Responding to Serious Safeguarding Situations Relating to Church

advertisement
RESPONDING TO SERIOUS
SAFEGUARDING SITUATIONS
RELATING TO CHURCH OFFICERS
AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS
A Practice Guidance consultation document
March – 31st July 2014
Distribution
Diocesan Bishops for dissemination to their senior staff
cc Cathedral Deans for dissemination to their senior staff
Bishop’s senior safeguarding staff leads
Diocesan Secretaries / CX for dissemination to Human Resources Manager, Communications
Officer, Diocesan Registrar, Independent Safeguarding Chair, Children / Youth Worker and
Social Responsibility Officer.
Cathedral Chapter Clerks / CX for dissemination to their Human Resources Manager,
Communications Officer and Safeguarding Adviser.
Bishop’s Chaplains
Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers
Survivor Groups - Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS), the Lantern Project,
the Lucy Faithfull Foundation
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group
Safeguarding Lawyer, Church House, Westminster
National Going for Growth (Children and Youth) Adviser
National Safeguarding Team
Date of circulation:
March 2014
1
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
Preface
March 2014
Dear Colleague,
This Practice Guidance, which spans all the current Church of England policy guidance on
safeguarding, is designed to inform and improve our approach to responding to serious
safeguarding situations. It incorporates government guidance on safeguarding, policies approved
by the House of Bishops, lessons learnt from past cases and contributions from Victims and
Survivors or abuse.
It may be helpful to be clear about the status of this document. The House of Bishops approve
safeguarding policy statements, for example Protecting all God’s Children and Promoting a safe
church. Policy statements are reviewed on a regular basis, usually every five years or so. Practice
guidance, including joint practice guidance with the Methodist Church, is written by advisers to
address immediate practice issues or issues that have been identified by Dioceses which need a
quicker response. Policy statements and practice guidance are commended to you. Failure to
adhere to them could invalidate your insurance cover. Models of good practice are templates
which you may choose to use as they stand or to adapt to suit your purposes in your diocese. A
cataloguing system, referenced by type and date, has been introduced for clarity of current advice.
You are asked to use this guidance in your responses to serious situations during this period. If
you already have a written diocesan protocol for responding to serious situations, then please set
it alongside this guidance and ensure that it is consistent. If you do not have a written diocesan
protocol, then please use this guidance as it stands. The executive summary and appended
flowchart may serve as a quick reference to ensure compliance in each case.
As we wish to ensure that this guidance covers all the approaches, it is published as a
consultation document with the intention that it should be tested in practice and any improvements
needed are identified before it is finalised
Send your comments on this guidance please, by 31st July 2014, to:Simon Payne
Acting Head of Delivery
National Safeguarding Team
Central Secretariat
Church House
Great Smith Street
London SW1P 3AZ
[email protected]
Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation.
I hope you will find this practice guidance helpful in your Diocese.
Yours in Christ's fellowship,
+ Paul
Paul Butler
Bishop of Durham
Lead Bishop on Safeguarding
2
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
Contents
Paragraph
Preface
Page
2
Contents
3
Executive Summary
4
Legalities and definitions
5
1.
Importance of this guidance
6
2.
Emergency situations
6
3.
Internal Notification
6
4.
Insurance
6
5.
Absence of DSA
6
6.
Authorised Listeners
6
7.
Reporting / communicating with the statutory authorities
6
8.
Immediate safety arrangements
8
9.
Suspension of the abuser
8
10.
Communications
9
11.
Support for the victim
9
12.
Support for the alleged abuser
10
13.
Support for the local priest in charge / incumbent and the local
church
10
14.
Management of the case
10
15.
Court proceedings
11
16.
Outcome
12
17.
The Diocesan Core Group
13
Responding to Serious Situations Flow Chart
14
Appendix 1
3
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Responding to Serious Safeguarding Situations Relating to
Church Officers and Other Individuals
The following steps must always be taken when an abuse disclosure, allegation or serious
safeguarding situation arises. See more detailed guidance in this document.
must be quite separate from anyone
1. Emergency situations. If a child or adult
involved in pastoral support. It must
is in immediate danger and / or
requires immediate medical attention,
take into consideration the
call the emergency services on 999
management by the statutory
2. Immediate notifications. Inform the
authorities. There may need to be
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA)
consideration of notifying ecumenical
who will notify the Local Authority
colleagues or those in other
Designated Officer (LADO) or Adult
organisations where the alleged abuser
Safeguarding Team (AST) (paras 6.1 has had involvement – always take
6.5). They will want to know what
advice from LADO / AFT (para 14.3).
