Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Groups in the Church of Scotland
Our congregation has the structure and procedures in place for current legislation and Church of Scotland procedures; we strive to operate with best practice and work continues to maintain compliance. We have four trained Safeguarding Coordinators to guide us through the procedures and liaise with the Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service; see http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/about_us/safeguarding_service for information and resources - or contact the church office on 01224 742512, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Vigilance in this critical area is a duty for all of us and as the “Church of Scotland Policy Statement - Ensuring a Safe Church for All” says:
“..... it is the responsibility of everyone within the fellowship of the Church to prevent harm, be it physical, sexual or emotional, and we will always seek to reduce risk…..”
We are fortunate that Skene Parish has such an able and dedicated complement of volunteers and workers (more than 80) cleared to work in many groups and activities. We continue to work hard to protect our children and young people (and vulnerable adults where appropriate) following Church of Scotland policies and procedures but without being complacent or overly restrictive. There are many occasions in Skene Church, Trinity Church and elsewhere when groups of children and young people gather in fellowship to learn, play, perform, challenge or just chill out.
Our Kirk Session regularly discusses various aspects of safeguarding and decided to emphasise our deep concern for the well-being of all children and young people, including those who are not within the embrace of any church. We wanted to remind ourselves of our public duty to seek advice or take action if we become aware of a child protection issue anywhere. In this respect anyone can call the 24 hour NSPCC Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000, online www.nspcc.org.uk where counsellors are available to advise on appropriate action; their motto is “...don’t wait until you are certain...” Children and young people can talk on absolutely any issue and be listened to at ChildLine direct by telephone 0800 1111 or online www.childline.org.uk .
Jesus said “Let the children come to me --- because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” Matthew 19:14 - He demonstrates that all vulnerable people are included. Skene Parish Church greatly appreciates and supports all those whose leadership, vigilance, dedication and sheer hard work is evident in the well-being of our organisations and members.
The new Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme has been introduced and requires all new applicants to be cleared as PVG Scheme members. The new scheme is a significant improvement, particularly as membership is portable between jobs or roles.
We also have a dedicated email address to which you can send a confidential email -->> email@example.com