Skip Main Navigation
Page Content

The Diocese of Southwark: Safeguarding

       Diocesan Safeguarding Training Strategy and Programme

2019 – 2020

(issued pending the revised Practice Guidance from the House of Bishops

and may be subject to change)

Introduction

The national safeguarding training and development practice guidance sets out the framework for safeguarding training to ensure that all Church officers are trained in aspects of safeguarding relevant to their role in order to develop and maintain the necessary knowledge, attitude and skills to safeguard and protect children, young people, vulnerable adults as outlined in ‘Promoting a Safer Church’; House of Bishops policy statement 2017. The practice guidance applies to all Church officers. Please note under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 all authorised clergy, bishops, archdeacons, licensed readers and lay workers, churchwardens and PCCs must have 'due regard' to safeguarding guidance issued by the House of Bishops (this will include both policy and practice guidance). A duty to have 'due regard' to guidance means that the person under the duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow it unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so. ('Cogent' for this purpose means clear, logical and convincing.) Failure by clergy to comply with the duty imposed by the 2016 Measure may result in disciplinary action.

 The House of Bishops guidance requires dioceses to offer consistent training in safeguarding for clergy, and other diocesan officers including all those who hold the Bishop’s licence. Although there is no statutory requirement for this training, there is an expectation in Government Guidance that all staff, volunteers and office-holders know what to do should safeguarding situations arise. There may also be issues of insurance and vicarious liability should training opportunities not have been made available to parishes by the Diocese, together with robust encouragement to access it. The costs for this training are fully covered by the Diocese for diocesan officers and members of congregations in the Diocese.

A healthy Christian community is one which ensures and nurtures the wellbeing of all. Safeguarding needs therefore to be embedded in all aspects of the life and ministry of the Church, and safeguarding training and development is seen in this context. It is essential that churches understand safeguarding as a theological imperative, rooted in the nature and love of God, and outworking in basic commitments to giving equal worth to all, practising reciprocal pastoral care, and treating those who are most vulnerable with respect and dignity.

 Content

Training will be focused on building healthy communities with a culture of safety, in which the wellbeing of all is ensured and nurtured. Modules reflect the national requirements across all dioceses for ensuring healthy safeguarding practice, responding well to victims and survivors of abuse in the church context. They emphasise the need to work in co-operation with the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and with statutory agencies in all safeguarding matters.

Training for all church roles will include safer working practices which emphasise the importance of maintaining proper boundaries and a culture of “respectful uncertainty”. Within the Church, all are welcomed, including those who pose risk; and in most situations, church officers will be unaware of any risks posed. The Church is therefore uniquely challenged to provide a safe environment for all who attend, especially children and those who are vulnerable.

 Training Arrangements

Safeguarding training must be delivered by experienced and skilled trainers, who understand the statutory requirements of safeguarding children and adults, and how these are executed in the church context.

 Modules designed for face to face participative learning should be delivered to groups of ideally a maximum of 30, although competent trainers may manage up to 40 participants need the opportunity to explore with the trainer and one another the challenges which they face in their work with children and adults who may be vulnerable. Participants may also have vulnerabilities due to having experienced abuse in the past, and trainers will need to take this into consideration and make provision for any attendee who may become distressed.

 Participants in training are also likely to need some opportunity to reflect on the relationship between safeguarding issues and their beliefs as articulated in theological language if safeguarding learning is to become thoroughly integrated with their behaviour, relationships and culture in the life of the church.

 If possible, every training session should include two people in a leadership role: either two trainers, or one trainer and one experienced and skilled co-worker, in order that the needs of participants can be fully addressed. In full day sessions, two trainers are generally required to ensure there is a change of voice, pace and approach, especially as both delivering and receiving safeguarding training can be emotionally draining.

 Evaluation and review

All courses will be based on those detailed within the Safeguarding Training and Development Practice Guidance issued by the House of Bishops. A record of attendance will be kept by the Diocesan Safeguarding Team, and reminders sent to those who have not met minimum requirements.
The Strategy is evaluated, reviewed and adjusted annually in response to new legislation, policies and guidance as advised by the National Safeguarding Team, and feedback from previous training sessions.

 Current courses

The annual training programme is set by the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, in consultation with the Diocesan Ministry and Training Team, the Safeguarding Advisory Group and the Diocesan Bishop.

The following table lists courses available as part of the Diocesan Training Strategy for 2019/20. A range of training opportunities is provided, reflecting the needs of the target groups. Local courses for deaneries or groups of parishes can be negotiated on request, to be delivered by voluntary parish trainers.

 

Attendance at courses must be booked in advance.

 

Save This Event

Event Saved