immediate arrangements for safety are
8. Court proceedings. No reference
being taken. DSA to notify police (if this
should be provided by anyone for court
has not already been done), the
proceedings without careful
diocesan Bishop and their staff. DSA to
consideration (para 15.1). Similar
notify Insurers (para 5) and Diocesan
consideration is needed before a
media office liaising with LADO and
church officer (or other representative
police about any statement (para10).
of the church or diocese) accompanies
The DSA, if the LADO or AFT suggest /
an alleged abuser to court (para 15.2)
agree, may need to make a referral to
9. Outcome. It is important to recognise
children or adult social care services
that this is not simply a matter of
and the need for future referrals should
concluding any criminal court hearings.
be kept under constant review (para
Whatever the outcome, there will still
14.5).
need to be an assessment of risk – is
3. Suspension from any church role would
this person safe to work with vulnerable
be the expected action (this applies to
people? It is important to note that the
post holders, paid employees or
criminal burden of proof is ‘beyond
volunteers) always in cooperation with
reasonable doubt’ whereas the church
LADO / AFT / police (para 9).
has to operate to the civil burden of
4. Safety and support for the victim.
proof – ‘on the balance of probabilities’.
Consideration of the child / vulnerable
This can cause confusion if the police
adult’s safety (para 8) must continue
take no action, or there is a not guilty
throughout. Provision of support for the
finding, as the church will still need to
victim / survivor and family / close
take action in the form of a disciplinary
friends is a top priority (para 11). This
hearing, a risk assessment,
may need to be independently
consideration of an apology to the
provided. Always offer an Authorised
victim and communication with the
Listener to the victim of abuse (para 5)
parish about the outcome. The diocese
5. Pastoral support for the alleged abuser
should ensure that, if the parish is a
should be put in place (para 12). There
registered charity, it notifies the Charity
should be separate support in place for
Commission, especially if the abuse
the individual and for family
relates to the individual’s role in that
members/close friends. An interim
church (paras 16.1 - 16.6).
worship safeguarding agreement
10. After the case is over. The Diocesan
should be put in place (para 9 &13.6)
management group need to consider
6. Support for the local priest in charge /
where the papers relating to this case
incumbent and the local church must
are filed. Ongoing support to the parish
be considered (para 13).
and the victim will require
consideration. The Bishop and their
7. The management of the case (para
staff will need an opportunity to reflect
14), within the diocese is essential and
on lessons learnt (17.1 – 17.7).
4
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
Legalities and definitions
Legal basis. The Children Act 2004 (section 11) places a duty on a range of organisations
and individuals to have in place arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of
children.
The arrangements organisations are required to have in place are set out in paragraph 4 of
Chapter 2 of Working Together to Safeguard Children – A guide to inter-agency working to
safeguard and promote the welfare of children 1 (HM Government March 2013) (“Working
Together”). This includes the need to report serious safeguarding situations to the statutory
authorities. Paragraph 38 of Chapter 2 of Working Together states that faith organisations
need to have appropriate procedures “…in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of
children…” as have been listed in paragraph 4. The Church has adopted these
arrangements in relation to its work with not only children but also adults2.
A “serious safeguarding situation”, (which, for the avoidance of doubt includes reports of
domestic violence and abuse) may relate to a church officer3 or other individual who has: Behaved in a way that has or may have harmed a child or adult;
 Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child or adult; or
 Behaved towards a child or adult in a way that indicates they may pose a risk to children or
adults
Terminology. The language used in these matters is always a sensitive issue. It is
appreciated that this guidance may be needed at a time before there have been any findings
in criminal, civil or disciplinary proceedings. The terms ‘victim’ and ‘abuser’ are used for
clarity and convenience only. The term survivor is not used, although it is recognised and
acknowledged that many individuals who have been subjected to abuse would better be
described as survivors of sexual abuse and few would want to be defined by their
experiences of the past.
A “child” is a person under 18 years of age and is seen to be vulnerable by reason of their
age. An “adult” is someone over 18 years old and includes any adult who may be vulnerable
by reason of age, illness, disability; and any adult who has been made vulnerable by their
situation or circumstance, such as by discrimination, or a victim of abuse.
