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What to do if you suspect abuse

by Michael Ford last modified 11 Aug, 2020 11:12 AM

Regardless of circumstances, if you see or hear something which makes you think that a child, young person or adult may be being neglected or abused in any way, you should not hesitate to report your concerns. Do not attempt to investigate or resolve the situation locally.

Safeguarding Complaints Policy here

All the documents from the House of Bishops make it clear how we are to respond, as does Working Together to Safeguard Children (WTSC). The following is a précis of these documents and is what is required within this diocese:

  • Contact your incumbent and/or the Parish Safeguarding Officer (PSO), unless they are the alleged abuser or the alleged abuser is a Church Officer. In these cases, contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser.
  • The incumbent will discuss with the PSO and one of them will contact the local social care to discuss their concerns. They will also contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser either before or after their contact with social care.
  • All referrals to social care need to be followed up in writing within 48 hours; if it was seeking advice good practice indicates that it is worthwhile confirming the discussion in writing.
  • Whether it is a referral or seeking advice any directions and advice given by social care should be recorded and followed.
  • There is no confidentiality in safeguarding with regard to any discussion with the statutory agencies, but there is within the diocese and parish and therefore there must be clear guidelines as to who will give support within the parish. The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser will give support as well as advice and can be contacted at any point in the process.

Please click here for a flow chart which sets out the steps to be followed.

 Click here for a page with national guidance on serious incident reporting.

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