CORNERSTONE CITY CHURCH

SAFEGUARDING POLICY

January 2022

 

Section 1: 

Church Details and Activity

Our commitment to safeguard children and
vulnerable adults in our care

Name of Place of Worship / Organisation: Cornerstone City Church

Address: The Jasper Centre, Jasper Avenue, Rochester, Kent. ME1 2LD

Tel No: 01634 322878
General Email address: office@cornerstonecity.co.uk

Elders: Adam Voke, Julian Perry
Elders’ Contact Telephone / Email:
Adam: 07941374613 /adam@cornerstonecity.co.uk

Julian: 07564226116 /j.r.perry900@gmail.com

Trustees, Name and Contact Telephone:

Julian Perry 07564 226116

Abigail Carey 07787 947241

Griff Crouch 07787 564967

Gbolahan Mogaji 07917 457176

Chris Norwood 07939 463059

Acacia Sooklal 07932 037343

Safeguarding Coordinator Name: Gemma Evans

Contact Telephone: 07583 906284

Email: gemma.evans2012@yahoo.co.uk

Deputy Safeguarding Coordinators:

Name: Susie Voke
Contact telephone: 07982 710066

Email: susie@cornerstonecity.co.uk

Name: Joanna Shopland
Contact telephone: 07806 198980

Email: joannarachelhay@gmail.com

Name: Wonuola Nwisi
Contact telephone: 07504 855812

Email: Akinwonu@outlook.com

Name: Florence Sutherland
Contact telephone: 07747 567569

Email: Fsutherland@anchorfostercare.co.uk

Membership of Denomination/Organisation: Relational Mission (in association with Newfrontiers), Evangelical Alliance

 

Denomination Safeguarding Officer: Penny Taylor Contact Details for Denomination Safeguarding Officer: penny@relationalmission.com / 0845 468 0270

Charity Number: 1147328
Company Number: 7963955
Insurance Company: Congregational
Insurance Type: Church Insurance (Employers Liability, Public/Products Liability)

Policy Number: RC01015194

The following is a brief description of our organisation and the type of activities we undertake with children and adults who have care and support needs:

Cornerstone City Church is a charismatic, evangelical church, part of the Relational Mission family of churches. Our mission is to see Jesus-centred transformation of lives to regenerate Medway and beyond.

As part of our regular worship time on Sundays, children often go to a different room for age-appropriate teaching. Prayer ministry is also available at our services to all who ask for it. We hold regular events for children, young people and families, such as parties, worship evenings and prayer breakfasts. The church’s young people (12-18) regularly attend the annual Newday festival in Norfolk, and the children (6-11) usually have the opportunity to go away annually for a weekend together as well.

As part of our outreach into the local community we are a CAP debt centre, which entails visits to families and individuals. We also facilitate CAP life skills courses, and our community café, Jaspers, brings us into contact with a wide variety of people, including adults with extra support needs. We also run a community social group for older adults and one for parents of babies and toddlers.

Our commitment

As a Leadership we recognise the need to provide a safe and caring environment for children, young people and adults. We acknowledge that children, young people and adults can be the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect. They have a right to be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s), or any other person who has care of them. As a Leadership we have therefore adopted the procedures set out in this safeguarding policy in accordance with statutory guidance. We are committed to build constructive links with statutory and voluntary agencies involved in safeguarding.

The policy and any attached practice guidelines are based on the ten Safe and Secure safeguarding standards published by thirtyone:eight.

The Leadership undertakes to:

  • endorse and follow all national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures.

  • provide on-going safeguarding training for all its workers and will regularly review

    the operational guidelines attached.

  • support the Safeguarding Coordinator(s) in their work and in any action they may need to take in order to protect children and adults with care and support needs

    The Leadership agrees not to allow the document to be copied by other organisations.

Section 2: Understanding abuse and neglect

Defining child abuse or abuse against an adult is a difficult and complex issue. A person may abuse by inflicting harm or failing to prevent harm. Children and adults in need of protection may be abused within a family, an institution or a community setting. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult.

Detailed definitions, and signs and indicators of abuse, as well as how to respond to a disclosure of abuse, are included as appendices at the end of this policy.