The (2013) cross government definition of domestic violence and abuse has been used. This
definition is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening
behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been,
intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can
encompass, but is not limited to; psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional
abuse.4
1
Working Together page 47 onwards.
The Government has produced a statement on safeguarding vulnerable adults entitled “Statement of
Government Policy on Adult Safeguarding – Department of Health – May 2011
3
The term church officer is used for anyone appointed by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether
they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid – Protecting All God’s Children – paragraph 1.27
4
Cross government definition of domestic violence and abuse and additional information.
2
5
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
1. Importance of this guidance. The following steps must always be taken when a “serious
safeguarding situation” in relation to a church officer or other individual arises
irrespective of how such a situation arose initially (e.g. review of files; media contact;
information from victim; information from statutory agency; report from local church).
Failure to adhere to them could invalidate your insurance cover.
2. Emergency situations. If a child or adult is in immediate danger and / or requires
immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999.
3. Internal notification. A report, including an anonymous report, of a “serious safeguarding
situation” relating to children, or adults must be notified to the Diocesan Safeguarding
Adviser (DSA), immediately (within 24 hours). The DSA will immediately notify the
Bishop and the relevant Archdeacon. If the situation relates to a diocesan employee then
the Diocesan Secretary should also be informed immediately.
4. Insurance. In any potential “serious safeguarding situation” the relevant insurer should
be informed as soon as possible and their advice sought. They will need to be kept fully
informed throughout the process. The Diocesan Registrar may be able to assist in
deciding at what time to contact the insurer. A summary of insurance advice from the
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group can be found on the National Church of England
safeguarding website.5
5. Absence of DSA. If the DSA is absent for any reason (e.g. due to illness or holiday), the
Bishop and the relevant Archdeacon (and/or Diocesan Secretary, if the situation relates
to a diocesan employee) must be notified and thought should be given as to whether it is
necessary to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced person to take on the DSA
role. Assistance might be obtained, via the Diocesan Secretary from a neighbouring
diocese.
6. Authorised Listeners6. Each diocese should appoint carefully chosen, competent and
trained people who will be able to act as ‘Authorised Listeners’ for those who disclose
abuse. Access to an Authorised Listener should always be offered to the victim of abuse.
Broadly, the Authorised Listener should provide an “attentive and attuned listening ear”7
to help victims talk about their experiences. The Authorised Listener should be there to
provide support for the victim and to help him or her consider what steps s/he should
take next.
7. Reporting / communicating with the statutory authorities. Usually, unless it is an
emergency situation as mentioned in paragraph 2 above, the DSA will report the “serious
safeguarding situation” to the police or local authority children or adults social care
services. Where no replacement DSA has been found (see paragraph 4 above), the
Bishop in conjunction with the Archdeacon and / or the Diocesan Secretary (if the
situation relates to a diocesan employee) should clarify who should make a report. There
are different arrangements for different circumstances:7.1. Where the victim (and / or alleged abuser) is a child, the DSA should immediately
notify the police (if it is believed that a crime has been committed). Ideally on the
same day but always within 24 hours of being informed of a “serious safeguarding
5
A Summary of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group’s approach to Handling Physical and Sexual Abuse Cases
October 2012
6
Details of the role of the Authorised Listener are set out in Responding Well to those who have been sexually
abused – Policy and Guidance for the Church of England House of Bishops – 1st Edition - 2011 (“Responding
Well”) page 6
7
Responding Well – paragraph 5.3, page 7
6
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
situation”, the DSA must notify the Local Authority Designated Officer8 (LADO)9who
will provide help and guidance on whether a referral should be made, and on
immediate risk management. The DSA must follow up any notification to the police
and the LADO in writing within 24 hours. The police and the LADO will liaise as a
matter of course.
