CHURCH POLICY ON CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE & VULNERABLE ADULTS
As a church we aim to be “Loving God, Sharing Jesus and Caring for People.” The last of these statements, “Caring for People” applies particularly to the most vulnerable members of the community. This must embrace not only children and young people but also those adults who are considered to be vulnerable to abuse. We believe that all who wish to share in the life of the Church should be able to enjoy a safe environment that offers support, training and pastoral care and be able to contribute to the ministry of the Church in giving and receiving.
The Church is committed to promoting the welfare of all, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults and safeguarding them from harm. In relation to children and young people we will seek to nurture their spiritual, emotional and social development in cooperation with their parents. Working with vulnerable adults we will seek to develop an awareness of the issues that pose a risk to them living a life free from abuse and exploitation. We will endeavour to develop a safe environment that does not tolerate any form of abuse but promotes respect and encourages full inclusion in church life. In meeting this commitment the Church will endeavour to follow the principles of good practice for;
As a Church we will develop policies and adopt appropriate guidelines and procedures in line with this guidance. We also recognise that our work with children, young people and vulnerable adults is the responsibility of the whole Church and that their welfare is of paramount importance.
It is the responsibility of each one of us in the church to seek to prevent the physical, sexual & emotional abuse of children, young people and vulnerable adults, and to report any abuse discovered or suspected.
Before the church appoints any person to work with children, young people or vulnerable adults in what is considered ‘regulated activity’ it is church policy to request a ‘barred list check’ in addition to an enhanced disclosure check from Access Northern Ireland (AccessNI). This check is to ensure that individuals who might pose a risk to children, young people or vulnerable adults are not appointed to regulated positions.
The Church is committed to supporting, resourcing & training those who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults and providing effective management and supervision, including raising awareness of their responsibilities in preventing abuse. Each worker with children, young people and vulnerable adults must receive, know and adhere to the Church’s policy statement and good practice guidelines.
As part of the church’s commitment any concern or allegation relating to a child, young person or vulnerable adult, will be reported to the Eldership, through the Designated Officer (Pastor Pablo Murphy) or the Deputy Designated Officer (Mrs Janice Brymer). Contact details of the Designated Officers are displayed in the Church premises. The Pastor (or, in his absence, another Elder) will act in conjunction with the Deputy Designated Officer, when necessary, to liaise with the statutory agencies and/ or PSNI in relation to a child, young person or vulnerable adult concern. The Designated Officer is required to refer individuals who have harmed or put at risk of harm a child, young person or vulnerable adult to the Disclosure and Barring Service
The above statement is taken from our policy and procedures document, a copy of which may be obtained from the church office.