Parish of Woodhouse, St James
This statement was revised on the 27th July 2020 and will be adopted by St James, Woodhouse at the next Parochial Church Council meeting. This policy will be reviewed each year to monitor progress achieved.
Statement of Aims
Our aims are:
- To help children and young people in their Christian discipleship through a programme of learning and thereby deepen their Christian faith
- To enable children and young people to experience the love of God
- To encourage a strong Christian fellowship
- Help children and young people realise their full potential physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually
- To encourage children and young people to take a full part in the Church’s life and worship
- To provide a safe meeting place for children and young people
- To encourage children and young people to become responsible adults
- To provide indoor and outdoor leisure activities for children and young people
- To help children and young people to discern God’s calling in their life
- To promote equality of opportunity for all
This document covers the work of this parish with children and young people, in its services and in the groups meeting throughout the week.
Currently these groups are:
- Fresh Kids (School years reception – year 5, weekly during term time on Wednesdays 5-6.15pm)
- Fresh Youth (School years 6-11, weekly during term time on Wednesday 7-8.30pm)
- Glow (3rd Sunday of the month ages 3-14 years, 10.30-11.30am)
- Fresh Café Church (1st Sunday of the month 10:30 – 12:00)
This policy also covers any work undertaken outside of the church buildings carried out under the auspices of the P.C.C.
This P.C.C. adopts the policy statement of the Diocese and will display it prominently in all church premises. The P.C.C. expects all church workers to follow its Safeguarding Children Policy and Guidelines and will display them in a prominent place.
Application of the Policy
All new workers, whether paid or voluntary, working for church-based organisations, will be informed of the policy by the Vicar, the Safeguarding Children representative or the group leader. All children’s workers will be expected to accept the policy and guidelines and work according to their requirements.
All new members of the P.C.C. will be required to accept the policy and guidelines. The P.C.C. will appoint a group to oversee the policy and guidelines, and they will be placed on the Agenda of the P.C.C. at least annually for review.
The P.C.C. will appoint a Safeguarding Children Representative and will inform the diocesan office of their details.
Any organisation booking the use of church premises will be informed of the need to observe the Policy via a statement on the Booking Form. They should be expected to confirm they have a Safeguarding Children policy and appropriate insurance. Individuals booking church premises for private functions will have the policy drawn to their attention and accept their responsibility for protecting children at that function.
The P.C.C. will follow the recruitment process included in the Safeguarding Children Policy. References, the Confidential Declaration and a DBS disclosure via the Diocesan system will be obtained. Appointment to any post, paid or voluntary, will not be made until these processes are complete. All appointments will be made on a conditional basis until the completion of a satisfactory probationary period. All those working with children and young people will follow the good practice guidelines in the Diocesan Safeguarding Children Policy and Guidelines.
Registration and Parental Consent
All groups will keep a register of those attending each session. Parental consent forms, including emergency contact details, must be completed for all participants, and must be available to group leaders whenever the group meets. This applies to all groups, whether meeting on church premises or elsewhere.
Parental consent to photographs and videos must be obtained, using the consent form and principles in the diocesan guidelines.
The P.C.C. will ensure that there is adequate insurance cover for all activities involving children and young people.
Fire Regulations and Security
All group leaders will be aware of fire regulations and the positions of fire extinguishers. They will be vigilant as to the presence of anyone on the premises during the meetings of the groups. They should know who to contact in an emergency relating to the building.
Food and Hygiene
If any group is involved in the preparation or selling of food, at least one leader should have completed the food hygiene and food safety course to ensure good practice is followed.
First Aid and Accidents
Each group should have at least one adult present who has attended a basic course on first aid. There should be a properly stocked first aid kit accessible to each group. In the event of any accident, an incident and accident report form should be completed. This should be kept securely in a marked file. Parents should also be informed of any accident.
Providing an Independent Person
Children and young people should have the opportunity to raise any concerns about any health and safety or safeguarding matters. A notice will be placed on the noticeboard and/or entrance to church and to all church premises with the name of the parish Safeguarding Children Representative/Officer, Childline telephone number and of any other independent person the parish appoints to afford this opportunity.
If an allegation is received concerning the behaviour of an adult, the diocesan Allegations Policy (a copy of which can be found in the Safeguarding Children Policy) will be followed.
Concerns About or Reported by a Child
This parish will follow the Diocesan Guidelines and report the concern to the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, or to the appropriate Archdeacon. In an emergency or if the child is at immediate risk the appropriate statutory agencies will be informed. All such concerns or incidents should be recorded and kept in a confidential place.
All children and young people’s workers will meet to review their work on at least an annual basis. This should include a review of safeguarding issues and health and safety issues relating to each group. Notification of this meeting should be reported to the P.C.C. The parish Safeguarding Children Representative/Officer will review the parish policy annually and report to the P.C.C., who will record this review in their minutes. The P.C.C. will inform the Archdeacon via the visitation that this has been done. A copy of the current Parish Safeguarding Policy should be sent to the Archdeacon for inclusion in the parish file. A further copy should be sent if there are substantial amendments.
Group leaders will be encouraged to attend the Safeguarding training provided by the Diocese. The parish will consider its training needs at the time it reviews the Safeguarding Policy. If specific needs are identified the parish will consult with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser to arrange a training event for the parish or group of parishes in the Deanery.
Use of Social Media
All those using social media, text messaging and e-mail to communicate with children and young people must follow the diocesan guidelines. (See Appendix 1)
Diocese of Sheffield
Safe Church Policy
Parish Policy Statement on Safeguarding Adults in the Church
This statement was reviewed on 27th July 2020 and will be adopted by St James, Woodhouse at the next Parochial Church Council meeting. This policy will be reviewed each year to monitor progress achieved.