7.2. Where the victim was abused as a child and is now an adult and the alleged abuser
remains in a position where s/he could still harm others. As in all cases of abuse, the
DSA should offer the services of an Authorised Listener to the victim, and either the
DSA or the Authorised Listener should work with the victim to agree the format of a
notification to the police or local authority children or adults social care services. This
requires a very sensitive approach especially when the victim is not at a stage where
s/he wishes to disclose the alleged abuser’s name. In the meantime, an anonymous
report (that is one that does not include the name of the victim), should be
considered (see 6.3 below). Although please note that, once the details of the
alleged abuser are known and there could be children and adults at risk, the police
and LADO / Adult Safeguarding Team must be notified. It should be made clear to
the victim the limits on confidentiality where there is a continuing risk of harm to
others, (i.e. that confidentiality may not be able to be maintained). This should be
explained carefully to the victim so that s/he understands the reasoning. Indeed,
whilst balancing support to the victim the priority must always be others at risk of
harm.10
7.3. Where the victim was abused as a child and is now an adult and there is no known
current risk of harm to others for example, when the alleged abuser is deceased or
in prison. In such cases, either the DSA or the Authorised Listener should work with
the adult to try and gain consent to notify the police, because there may be other
victims, or other abusers, and thus such a notification could assist police in their
enquiries. Even if an adult does not consent to the police being notified it may still be
possible to share such information. The key factors in deciding whether or not to
share are necessity and proportionality. It would be a question of judging whether
there is a sufficient public interest in sharing the information, i.e. whether the public
interest overrides the interest in maintaining confidentiality. In making the decision it
would be necessary to weigh up what might happen if the information is shared
against what might happen if it is not and make a decision based on professional
judgement.11 Another approach, if the victim does not consent, is to assess whether
to refer the matter anonymously (i.e. do not include the name of the victim). A
careful assessment should be made of such a notification to ensure that the victim
and other parties (as appropriate) are unidentifiable from the information to be
supplied. Anonymous referrals can be made to Crime stoppers (0800 555 111) or
the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) (0808 800
5000).
8
All county level and unitary local authorities should have a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) to be
involved in the management and oversight of individual cases. The LADO should provide advice and guidance
to employers and voluntary organisations, liaising with the police and other agencies and monitoring the
progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair
process. Any allegation should be reported immediately to a senior manager within the organisation. The
LADO should also be informed within one working day of all allegations that come to an employer’s attention
or that are made directly to the police. Working Together (paragraph 4 page 48-9)
9
LADOs work in Social Services. Click here to find the Social Services in your area
10
See Responding Well
11 See for instance the Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 (the
“2000 Order”), which makes clear that sensitive personal data can be shared without consent in
relation to the prevention or detection of any unlawful act, if it is in the substantial public interest and
also see, Information Sharing: Guidance for practitioners and managers (HMG – 2009) (“Information
Sharing Guidance”)
7
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
7.4. 6.4 Where the victim is an adult who is vulnerable and reaches the threshold of
referral for Adult Social Care, the local authority Adults Safeguarding Team12 must
be notified by either the adult who is a victim or the DSA. The police should also be
notified if it is believed a crime has been committed. If possible this should be with
the consent of the adult unless the person appears to lack capacity13.14 Anyone can
assess capacity but in this case deciding whether a person lacks capacity to make a
decision rests with the person with whom the victim is communicating. If there are
concerns about capacity because of illness, disability or vulnerability, advice should
be sought from the Adults Safeguarding Team. The Adults Safeguarding Team will
always liaise with the police if it is believed a crime has been committed. If a child or
children are also suspected of being abused a report should be made as in 7.1
above. That said, if others are at risk of harm or being harmed and sharing will
prevent crime(s) from being committed, then information may still be able to be
shared without consent. That is to say, deciding whether the proposed sharing of the
information is likely to make an effective contribution to preventing any risk. As in
paragraph 6.3 above, it is matter of weighing up what is necessary and
proportionate in the circumstances. Indeed, where there is a clear risk of significant
harm to a child or serious harm to an adult, the test will almost certainly be
satisfied15.
7.5. Where the victim has suffered domestic violence and abuse. If the victim consents
and wishes to make a formal complaint, a notification to the Adults Safeguarding
Team and / or the police may be made by the victim him / herself, or with support
from the DSA. The victim can be signposted to support from the local Independent
Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA)16 (details can be obtained from Social Services;
or from the National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247); or from the Men’s
Advice Line (0808 801 0327); or from Broken Rainbow (for lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender people - 0300 999 5428). All these organisations are able to offer
help and advice on current and future options. If a child or children are also
members of the household, they are deemed to be at risk and a report should be
made as in 6.1 above, ideally with the consent of the adult victim. That said, as
stated above, if others are at risk of harm or being harmed information may still be
able to be shared without consent, (see comments in 6.3 and 6.4 above).
