COVID-19 - Church is Changing - Safeguarding Guidance and information

In response to the current emergency we have drafted some guidance to advice Parishes as to how they can safely develop support for vulnerable members of their communities.

Church is Changing - Safeguarding Guidance

30 March 2020:

Updated Guidance from the National Safeguarding Team

Guidance for dioceses and churches for the safe use of video-calling with young people

26 March 2020: Guidance from the National Safeguarding Team

DBS Check revised guidance

Revised guidance regarding ID Checking for DBS checks has been issued by the disclosure and Barring Service.

Safer Recruitment and Safer Recruitment – Permission to Officiate remain in effect and despite the worrying situation with COVID-19, DBS renewal arrangements for clergy and church officers remain in effect and should be followed in all circumstances. New guidance issued Thursday 19 March 2020, from the Disclosure and Barring Service, providing clarity on viewing documents remotely, is here:

Safeguarding Resources for PSOs and Parishes

Safeguarding practice is recognised by the Church of England as central to the mission and ministry of the church and integral to creating communities of wholeness with Christ at the centre.

Our shared aim is to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are safe in our churches and that all those who are survivors of abuse are listened to, valued and supported. As such the role of Parish Safeguarding Officer is key to ensuring that we all meet our safeguarding responsibilities in all of the work that we do.

The Diocesan Safeguarding Team are available to answer questions and queries related to safeguarding and can provide contact details for a wide range of Christian and secular organisations that can provide advice or support across a range of needs.
Information regarding a variety of organisations and sources of support can be found here: Safeguarding Resources.

It is important that new Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSO) make contact with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team so that they can receive welcome information and be provided with induction details. If you are changing the PSO within your parish find out about what needs to happen here: How to induct a new Parish Safeguarding Officer.

Parishes are required to register with the Parish Safeguarding Dashboard. This is a web based service which helps to make life easier for PSO's and Parishes in keeping track of the safeguarding arrangements and responsibilities.

Serious Incident Reporting - information regarding what to do when you need to report a serious safeguarding incident to the Charity Commission.

All of the Diocese of Bristol safeguarding policy, procedures and practice guidance can be found on the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure page. Parishes are required to have their own, local Policy and Procedures. Below are some examples to help you set this up and further Safeguarding advice documentation: