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Safeguarding Policy and Handbook

The Safeguarding Policy and Handbook is attached and is based on the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook 2010.

Safeguarding Children and Young People Handbook. This handbook was approved by Church Council on 6 November 2011.

The Methodist Church has issued further guidance on the employment and training of people working with children and young people and social networking. At the Church Council on 6 November 2012 the following recommendations were approved.:-

Safeguarding Report to Church Council on 6 November 2012

1. SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY
1.1. Craig Blair had raised the issue of a Social Networking Policy for the church with Rev. Robert Lewis.
1.2. Andrew Watchorn contacted Glenn Evans for the Methodist Church’s guidance in response to CB’s request. GE supplied the Methodist Church’s “Internet, email, texting Communication Guidelines”
1.3. CB said that there were practical difficulties in adopting the Methodist Church’s guidelines.
1.4. The recommendation that workers should have a shared email account was not being followed. CB said that in certain circumstances it might compromise confidentiality, when someone was disclosing a concern. He said that he normally sent a courtesy copy to a member of staff when he sent emails.
1.5. The recommendation that workers should only use an agreed social networking account for contact with children and young people with whom they are working was not being followed. CB said that he had created a separate group within his own personal account and had amended his privacy settings so that this was separate to his own personal account.
1.6. It was agreed that a recommendation is made to Church Council that the Safeguarding Policy for the church includes the adoption of the Methodist Church’s “Internet, email, texting Communication Guidelines” except the guidance on a shared email account and an agreed social networking account.
1.7. CB and AW would produce some guidance notes on this item for the next safeguarding meeting.

2. DECISION OF CONFERENCE ON UNDERTAKING RELEVANT TRAINING
2.1. The following decision of Conference, “Anyone engaged in leading or helping with activities aimed at children, young people, or vulnerable adults (…) should not begin or continue in these roles unless and until they have attended a training session.” was discussed.
2.2. It was agreed that this was impractical and that this group recommends that we adopt the policy of treating these people as occasional helpers until they have been CRB checked and undertaken the relevant training.

3. RECOMMENDATIONS
3.1. The Church adopts the Methodist Church’s “Internet, email, texting Communication Guidelines” subject to the following amendments.
3.1.1. Workers with children and young people could use their own personal email account as long as they sent courtesy copies to at least one co-worker.
3.1.2. Workers with children and young people could use their own personal social networking account as long as they amended their privacy settings to create a separate group for the children and young people. This group should also include at least one co-worker who would have access to the group information.
3.2. The Church treat people as occasional helpers working with children and young people, and vulnerable adults until such time as the CRB check is received and they complete the relevant training.


The handbook will be reviewed to include social networking at the next safeguarding meeting in April.


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