Safer recruitment

The Leadership will ensure all workers, both paid and voluntary, who have regular contact with, or influence over, children and/or adults with care and support needs, will be appointed, trained, supported and supervised in accordance with government guidance on safe recruitment. This includes ensuring that:

  • There is a written job description / person specification for all formal roles

  • Those applying have completed an application form and a self declaration form

  • Those applying have been interviewed

  • Safeguarding has been discussed at interview

  • Written references have been obtained and followed up where appropriate

  • A disclosure and barring check has been completed where necessary (we will comply with Code of Practice requirements concerning the fair treatment of applicants and the handling of information)

  • Qualifications, where relevant, have been verified

  • A suitable training programme is provided for the successful applicant

  • The applicant has completed a probationary period

  • The applicant has been given a copy of the organisation’s safeguarding policy and knows how to report concerns.

Safeguarding training

The Leadership is committed to on-going safeguarding training and development opportunities for all workers, thereby developing a culture of awareness of safeguarding issues to help protect everyone. All our workers will receive induction training and undertake recognised safeguarding training on a regular basis.

The Leadership will also ensure that children and adults with care and support needs are provided with information on where to get help and advice in relation to abuse, discrimination, bullying or any other matter where they have a concern.

Management of Workers – Codes of Conduct

As a Leadership we are committed to supporting all workers and ensuring they receive support and supervision. All workers have been issued with a code of conduct towards children, young people and adults with care and support needs. (A copy of this is included in the Appendices.)

Section 3: Practice Guidelines

As an organisation / place of worship working with children, young people and adults with care and support needs we wish to operate and promote good working practice. This will enable workers to run activities safely, develop good relationships and minimise the risk of false or unfounded accusation.

As well as a general code of conduct for workers in central ministries, we also have specific good practice guidelines for CAP and work with children/young people. Leaders of all other relevant groups are also made aware of our safeguarding policies and procedures.

Working in Partnership

The diversity of organisations and settings means there can be great variation in practice when it comes to safeguarding children, young people and adults. This can be because of cultural tradition, belief and religious practice or understanding, for example, of what constitutes abuse.

We therefore have clear guidelines in regards to our expectations of those with whom we work in partnership. It is also our expectation that any organisation using our premises will have their own policy that meets thirtyone:eight’s safeguarding standards, as part of the letting agreement. We will discuss our safeguarding expectations with all partners and expect them to adhere to them.

We believe good communication is essential in promoting safeguarding, both to those we wish to protect, to everyone involved in working with children and adults and to all those with whom we work in partnership. This safeguarding policy is just one means of promoting safeguarding. The leaders’ Safeguarding Statement, with clear details of who to contact in case of need or a request for more information, will be prominently displayed in the church building and wherever our congregations gather on Sunday mornings.

Section 4 Responding to allegations of abuse

Under no circumstances should a volunteer or worker carry out their own investigation into an allegation or suspicion of abuse. Action should take place as outlined in the “Responding to Abuse” flowchart.

  • Documenting a concern.

    The worker or volunteer should make a report of the concern as soon as possible after they become aware of it, using the “Documenting Allegations of Abuse” template (see Appendix 7). If appropriate it may be helpful to use the body map form to indicate the location of any visible injuries (see Appendix 8).

  • The person in receipt of allegations or suspicions of abuse should report concerns as soon as possible to:

  • Name: Gemma Evans (hereafter the "Safeguarding Co-ordinator")

  • Tel: 07583 906284

  • Email: gemma.evans2012@yahoo.co.uk

    The above is nominated by the Leadership to act on their behalf in dealing with the allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse, including referring the matter on to the statutory authorities.

  • In the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or, if the suspicions in any way involve the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, then the report should be made to one of the following (hereafter "Deputy Safeguarding Co-ordinator" or “DSC”):

Name: Susie Voke
Contact telephone: 07982 710066

Email: susie@cornerstonecity.co.uk

Name: Joanna Shopland
Contact telephone: 07806 198980

Email: joannarachelhay@gmail.com

Name: Wonuola Nwisi
Contact telephone: 07504 855812

Email: Akinwonu@outlook.com

Name: Florence Sutherland
Contact telephone: 07747 567569

Email: Fsutherland@anchorfostercare.co.uk

If the suspicions implicate both the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and the Deputies, then the report should be made in the first instance to:
thirtyone:eight PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ.
Tel: 0303 003 1111.

Alternatively contact Social Services or the police.

