National Policy and Governance

National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance

The Archbishop’s Council funds a National Church of England Safeguarding Team.This is a team of expert safeguarding professionals based at Church House, in Westminster, London. One of the many functions of the National Safeguarding Team is to produce National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance.This is done by extensive research and lengthy consultation with internal and external safeguarding experts. All Policy and Practice Guidance is regularly updated and reviewed.You can learn more about the National Safeguarding Team and their activities by accessing the Church of England website.

We, in Hereford Diocese, will always adhere strictly to all National Safeguarding Policy and Practice guidance.We will not seek to develop our own policy and practice guidance but may produce additional supplementary information leaflets and pro-forma documents to assist in safeguarding activity.

Important - Word of CAUTION. 

The Ecclesiastical Insurance Group have made it clear that their insurance cover is only valid where National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance is being followed. In addition, the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016, requires all clergy authorised to officiate; other relevant Church Officers (e.g. Church Wardens) and parochial church councils to have “due regard” to safeguarding policy and practice guidance issued by the House of Bishops.A duty to have due regard to guidance means that a person under that duty is not free to disregard it but is required to follow such guidance unless there are cogent reasons for not doing so.

Please note, the Church of England released in February 2020 a statement on what the "duty of care" means and consequences on this not being followed. Please read this link : Duty to “have due regard” to House of Bishops safeguarding guidance

All Current National Safeguarding Policy and Practice Guidance:

Parish Safeguarding Handbook (2018)
This is a new document and is the starting point for any parish in terms of knowing what to do regarding safeguarding in church.

Protecting All God’s Children (2010) - (Safeguarding Policy for children and young people)
This is the main policy document regarding safeguarding children and young people within the church.

Promoting a Safe Church (2006) - (Safeguarding Policy for adults)
This is the main policy document regarding safeguarding adults within the church.

Key Roles and Responsibilities of Church Office Holders and Bodies – Practice Guidance (2019)
This makes clear every church officers’ responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.

Safer Recruitment (2016)
This is the Church of England’s current guidance on what steps need to be taken to recruit and work with paid or volunteer church workers. Every PCC is required to adhere fully to this practice guidance.

Responding to, assessing and managing safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers (2017)
This policy outlines how to respond to safeguarding allegations involving church officers.

Learning and Development Framework – Practice Guidance (2017)
This is the Church of England’s framework for learning and development in respect of safeguarding, outlining key roles and responsibilities and training modules to be undertaken.

Responding Well to those who have been sexually abused (2011)
This outlines how the Church of England will respond to those who are survivors of sexual abuse.If you are giving pastoral care to a survivor, this is a useful point of reference for information relevant to that activity.

Responding to Domestic Abuse (2017)
This outlines how pastoral responsibilities of those responding to domestic abuse within the church.If you are giving pastoral care to someone you believe may be experiencing domestic abuse; again this may be a useful source of information.

Joint Safeguarding Guidance for Single Congregational Local Ecumenical Partnerships (2015).
This outlines the responsibilities of single congregational LEPs in coming under the safeguarding policies of their respective denomination.This is a joint policy with the Methodist Church.

Safeguarding in Religious Communities – Practice Guidance (2015)
This outlines expectation of religious communities to come under the umbrella of local diocesan safeguarding policies and training.

Joint Safeguarding Records – Practice Guidance (2015).
This outlines good practice in respect of recording safeguarding incidents.This is a joint policy with the Methodist Church.

Glossary Reference Guide (2017)
This offers a useful guide on terminology and language used within its work and policies.

Responding to Safeguarding Concerns or Allegations that relate to Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults (2018)
This is new guidance on dealing with allegations.

Safer Environments and Activities (2019) 
This is new guidance on church environment and how to run activities. 

New Guidance on Reporting to the Charity Commission:

How to make a Safeguarding Serious Incident report to the Charity Commission – Practice Guidance (2019).

Guidance for DBFs, PCCs and Religious Communities: Identifying and Reporting Safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission (2019).

Guidance for PCCs: Reporting non- safeguarding Serious Incidents to the Charity Commission (2019)

If you are struggling to access these documents, please contact safeguarding@hereford.anglican.org