Who Needs a Safeguarding Policy?

It is good practice for all churches to adopt safeguarding policy statements.  This should be done for our care of those in our churches.  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, young people and adults at risk

  • 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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