If you have concerns about a particular situation or an enquiry about safeguarding children from harm, please contact Su Foster, the inter-diocesan Child Protection Adviser on 01704 540516 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure and Barring applications are processed through Church House. Contact Maxine Southwick on 01244 681973 (Ext. 239) Maxine Southwick. A new version of the DBS application form is now available please ensure that you are using the correct version. Please destroy all old forms that contain the CRB logo. Further details on DBS processing is available here
Su is supported in Chester Diocese by the Chester Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Group, which also arranges basic training in safeguarding children. For events currently arranged, click on Events on the diocesan home page. To enquire about arranging training in your deanery or area, contact the lay chair of the group Melanie McCoombe through Sandra James at Church House: email@example.com For general advice about good practice in work with children or young people, contact David Bell, Adviser for Ministry among Children, or Mark Montgomery, Youth Officer.
Basic Safeguarding Trainings are happening in each Deanery in 2013 please click here for details
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 has brought in changes that will have an impact on the recruitment processes in parishes.
These changes are being phased in please see the e-bulletin for updates.
The Disclosure and Barring Service is responsible for the disclosure of criminal records and the Independent Safeguarding Authority for barring.
Referrals to ISA should still be made through the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor
The Major changes from September 2012 are
Details of the changes are here
• New definition of regulated activity, this will impact on who parishes will deem as needing a DBS, we are waiting advice from the Church of England’s National safeguarding lead as to who will be included. Therefore at this time please continue to follow the Interim Guidance for Safer Recruitment ( see diocesan website)
.• Repeal of registration and continuous monitoring
• Minimum age (16) at which someone can apply for a DBS check
When a blemished disclosure is received back there are additional changes to information that will be provided on the DBS forms this includes
-More rigorous ‘relevancy’ test for when the police release information held locally on an enhanced DBS check- this will be include as part of the risk assessment that is already undertaken by the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor when a blemished DBS is received.
We have already been contacted requesting information about portability of DBS’s. Portability of DBS’s will not be included in the first phase but is one of the changes to be phased in 2013.
So to confirm at the moment DBS’s are NOT portable and where an individual needs a DBS as part of their recruitment process this should still be applied for in the current way.
Change to Diocesan Safeguarding Children Policies
The Safeguarding Children policy document has been amended with effect from October 2011.
The main changes to the document are:
- Recruitment and Selection – this is taken from the draft policy of the House of Bishops – ‘Safeguarding Guidelines relating to Safer Recruitment for all those who work on behalf of the Church of England’ 2011. This is a follow on to ‘Safe from Harm’ 1993 (Home Office) which was adopted by the Church of England in 1996.
- There is a guide to safe recruitment available on the diocesan website to aid this process.
- The section on ICT has been strengthened and you are advised to make the appropriate adjustments to your parish policy.
- General changes include the use of the definitions of abuse as used in ‘Working Together – A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’ 2010 (DCSF).
A new e learning package for all those who work with children and young people will shortly be available - please check the website for details.
Download Forms contained in Safeguarding Children and Procedures 2011 in word format.
Download the leaflet: Good practice at a glance
The DBS is part of the safe recruitment process which is laid out in the “Safeguarding Guidelines relating to Safer Recruitment – for all those who work in the Church of England” (2010) Church House Publishing - Interim Guidance.
This relates to ALL posts whether paid or voluntary
This document identifies 12 steps to safer recruitment, these are:
- Ensure that you have an up to date recruitment and selection policy that describes the process and roles before you begin.
- Ensure that your organisation has a safeguarding policy and that a statement about the organisation’s commitment to safeguarding is included in all recruitment and selection materials.
- Ensure that you have an up to date job description and person specification for the role(s) you wish to recruit to, that have been agreed with the recruiting manager.
- Ensure that you have an appropriate advertisement prepared that contains all the necessary information about the role, timetable for recruitment and your commitment to safeguarding. .
- Ensure that you have compiled a suitable candidate information pack containing all the required information about the organisation, role, recruitment timetable, safeguarding policy/statement and application form.
- Ensure that each application received is scrutinised in a systematic way by the short listing panel in order to agree your shortlist before sending invitation to interview.
- Ensure that all appropriate checks have been undertaken on your short listed candidates including references.
- Ensure that all short listed candidates receive the same letter of invitation to interview, supplying them with all the necessary information.
- Ensure that a face to face interview is conducted for all short listed candidates based on an objective assessment of the candidate’s ability to meet the person specification and job description.
- Ensure that all specific questions designed to gain required information about each candidate’s suitability have been asked, including those needed to address any gaps in information supplied in the application form.
- Ensure that you make a confident selection of a preferred candidate based on their demonstration of suitability for the role.
- Ensure that your preferred candidate is informed that the offer of employment (including volunteer positions) is conditional on receiving satisfactory information from all necessary checks; including Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
It is important that we make every effort to recruit safe people into post within our churches and discourage those who may not have the best interests of our children from applying; this can only be achieved by rigorous and safe recruitment.
Please contact Su Foster on 01704 540516 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any further guidance or support.