Who Needs a Safeguarding Policy?

It is good practice for all churches to adopt a Safeguarding Children Policy Statement.  This should be done for the sake of the children alone.  However, churches may also find that they are required to have a written policy for other reasons. For example:

  • if the church is required to register with the Charity Commission (any church with an annual income of over £100,000 must register with the Charity Commission)

  • if the church applies for charitable or public funding for its work with children and young people

  • for the purposes of its public liability insurance

It is, however, important to recognise that a written policy statement is not sufficient in itself to safeguard children.  A policy statement will not be worth the paper it is written on if:

  • it has been adopted only as a formality to satisfy ‘bureaucratic requirements’

  • the policy statement is not supported by clear, written procedures

  • the policy and procedures ‘sit on the shelf’ and are not reviewed

  • no provision is made to train workers

  • no one is given responsibility to implement the policy

  • the policy is only ‘owned’ by the children’s and young people’s workers and not by the whole church

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