8. Immediate safety arrangements. The police / LADO / AST will want to know what
immediate arrangements for safety are being put in place. Such safety arrangements will
depend on the specific situation but these could include having the alleged abuser move
out of the locality while a police investigation is in progress; suspension of the alleged
abuser which removes him or her from contact with the victim and / or arrest of the
alleged abuser. It is important to note that there must be consideration for the child /
adult victim’s safety at all times.
9. Suspension of the abuser may need to be considered. If the allegation relates to a
church officer then suspension of the alleged abuser from his/her role should be
12
Safeguarding Adults teams work in Social Services. Click here to find the Social Services in your
area
13 Section 2 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 states: "…a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter
if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of
an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain…” The impairment or
disturbance can be permanent or temporary.
14 Mind, the mental health charity, has a useful guide to mental capacity.
15
See Information Sharing Guidance and the 2000 Order
16
Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) provide practical and emotional support to
individuals who are at the highest levels of risk.
8
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
considered. Such a decision must be arranged and discussed in consultation with the
LADO /AST and the police. Timing is important to ensure that any evidence is not
tampered with or destroyed. The advice of the Diocesan Registrar and DSA will always
be needed. The advice of Human Resources will be required in relation to paid staff or
volunteers so that a correct and fair approach is applied. In the case of a diocesan
employee, the Diocesan Secretary will take the lead. It should be emphasised that
suspension is an entirely neutral act and is a precautionary measure in order to ensure
that cases can be investigated in a dispassionate manner and to protect all parties
involved, (e.g. by ensuring no further accusations are made against the alleged abuser).
Following an initial assessment of risk, the individual who has been suspended should
be offered independent pastoral support and the opportunity to worship safely under an
interim worship safeguarding agreement17
10. Communications. It is important that there is effective communication between those
most closely involved – i.e. senior and local clergy; churchwardens and parish
safeguarding officers, (as appropriate, ensuring that only those that can keep a
confidence are involved); the DSA (including the National Safeguarding Adviser if the
matter is very serious and likely to attract national media coverage), the Diocesan
Communications Officer, the Diocesan Secretary and the Diocesan Registrar. So far as
is possible, notes, minutes and emails should be objectively written and record the facts
only, clarifying opinions rather than relying on gossip and / or hearsay. While such
documents need to remain confidential it should be recognised that they could be
required to be produced in, for instance, a hearing or as part of a police investigation and
so need to be written with care. Always identify and note who is doing what, when and
what next. In addition, always, if applicable, include a note on the reasons for taking a
particular action or decision, and who else has been informed. The Diocesan
Communications Officer should liaise with the police and the local authority
communication team about a joint approach and be ready to also liaise with and provide
communication support for the parish and other dioceses as required. The Independent
Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Board18 should be informed so that s/he is up to
date and aware of the current situation if approached by the media. In addition, the
Diocesan Safeguarding Board should be informed, in an anonymised form, at the next
meeting or, if required and the matter is urgent, a meeting could be specially convened
to update the Board.
11. Support for the victim. Provision of support for the victim and family/close friends is a top
priority.
11.1. Ensure there is a named person (who is separate from the person providing
support to the alleged abuser (see paragraph 12 below) agreed by the church and /
or diocese to support the victim and family / close friends and keep them informed of
progress. This may need to be an independent person to avoid conflicts of interest.
11.2. Always ensure the victim is kept updated – a busy day for one person on other
matters can be experienced as a traumatic time of waiting for the victim.
11.3. The victim may also want support that is independent of the Church. The DSA
should have information about local support groups as well as national groups, (e.g.
Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS); the National Association for
People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC); One in Four; Women’s Aid; Domestic
Violence Helpline; StopItNow! 0808 1000 900 www.stopitnow.org.uk (in cases of
child sexual abuse including web-based abuse, the StopItNow! telephone helpline is
17
Protecting all God’s Children page 72
The Diocesan Safeguarding Board is chaired by an independent lay person. Broadly, it meets at least once a
year to review diocesan safeguarding policy. Additional meetings can be called to deal with specific incidents.
It might consist of the following individuals: the Bishop, Archdeacon(s), the Bishop’s Chaplain. Diocesan
Secretary, Diocesan Communications Officer, DSA, Diocesan Registrar and representatives from
children/adults social care services, the police, probation and/or health services
18
9
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
useful for everyone involved (both for those managing the situation and those
people directly involved). These details of where to obtain independent support
should always be given to the victim, their named supporter and family.
