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The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook forms the safeguarding policy and procedures for churches from the Union of Welsh Independents, Baptist Union of Wales and the Presbyterian Church of Wales. It includes good practice guidelines on working with children and vulnerable adults and outlines what to do if you have a concern about an individual or situation. 

We are pleased to share the web version of the 2022 handbook which includes some new and updated sections. Please see the note below concerning the paper updates. 

To view or download a copy of the complete 2022 handbook please click  this link : Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook  or follow the links below to go directly to  the individual sections.

Section 1  :including Our statement of Intent  and the Individual church policy statement  (NEW SECTION)                            
Section 2  :Safer recruitment and selection procedures (including DBS check information and flowcharts)( (NEW SECTION)  
Section 3 :Working with Children and Young People and how to respond to concerns (ORIGINAL)
Section 4: Working with Vulnerable Adults and how to respond to concerns  (ORIGINAL)
Section 5 Pastoral Care  (ORIGINAL) with slight amendment
Section 6 :Appendices  including new appendix 12a, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 ( see below for more info)
Section 7 : There are forms  that will help you to put the policies into practice and a new GDPR info sheet  


 UPDATES 2022/2023 

By now all churches should have received their copy of the updates to add to the original file.

(We have some copies of the whole file if needed - but please reuse your existing file if possible to reduce waste and save resources).

Here are the new or updated sections:

section 1 – has been re written and contains your new local church safeguarding policy document.

Section 2 - has been re-written to include an improved guide to safer recruitment and the DBS process.

Section 3 and 4 are not changed and section 5 has been slightly changed to updated the contact details. 

Section 6 contains 7 brand new or updated appendices. This includes: an updated contact list,(1) a new code of conduct based on our statement of intent (2a);  Guidlelines and safe working practice example document. (2);  a step by step guide to doing a risk asssessment,(4) information on charity trustees safeguarding responsibilities (7); new guidance on using and sharing images of children (8); some new definitions(9)   a checklist and assessment tool to help you assess your church’s safeguarding situation(10) 

 Section 7 :has a  new GDPR info sheet  


 Policy statement 

As a church we are fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of our members and those entrusted to our care.

This safeguarding policy statement along with the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook, forms our safeguarding policy and procedures.

We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of abuse and neglect and we recognise our obligation to ensure their safety in the activities carried out in the name of this church. We aim to provide a caring environment and to respond sensitively and immediately to any concerns. Members of the church, paid staff and volunteers will show respect to others, promote the ethos of listening to children and vulnerable people and conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the principles of the Christian church.

The church will care for children, young people and vulnerable adults and safeguard them by following good practices in relation to the following:

o Responding appropriately to concerns and allegations (Handbook Sections 3.2 and 4.2) In line with our policy and guidelines we undertake to respond immediately when a suspicion of abuse or any other concerns or allegations are drawn to our attention. We undertake to co-operate with the Local Authority or the Police if an investigation is launched.

o Safer Recruitment for workers and volunteers (Handbook Section 2) including DBS checks every 4 years for eligible workers, leaders and trustees.

o Training and supporting our workers and volunteers in their role and in the protection of children and vulnerable people.

o Promoting good working practices (Handbook Sections 3.1 and 4.1) and creating a safe environment.


Individual church safeguarding policy statement   

We are pleased to share this new individual church policy statement to enable you to clearly state your church’s commitment to safeguarding vulnerable groups. This is in line with best practice and a requirement of many insurance companies.
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Up until now the policy statement was to be found at the beginning of both section 3 (children) and section 4 (adults) in the handbook.
We have now produced a separate document which will enable you to share and to display it more easily.
This will also be available in the new updates of the handbook which will be available from October 2022.
You can find the document here as a PDF or as a word document so you can add your own logo etc. 
 This document  includes important information on how to make sure you are putting your safeguarding policy into practice and details of the recommended safeguarding roles and responsibilities in the local church.
This Safeguarding policy Statement along with the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Handbook , and any subsequent updates, forms your safeguarding policy and procedures.
Charity Trustees' Safeguarding responsibilities - Read this new information page. (this is appendix 7 in the  2022 handbook update) 
Click here to see the 2023 Safeguarding Poster that goes with the handbook. If you would like a copies of the A4 poster please contact our office
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 A leaflet is also available. Click here or contact us for more details


Summer 2023 we produced a new postcard which takes you step by step through how to respond to a concern. download here or contact us for hard copies.

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