is at the heart of the Christian message of justice and hope. I want to thank everyone who is doing this vital ongoing work and taking part in this year’s campaign to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding in their church and community.”
January 2022 Training update:
We are moving towards a new model of training delivery, where a small team of volunteers from across Wales are trained to deliver basic safeguarding training to volunteers in local churches. This is an exciting development which we hope will increase the amount of training available.
DBS VERIFIERS TRAINING : A short 1 hour training session via ZOOM has been arranged on 14th September 2021 2- 3 pm to enable Ministers and Church safeguarding coordinators to verify DBS forms and check ID documentation locally. Please contact the Panel office to book your place or for more information.
COVID 19 update: DBS ID CHECKING / FORM VERIFICATION
Further to the statement in January 2021 - It is now possible to resume face-to-face verification with appropriate safeguards in place ( masks/ hand hygiene/ gel / outdoors). As some churches are now opening and have completed a covid-19 risk assessment, it may also be possible to meet inside, with the church's permission, but following social distancing rules.
Verifiers who are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (previously known as 'shielding') or do not wish to meet applicants face to face will not be expected to do this. Other options are available - please contact the office.
Please contact the office if you have any concerns or queries.
We now have a search facility on our website to help you to find the infomation you need.
COVID 19 update: DBS ID CHECKING / FORM VERIFICATION
Verifying forms has become more difficult due to Covid 19 restrictiions and no-one should break any safety rules or put themselves or others at risk during the ID checking process.
NO FACE TO FACE VERIFICATION SHOULD TAKE PLACE DURING THE CURRENT STRICT LOCKDOWN (Jan 2021)
We expect that when restrictions are relaxed we may be able to resume face to face verification with appropriate safeguards in place ( masks/ hand hygiene/ gel / outdoors). No verifier who is shielding or does not wish to meet applicants face to face will be expected to do this.
During this time we are prioritising first time DBS checks and no-one should begin direct work without a valid check.
Individual church safeguarding policy statement
New for 2020 - flowcharts and examples to help you to know who should do a DBS check click here
Virtual work with young people information sheet and risk assessment
If you are working virtually with young people during this difficult season, r this leaflet gives some useful advice and includes anexample risk assessment. This will help you to to work in the safest way possible, consider all aspects of the activity and to make sure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect all parties. This specifically refers to young people but may be helpful for all age virtual activities.
20th March 2020
Corona Virus COVID-19 Protection Panel Notice
Sian and Julie will not be regularly in the office after today but will be working from home. We will be checking emails, messages on the office phone (01745 817584) and mobile 07957510346. Please don't use these numbers for emergencies as we can't guarantee they will be picked up straight away.
All DBS forms and certificates that have reached the office by today have been processed but we cannot guarantee that DBS forms arriving at the office from 21st March onwards will be sent on to the DBS straight away or that a certificate will be returnedto you as quickly as usual.
If you are planning on starting volunteering in this emergency please show your certifcate to your leader rather than send it to the office. (We will still need to see them eventually).
ADVICE AND SUPPORT This is a time where people are pulling together and showing incredible signs of altruism and care within our communities. It is also a time when people are under increasing strain and are very anxious and our vulnerable groups may be even more at risk of abuse and neglect due to increased isolation and need. Please remember there is help and advice available from many experienced and specialised organisations. There are some sources of support here ttp://paneldiogelwch.org.uk/en/advice-and-support and also the Samaritans are available to offer advice and help to those who are struggling.
VISITING AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT I certainly dont want to undermine or undervalue the many demonstrations of incredible kindness that are being seen all around us but ask you to remember basic safeguarding principles. Although these principles apply to most community support activity with the vulnerable, from the Panel perspectice this is particularly aimed at any activities done in the name of the church rather that between friends or neighbours.
Please ensure that:
- Activities are carefully planned and accountable. Make sure you have local guidelines and procedures to protect everyone (e.g. Church leader/ elder/ deacon is aware of the planned visits and any concerns are reported back)
- You listen to people and treat them with dignity and respect
- You respond to concerns and reports of abuse. (Even if it is hard to believe or the victim asks you to keep it quiet or a secret.)