11.4. Always offer access to an ‘Authorised Listener’ (see paragraph 5 above).
11.5. There may need to be referral for, and funding of, immediate counselling and
support. Any referral for counselling and support for a victim, should be prefaced
with a discussion and agreement of the relevant insurer. The DSA should have
information about a variety of local counselling and support services both private
and via the NHS. Offering to finance an individual’s counselling or other treatment or
redress should not be seen as an admission of liability. Obviously, providing any
form of treatment may not be appropriate in every case and discussions will need to
be had with those involved (e.g. the DSA, the Diocesan Registrar, the LADO, AST,
the police and including, where appropriate, insurers), and a decision made, based
on the particular facts involved19. Such counselling etc. may need to be arranged to
take place outside the diocese involved since the victim may have moved away from
the area, which means that different dioceses may need to work together.
12. Support for the alleged abuser. It is important to ensure that, for those accused of abuse,
there is independent and separate (i.e. separate to the victim) named support in place for
the individual and for family members / close friends, (as appropriate). For those who live
‘on the job’ (e.g. members of the clergy or various lay workers) suspension can be
particularly challenging and the practicalities need careful thought and planning in each
case. The investigation of a “serious safeguarding situation” can take a long time to
resolve, during which time the individual accused of abuse may receive little information
and as stated above experience feelings of isolation. That is why the support role is
crucial. If possible, try to ensure that the alleged abuser has contact with a single
individual rather than him / her having to deal with a wide variety of different people.
13. Support for the local priest in charge / incumbent and the local church. Where a “serious
safeguarding situation” has arisen in a local church, information should be shared with
the incumbent and a small group of carefully chosen designated individuals (usually the
churchwardens and parish safeguarding officer providing they can keep matters
confidential). This group can provide mutual support while maintaining the strictest
confidence. Support for this group can be obtained from the Archdeacon and other
Diocesan officers, (e.g. the DSA, Diocesan Registrar, Diocesan Communications Officer)
throughout the process. If the church is in a vacancy the advice of the Archdeacon
should be sought about how to provide support to the parish. The Rural or Area Dean
may fulfil the role of incumbent or priest in charge. Should the local priest in charge or
incumbent be the subject of a “serious safeguarding situation” then the Archdeacon will
arrange appropriate support for the local church.
14. Management of the case
14.1. The Local Authority LADO / AST (with respect to both children and adults) will
usually manage the inter agency approach. This will involve liaison with, for
example, police, probation services, health services, schools, adults and children’s
social care and / or an IDVA. This liaison will take place via a child / adult protection
19
“…offering to pay for some counselling or treatment would not in itself be deemed to be an admission of
legal liability…Ecclesiastical are strong supporters of the rehabilitation approach as we wish to assist where
possible to achieve the best post trauma outcome for an abused person…”
(A Summary of Ecclesiastical’s Approach to Handling Physical and Sexual Abuse Cases)
10
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
conference at which the relevant agencies and the DSA usually attends, as well as
parish representatives, (if appropriate).
14.2. In the case of an allegation against a church officer, the diocese should manage
the approach to the “serious safeguarding situation” by means of a small core group
which will include key Diocesan and Parish officers (e.g. the DSA, the Archdeacon,
the Diocesan Secretary, the Diocesan Registrar, the priest in charge or incumbent,
churchwardens, (the “Diocesan Core Group”).
14.3. The task of the Diocesan Core Group is to share accurate information with the
other members of the group; liaise with external agencies; identify who is to be
responsible for what; ensure and review support for all parties; advise on
suspension; disciplinary action; communications and review the process at the end.
The Diocesan Core Group will always keep the Bishop updated and informed of
progress, ensuring that he is involved in any appropriate decision making, (e.g. with
regard to suspension or disciplinary proceedings in relation to a church officer).
Consideration should also be given to notifying other dioceses and any ecumenical
colleagues or those in other organisations where the alleged abuser has been
involved. Advice should be taken from the LADO or the AST.
14.4. The Diocesan Secretary should also be kept informed whenever there is likely to
be a potential financial impact. If the “serious safeguarding situation” relates to a
diocesan employee then the Diocesan Secretary should be involved in the Diocesan
Core Group.
14.5. The LADO may advise that the Church makes a referral to children or adult’s
services, if there are children or vulnerable adults living at (or visiting) the home of
the alleged abuser. The DSA will ensure this process happens. If the decision is
made to refer, it should be done immediately by phone and then be followed up in
writing. The decision, whether or not to refer, should be kept under constant review
as the case progresses.