- We recognise that everyone has different levels of vulnerability and that each of us may be regarded as vulnerable at some time in our lives.
- As members of this parish we commit ourselves to respectful pastoral care for all adults to whom we minister.
- We commit ourselves to the safeguarding of people who may be vulnerable, ensuring their well-being in the life of this church.
- We commit ourselves to promoting safe practice by those in positions of trust.
- The parish commits itself to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of people who may be vulnerable.
- It is the responsibility of each of us to prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse of vulnerable people, and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.
- We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of those who will work with people who may be vulnerable.
- The parish is committed to supporting, resourcing, training and regularly reviewing those who undertake work amongst people who may be vulnerable.
- The parish adopts the guidelines of the Church of England and the Diocese.
- Each person who works with vulnerable people will agree to abide by these recommendations and the guidelines established by this church.
This church appoints Lynne Noble to represent the concerns and views of vulnerable people and the safeguarding of such and children at our meetings and to outside bodies.
We the below accept the adopted statements for both Children and Adult Safeguarding Policies.
Focal Minister/Assistant Curate Mrs June Fox …………………………………………………..
Churchwarden Mr Martin Ripley ……………………………………………………………………
27th July 2020
DIOCESE OF SHEFFIELD
Social Media guidelines
Within our diocesan community, more and more people are using social media as part of their ministry. The Diocese of Sheffield and the wider Church, including St James, embraces this, acknowledging the value of social media as an important missional tool. Through social media we can connect with people where they are and build relationships with those we might struggle to reach through other channels.
Social media is immediate, interactive, conversational and open‐ended. This sets it apart from other forms of communication and demands a new way of thinking. As well as the many opportunities, users should also be aware of (though not put off by) the associated risks.
These good practice guidelines have been compiled to help clergy, office‐holders and staff already active on social media (or thinking about it!) fulfil, with confidence, their role as online ambassadors for their local parish, the wider Church and our Christian faith. All are based on principles of common sense and good judgement. Essentially, you should participate online in the same way as you would in any other public forum. Your actions should be consistent with your work and Christian values and you are responsible for the things you do, say or write.
Types of social media:
Social media can be difficult to define but is generally seen as online technologies and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Popular examples include: blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Websites, Soundcloud, Audiobook, Foursquare, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, Linkedin, Yammer and Pinterest.
- Don’t rush in
The immediacy of social media is one of its benefits – we can respond quickly to questions, correct
misunderstandings give our perspective about a breaking story in the news media. Responding quickly doesn’t mean doing so without due consideration. Before posting always think:
Is this my story to share?
Would I want my boss to read this?
Would I want God to read this?
Would I want this on the front page of a newspaper?
This point applies even before you start posting your own content. Spend a while listening to others, getting a feel for the tone in that particular forum, giving thought to how you might participate.
- Transient yet permanent
Social media updates are immediate and will outdate quickly BUT they can have a more lasting impact and you should assume that anything you post is permanent. Even if you delete it later on, it may have been seen and re‐published or referred to elsewhere.
- You’re an ambassador
Like it or not, if you are ordained, lead in or are employed by the Church, others will see you in your public role as a representative of the Church. If talking about a church matter, make it clear that these are your personal opinions and not those of the Church of England or the Diocese.
- Don’t hide
Anonymity and ‘hiding’ behind aliases when using social media is frowned upon. It’s also at odds with what we consider the main reason for using social media networks. How can anyone really connect with an alias? On any social media platform, if you choose a username or profile different to your real name, include brief personal details in the about section.
When the account is a shared one, for example, a Facebook page for your parish, ensure people can easily find out who is responsible for the content. Prosecutions have now been brought against those using anonymous accounts to post threatening comments to others.
- Blurring of public/private life boundaries
The distinction between public duties and private life is difficult to draw. It is no different online. There are risks associated with personal opinions being seen as public statements, a minister’s private life being invaded and the difficulties of detaching from work. Consider setting up different accounts for ministry and personal use to help set definite boundaries. Use privacy settings wisely. Staff should not feel they have to blur these lines if they do not wish too. Official accounts exist for the Diocese for work‐related communications.
The informality that social media encourages can mean that it might be harder to maintain a professional distance that is required when working with children, young people and the vulnerable. Communicating directly online with someone, for example with private messaging, is like meeting them in private. You’re advised to send messages to groups, rather than individuals, or share them publicly. IMPORTANT: This is not a replacement for the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy for which this is an appendix above.
- Stay within the legal framework
Whilst sharing thoughts and reflections with friends or followers via social media can seem personal and private, it is not. By law, if one or more people can access it, content is classed as published, in the public domain and subject to legislation around libel, defamation, copyright and data protection. If you wouldn’t say something in a public meeting or to someone’s face or write it in a newspaper or on headed paper – don’t say it online.
Use of social media does not change the Church’s understanding of confidentiality. Within the life of the Church there are private meetings and conversations, particularly in terms of pastoral work. Breaking confidentiality is as wrong as it would be in any other context. Arguably, it is worse as via social media a broken confidence could spread rapidly and be impossible to retract. Remember: Is this story mine to share? If in doubt, don’t.
- Be mindful of your own security
Don’t overshare personal information. Never publish detailed personal information such as your address or
telephone number, unless in a private message to someone you know and trust. If you receive communications via social media that are malicious, upsetting or a personal or reputational attack, alert someone at Church House. You do not have to live with this and actions can be taken.
For advice and guidance on any aspect of social media, please contact a member of the communications team on 01709 309125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org