  • The Safeguarding Co-ordinator may need to inform others depending on the circumstances and/or nature of the concern, for example

    • Church leadership, for pastoral follow-up

    • The Chair or trustee responsible for safeguarding, who may need to liaise with

      the insurance company or the charity commission to report a serious incident.

    • Designated officer or LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) if the allegation concerns a worker or volunteer working with someone under 18.

  • Suspicions must not be discussed with anyone other than those nominated above. A written record of the concerns should be made in accordance with these procedures and kept in a secure place.

  • Whilst allegations or suspicions of abuse will normally be reported to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, the absence of the Safeguarding Co-ordinator or Deputy should not delay referral to Social Services, the Police or taking advice from thirtyone:eight.

  • The Leadership will support the Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy in their role and accept that any information they may have in their possession will be shared in a strictly limited way on a need to know basis.

  • It is, of course, the right of any individual as a citizen to make a direct referral to the safeguarding agencies or seek advice from thirtyone:eight, although the Leadership hope that members of the place of worship / organisation will use this procedure. If, however, the individual with the concern feels that the Safeguarding Co- ordinator/Deputy has not responded appropriately, or where they have a disagreement with the Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) as to the appropriateness of a referral they are free to contact an outside agency direct. We hope by making this statement that the Leadership demonstrate its commitment to effective safeguarding and the protection of all those who are vulnerable.

Allegations of sexual abuse

In the event of allegations or suspicions of sexual abuse, the Safeguarding Co- ordinator/Deputy will:

  • Contact the Children’s Social Services Department Duty Social Worker for children and families or Police Child Protection Team direct. They will NOT speak to the parent/carer or anyone else.

  • Seek and follow the advice given by thirtyone:eight if for any reason they are unsure whether or not to contact Children’s Social Services/Police. Thirtyone:eight will confirm its advice in writing for future reference.

    Detailed procedures where there is a concern that an adult is in need of protection:

    Suspicions or allegations of abuse or harm including; physical, sexual, organisational, financial, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, forced marriage, modern slavery, domestic abuse.

    If there is concern about any of the above, Safeguarding Co-ordinator/Deputy will:

  • Contact the Adult Social Care Team who have responsibility under the Care Act 2014 to investigate allegations of abuse. Alternatively thirtyone:eight can be contacted for advice.

  • If the adult is in immediate danger or has sustained a serious injury contact the Emergency Services, informing them of any suspicions.

    If there is a concern regarding spiritual abuse, Safeguarding Co-ordinator will:

  • Identify support services for the victim i.e. counselling or other pastoral support

  • Contact thirtyone:eight and in discussion with them will consider appropriate action with regards to the scale of the concern.

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with children/young people

If an accusation is made against a worker (whether a volunteer or paid member of staff) whilst following the procedure outlined above, the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, in accordance with Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) procedures will:

  • Liaise with Children’s Social Services in regards to the suspension of the worker

  • Make a referral to a designated officer formerly called a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) whose function is to handle all allegations against adults who work with children and young people whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.

  • Make a referral to Disclosure and Barring Service for consideration of the person being placed on the barred list for working with children or adults with additional care and support needs. This decision should be informed by the LADO if they are involved.

Allegations of abuse against a person who works with adults with care and support needs

The safeguarding co-ordinator will:

  • Liaise with Adult Social Services in regards the suspension of the worker

  • Make a referral to the DBS following the advice of Adult Social Services

    The Care Act places the duty upon Adult Services to investigate situations of harm to adults with care and support needs. This may result in a range of options including action against the person or organisation causing the harm, increasing the support for the carers or no further action if the ‘victim’ chooses for no further action and they have the capacity to communicate their decision. However, this is a decision for Adult Services to decide, not the church.

Section 5 Supporting those affected by abuse

The Leadership is committed to offering pastoral care, working with statutory agencies as appropriate, and offering support to all those who have been affected by abuse who have contact with or are part of Cornerstone City Church.

Working with offenders and those who may pose a risk

When someone attending Cornerstone City Church is known to have abused children, is under investigation, or is known to be a risk to adults with care and support needs, the Leadership will supervise the individual concerned and offer pastoral care. However, in its safeguarding commitment to the protection of children and adults with care and support needs, it will set boundaries for that person, which they will be expected to keep. These boundaries will be based on an appropriate risk assessment and through consultation with appropriate parties.

Appendicies are available on request.