14.6. There will need to be consideration as to what should happen in the period prior to
any criminal or civil court case or prior to any disciplinary proceedings. If it is
possible for the alleged abuser to attend a church, there will need to be an “interim
worship safeguarding agreement”20 put in place, (the DSA will be able to advise
further in relation to this). Where an alleged abuser moves to another church or
diocese, the ‘receiving’ DSA should be informed so that appropriate arrangements
can be made.
15. Court proceedings
15.1. No character reference for the alleged abuser should be provided by a church
officer (or anyone else who is seen to represent the church or diocese) for court
proceedings without careful consideration. This means discussion with the LADO,
the DSA and the Diocesan Registrar.
15.2. Similar consideration is needed before a church officer (or other representative of
the church or diocese) accompanies an alleged abuser to court. It is important to
check who will be accompanying the victim and how this attendance will be
perceived by the court; the individual and his/her family and the wider public,
including the media.
20
Protecting all God’s children page 72
11
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
16. Outcome
16.1. At the conclusion of the case / investigation, consideration should always be given
as to whether a risk assessment is needed i.e. the church should be asking - is there
still a risk?
16.2. Please note, for instance, that even if a matter does not come to court, there still
may be areas of concern that need addressing. Indeed, there may be many reasons
why a case does not come to court or which result in a “not guilty” verdict.
Nevertheless, there may remain evidence of inappropriate, or at best, misguided
behaviour. Please contact the DSA, who may in turn consult, the LADO / AST if
appropriate, about any continuing risk to children or others. A risk assessment
should be commissioned by the parish or diocese, and the risk assessor should be
independent from both.
16.3. In addition, even if no further action is taken by the civil authorities, the church
must consider, whether disciplinary action would still be appropriate if a church
officer is involved. Advice should be sought from the DSA / Diocesan Registrar / HR
and the LADO / AST, (as appropriate). The police may provide the papers and
statements made during an investigation, if such papers are requested during the
disciplinary process.
16.4. If a church officer is dismissed or resigns from their paid or voluntary post due to a
safeguarding concern, it will be necessary to consult the DSA, Diocesan Registrar
(and the LADO /AST) as there may well be a duty on the church or diocese to make
a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service.21 Guidance can also be found on
the DBS website.22 In addition, broadly, if a member of the clergy is found to have
committed a misconduct offence and a penalty is imposed under the Clergy
Discipline Measure 2003, his / her name should be included on the Archbishops’
List. Further advice can be obtained from the Diocesan Registrar.
16.5. Consideration should be given as to whether an apology to the victim is
appropriate and if so, who will apologise on behalf of the Church. If the victim or
abuser is someone who has held the Bishop’s license or commission, the apology
should be made by the Diocesan Bishop in person. Whether an apology is
appropriate and the format of such apology should be fully discussed with the
relevant insurer, the DSA, the Diocesan Communications Officer and the Diocesan
Registrar. If a claim is made for the payment of compensation this should be
discussed with the DSA, Diocesan Registrar, the Diocesan Secretary, and referred
direct to the insurers.23 If there is no formal claim for compensation, a goodwill
payment towards treatment costs may be considered but again only after having
consulted the aforementioned individuals.
16.6.Whatever the outcome, the diocese should ensure that, if the parish is a registered
charity, it notifies the Charity Commission, especially if the abuse relates to the
individual’s role in that church. The Charity Commission advises that as a matter of
good practice, any serious incident that has resulted or could result in a significant
loss of funds or a significant risk to a charity’s property, work, beneficiaries or
21
The DBS will consider whether or not the individual should be barred from working with children and/or
vulnerable adults. It should be noted that a referral can still be made even if there is no criminal conviction.
Advice should always be sought from the DSA and Diocesan Registrar prior to making a referral.
22
The DBS referral forms can be found here.
23
:- “…To…give an apology or just acknowledge the abuse circumstances will not normally prejudice the
position, but…such action is best taken in conjunction with Ecclesiastical…” (A Summary of Ecclesiastical’s
Approach to Handling Physical and Sexual Abuse Cases)
12
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
reputation should be reported immediately to the Commission. Even if there is not
an immediate report, reference to the situation should be made on the annual return.
Guidance in relation to this is on the Charity Commission’s website24 and advice
should be sought from the Diocesan Registrar.
17.
The Diocesan Core Group should ensure that:17.1.The DSA has kept an up to date file on the case, (the “safeguarding file”).
17.2. There is a summary of the original “serious safeguarding situation”, which
includes details of the actions taken, decisions reached the reasons for the
actions/decisions and the eventual outcome. This summary will provide a useful
record of what happened, if, for instance, questions are asked in the future about
why certain actions were taken or if there is a further investigation.
17.3. The abovementioned summary and any key documents (e.g. statements,
transcripts of interviews, transcripts of phone calls, emails, letters etc.) should be
placed on the safeguarding file.
17.4. A summary should be placed on the abuser’s or alleged abuser’s personal file, (if
there is one), which will include a record of the “serious safeguarding situation”, and
how this case was handled; how the information was followed up; actions taken;
decisions reached and details of the eventual outcome, which may include an
assessment of risk, (if one was required). Information on this personal file should be
cross-referenced to information held on the safeguarding file25 and should be
consulted if a request for information about safeguarding issues is received.
17.5. In the event of a report concerning a parish officer, the PCC should keep a
confidential minute and the parish safeguarding officer should keep a record in the
parish safeguarding file, (with appropriate cross-references to the relevant files as
required).
17.6.Appropriate ongoing support should be offered to the victim and the parish (where
relevant) as they may be unsettled, bewildered and uncertain about the impact of
what has happened and may require outside assistance to retain some stability.
17.7.The outcome is fully discussed with the Bishop and the Diocesan Safeguarding
Board, so that lessons are learned and recommendations for changes in policy and
practice are made.
24
Reporting Serious Incidents – Guidance for Trustees – Charity Commission – June 2013
For further information please see Personal Files Relating to the Clergy – Guidance for Bishops
and their staff - (March 2013)
25
13
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
18. RESPONDING TO SERIOUS SITUATIONS FLOW CHART Appendix 1
Information about a serious safeguarding information is received by a person who becomes the referrer
If an emergency situation of immediate
danger of a child or adult, referrer calls
emergency services 999 or ensures it is
done (para 2)
Referrer within 24 hours informs Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
(DSA), who immediately notifies Bishop, Archdeacon and Diocesan
Secretary if necessary (para 3)
DSA informs as required: (paras 3, 7)
Diocesan Communications Officer
and other Diocesan and parish
officers as required (para 10)
Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or
Adult Safeguarding Team (AST)
Police
DSA in consultation with or on advice of LADO/AST/police, as required:
On advice of Registrar,
advises
Bishop/Diocesan
Secretary/parish on
suspension of alleged
abuser (para 9)
Refers to
Child or Adult
Care Services
(para 14.5)
Ensures immediate safety
arrangements in place for
victim(s) with no contact with
abuser, and for others
potentially vulnerable (para 8)
Ensures immediate and
ongoing contact with victim(s)
and independent support,
initially from an Authorised
Listener (paras 6, 11.4)
If allegation is against a church officer, DSA convenes ‘core group’ to manage the
process (paras 14.2, 14.3, 17). Core group clarifies/decides/ advises the Bishop on:
Diocesan
and parish
roles/responsibilities
Ongoing
contact with
statutory
agencies
Sharing information: insurance
(para 4); Charity Commission
(para 16.6); other dioceses;
national team (para 14.3)
Information and support for
victim(s) (para 11), abuser
(paras 12, 14.6), parish
officers (para 13)
Suspension, risk
assessment,
disciplinary
action
If there are court proceedings, church officers should not provide character references (para 15.1), and consider
victim’s views before accompanying abuser to court (para 15.2).
At the conclusion of the investigation, whatever the outcome, DSA convenes core group to consider and advise on:
Risk assessment
(paras 16.1, 16.2)
and disciplinary
proceedings
(para16.3) of abuser
Referral of
abuser to
DBS for
barring (para
16.4)
An apology to
victim(s) and ongoing
support and costs
(16.5, 17.6)
A complete
diocesan and
parish record
(paras 10, 17.117.5)
Lessons learned and
recommendations for
changes in policy and
practice (para 17.7)
14
PGc 2014.1 Church of England Safeguarding Practice Guidance 2014 number 1
For consultation until 31 July 2014
Download
Related flashcards
Crimes

37 Cards

Criminology

31 Cards

Drug traffickers

14 Cards

Crimes

36 Cards

Create flashcards