- An ethos of transparency and openness is promoted where all feel free to ask for help.
- Always be mindful of your own safety
- Follow current government health guidelines and take all possible steps to avoid transmitting the virus.e.g handwashing and self isolation when you or those you live with have any symptoms whatsoever.
Even at this time of national crisis we do have to remember that abuse can happen and many are even more at risk due to increased isolation. If you have concerns even if it is hard to believe be prepared to: RECOGNISE that abuse may be happening RESPOND by RECORDING your concerns and REPORT to the Police or Social Services.
See also http://paneldiogelwch.org.uk/images/responding_to_a_concern_flow_chart.pdf
Please remind those who may be receiving visits:
- That they should not allow strangers into their homes, even if they claim to be part of a Community Support Scheme. Check with the scheme first (not using the phone number supplied by your ‘visitor’)
- To be wise when paying for shopping. Don’t pay a stranger or new person in advance and try to use electronic banking wherever possible.
With our kind regards and thanks for all your hard work and kindness
Julie and Sian
Please also refer to specific guidelines on the 3 denomination websites.
Read the DBS safeguarding FAQ and factsheet for community volunteers during the covid 19 pandemic
During the summer holiday season our office opening hours will be slightly different to usual due to staff holidays. we apologize for any inconvenience.
PleIn an Emergency: If you are concerned about an individual or situation please ring the Police or local social services department. You can also ring the Panel Safeguarding Officer on 07957510346 for advice (please do not use this number for DBS enquiries over Christmas).ase leave a message on our answerphone (01745 817584) or e-mail
In an Emergency: If you are concerned about an individual or situation please ring the Police or local Social Services department. For more helplines and sources of support go to the help and advice section of our website http://www.paneldiogelwch.org.uk/en/advice-and-support
Are you running a c hildrens holiday club this summer?
Activities such as Holiday Clubs for children under 12 years may need to be formally registered if they meet the criteria to be classed as regulated child care/day care. Read this fact sheet and follow the links for more details.
Generally, activities for children over 12 or activities or those for under 12s provided for less than 2 hours per day or fewer than 6 days in a year do not need to be registered.
However you should still contact the Care Inspectorate Wales to inform them of the planned activity and to ensure that your club does not need to be registered.
It is an offence not to register a relevant activity
Julie and Sian and the Panel members and Directors wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. Thank you for working with us during 2018 to make our churches safer places. We look forward to working with and for you in 2019.
Please note that our offices will be closed over the Christmas period from 20th December 2018 til Monday 7th January.
In an Emergency: If you are concerned about an individual or situation please ring the Police or local social services department. You can also ring the Panel Safeguarding Officer on 07957510346 for advice (please do not use this number for DBS enquiries over Christmas).
Home alone: A question I'm frequently asked during training sessions is " At what age can a child legally be left alone" People are usually surprised that there is no legal age as the maturity of children can vary so much , but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts them at risk of injury or suffering. This can be more of an issue during the long summer holidays - have a look at this NSPCC advice if youre concerned about a child or if you are trying to assess if your child is ready to be left on their own.
This guide gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in which situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
NEW DBS privacy notice May 2018: click here to read what the DBS do with your information.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its Interim Report
The Inquiry was required under its Terms of Reference to publish an Interim Report in 2018. This report fulfils that responsibility and provides an overview of the work undertaken by the Inquiry so far.
The Interim Report sets out what the Chair and Panel consider to be the key emerging themes from the Inquiry’s work to date and includes recommendations for specific changes which will better protect children from sexual abuse.
You can read the report or executive summary here
Charity Trustees and Safeguarding
We've updated the useful links section of our website to include the most recent Charity commission information about trustees and safeguarding
or read Annex 1 safeguarding and Trustees here
Safeguarding Week 2017 Monday 13 November 2017
“Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility” – Huw Irranca-Davies
Launching National Safeguarding Week, the Minister said people who have suffered abuse and neglect are encouraged to come forward and share their experiences with the appropriate authorities, so that society learn and recognise the signs to prevent abuse happening in the future.
