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Safe to Grow – a whole church approach to Safeguarding
Thank you for expressing interest in the new Baptist Union of Great Britain Safeguarding training.
Most children lead happy, contented lives, are well looked after and are protected by the people with responsibility for their care. Sadly, however, there are a significant number who are not.
In the enquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie, the 8 year old child who died from horrific injuries in 2002 after being brought to the UK for a better life, investigators highlight twelve missed opportunities where individuals or organisations might have saved Victoria’s life, the church was included.
How does the Church respond to this? The Church’s priority should not be saving the soul with little concern for the physical life - protecting children is not someone else’s job. Children are everybody’s responsibility.
The BUGB Safeguarding Training is delivered in three tiers, to bring it into line with training offered in the secular world, and detailed below is an overview of what each level contains, who should attend and how you might incorporate it into your schedule for all those who come into contact with children and young people in your church community. Attendance at each level is dependent on having completed the preceding levels and no exceptions will be made to this.
Level 1 is a short DVD targeted at the whole church – you should have received your copy of this directly from WEBA - the messages contained within the DVD are for all members of society, every person in your congregation, regardless of whether they specifically interact with children and young people within your church community.
This message is for all churches, whether or not the church has any formally organised work with children and young people. Because children are welcome to attend any church (at least we hope so!) all churches should have a safeguarding policy in place in readiness for the day when that new family unexpectedly arrives.
There are some sermon notes available from BUGB that can be used to make this three and a half minute DVD into a whole service and we also recommend that the DVD is shown annually at the church AGM, to accompany the reading of your church safeguarding policy.
Level 2 is a three hour session for those in regular contact with children and young people; youth leaders, helpers, church workers and those in a supervisory capacity, ie Ministers, Managing Trustees (Deacons/Elders) and the Designated Person/People for Safeguarding. This session covers recognising signs and symptoms of abuse, grooming and abuse of trust, what to do when a disclosure is made, information sharing, and recording and reporting safeguarding concerns. The Level 1 DVD is shown at the start of this session and attendance at this session is necessary before moving on to Level 3.
Level 3 is for Ministers, Managing Trustees (Deacons/Elders), youth leaders and the Designated Person/People for Safeguarding. This session can only be attended after completing Levels 1 and 2 and follows a case study; not giving any answers but encouraging attendees to think through how they might manage a referral, discussing their thought processes and exploring views and feelings about this sensitive topic. By the end of this three hour session attendees will have considered the importance of the following points and will be directed to where they can get further information about each:-
n Recognising Signs & Symptoms of an Abuser
n Safer Recruitment
n Writing Safeguarding Policies and Procedures
n Recording and Securing Evidence
n Questioning Skills – and when to stop asking questions!
n Making a Referral
n Offender Contracts
This training is directed at work with children and young people, although in the absence of specific training could be used for those working with vulnerable adults too. The optimum is to have separate training for vulnerable adult workers, and BUGB are working on this, however all elements of this training are relevant for vulnerable adults workers too.
Training at Levels 2 and 3 can be booked by going to the Safeguarding section of the WEBA website news and events page;
Attendance will be charged at £15 per person and each attendee will receive a certificate of attendance together with a personal folder containing relevant sections from Safe to Grow and various information sheets with advice for future reference.
We each come into contact with children on a daily basis – whether in our families, neighbourhood or church community. That small piece of information - the thing that you saw or heard that made you feel uncomfortable, your gut feeling, may prove to be a vital piece in the jigsaw of that child’s life and if you don’t share what you know then, like Victoria Climbie, that child may continue to suffer. We urge you to
Don’t leave it
When & Where
West of England Baptist Association
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