Independant Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse The Inquiry has published a report on 16th December which shows the findings of their Internal Review and their intended work schedule for 2017/18.) click here to read
Click here to learn more about the inquiry https://www.iicsa.org.uk/
Charities Commisison announces it will be revising its safeguarding strategy during 2016/17
Safeguarding will also be a priority. The work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is likely to have significant implications for all charities working with children and vulnerable adults, and for public authorities including the Commission. We will be communicating safeguarding lessons to trustees and staff in charities and at the same time we will be refreshing our strategy on safeguarding through our expanded Safeguarding Advisory Group.
Sian and Julie would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and to thank you for your support and cooperation throughout 2016.
Please note our office is now closed until 3rd January 2017
If you have a query regarding a DBS application please contact us in January or send an email or leave a message on our answer machine and we will get back to you as soon as we can in the new year.
In an emergency or if you have concerns about an individual please refer to the advice and support page of our website for sources of support or click here
You can also leave a message for the Safeguarding Officer on her mobile 07957 510346 and she will get back to you as soon as possible.
Changes in DBS checks arrangements for the Baptist Union of Great Britain(BUGB) from November 2015
Some Baptist churches have received an email from Stephen Boyo of the Churches Agency for Safeguarding (CAS) advising them that responsibility for checks will be changing to Due Diligence from November.
Please note that this does not affect Baptist Union of Wales Churches. The Interdenominational Protection Panel remains responsible for processing your checks. If you are unsure or have any questions don't hesitate to contact us.
SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE GROUPS TRAINING SESSIONS
Please click on the training tab to see details of our upcoming training sessions.
If you would like to arrange a session in your area please contact our office.
To see a copy of the Poster " SAFEGUARDING EVERYONE" that corresponds with the new Safeguarding handbook click here
Please contact our office if you would like to recieve an A3 copy
Leaflets are also available click here to see a copy and contact us if you would like to receive more.
Review of workers/ volunteers with vulnerable groups
It is the current policy of the Presbyterian Church of Wales, Union of Welsh Independents and the Baptist Union of Wales to do a Disclosure and Barring Check (DBS) every 4 years for those who work with vulnerable children or adults. This process is carried out on behalf of the churches by the Interdenominational Protection Panel.
Unfortunately we have had a very poor response to invitations to individuals who were due for a 4 year re-check to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service form or to inform the Panel that they are no longer working with vulnerable groups. At a recent meeting, the Interdenominational Protection Panel members agreed that we need to establish an up to date list of those who are actually working with vulnerable people within our churches to enable us to concentrate on providing the checks and training for the correct people. It was agreed that this review of workers and volunteers within each church should be carried out through each Presbytery/ Connexion/ Association as a matter of urgency to ensure that we are able to comply with our current policy and procedures to safeguard vulnerable individuals.
Thank you for your help
Please click the links to To download a copy of the letter to churches and the response form
The Interdenominational Protection Panel has launched a new Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook
This new handbook replaces “For the Sake of Our Children” and includes working with children, youth and vulnerable adults.
Its aim is to help churches from the Union of Welsh Independents, Baptist Union of Wales and the Presbyterian Church of Wales to recruit workers and volunteers and work with vulnerable groups in a safer manner.
Speech by Rhian Huw Williams, Chief Executive of the Care Council for Wales
Rhian Huws Williams had agreed to make a speech at the Launch of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook in January 2014.
Unfortunately she was unable to attend on the day but we are grateful to her for allowing us to share her speech. Here is an extract:-
"We've moved on from the time we launched “For the Sake of Our Children”, when there was some concern that the chapels were going overboard. Now, hopefully there is a better understanding of the responsibility – as I said earlier - the responsibility to make sure that everyone who works in the name of chapels and churches is safe and suitable. No Messing! Also we need to ensure that we understand our responsibility for each other and those in our communities - that means an awareness of what the characteristics of vulnerable people are, how children and people are harmed and how we should respond."
For the full version of the Speech please click here