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This is a summary of the Area Meeting’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures. It covers all the Local Meetings in the area, plus Area Meeting activities. The full version is available from Local and Area meeting clerks.
Each Local Meeting’s room hire agreement will require that organisations and individuals hiring rooms on our premises take full responsibility for safeguarding for all their activities. It will also require that any organisation using our premises will have their own safeguarding policy which follows national good practice, and have their own insurance in place.
Abuse is unacceptable. Everyone, including children and vulnerable adults, have a right to participate in Quaker communities without suffering harm. We are committed to keeping everyone safe.
Quakers recognise that of God in everyone. All children, young people and adults deserve respect, value and appropriate care. Our care extends to people who are potentially vulnerable to abuse, and to those who may be perpetrators. We recognise abuse can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, and other forms.
Quakers may be open to risks because we foster a culture of welcome and trust for everyone. Very often an abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child or adult. Abuse can be hidden and manipulative.
We all have a responsibility for safeguarding our children, young people, and adults at risk. Ultimately, trustees hold responsibility on behalf of the area meeting. One trustee is appointed as Area Meeting (AM) Safeguarding Coordinator and to act on behalf of the AM in dealing with an allegation or suspicion of abuse or neglect. This includes liaising with statutory agencies which have the legal duty to investigate. Contact details for the Safeguarding Coordinators are on the poster displayed in each meeting house, and on the next page. The main policy contains more contact details.
Safer Recruitment, Training and Good Practice
We recognise we need to follow national and local safeguarding legislation and procedures, as this reduces risks. The following roles will be appointed, trained, supported and monitored in accordance with government guidance on safer recruitment: volunteers and employees who work with children and young people or adults at risk; overseers or those with oversight responsibility (pastoral care); trustees; safeguarding Coordinators and Deputies; advocates for children and young people’s work. For these roles, as well as our spirit-led Quaker nominations process, we have role descriptions, personal details forms and self-declarations, discussions about safeguarding, references, criminal record checks (DBS) where the role is eligible, and a probationary period. Sometimes we do need to turn people down if they are not suitable. However, our processes need not be daunting, when done with care.
Everyone in those roles will have a safeguarding induction, some training and refreshers, and agree to the Code of Conduct. In addition, our clerks, elders, nominations committees, and staff with other roles, will have a safeguarding induction: and will be encouraged to have training.
Report concerns as soon as possible and within 24 hours directly to the:
AM Safeguarding Coordinator: Caroline Howden, firstname.lastname@example.org. 07775 022355.
AM Deputy Safeguarding Co-ordinator/s: Duncan Dwinell, email@example.com, 01732 884122.
They will collate and clarify information, record it and pass it to statutory agencies who have the legal duty to investigate where appropriate. If you (the person raising the concern) are clear the matter needs to be reported to Children’s/Adults’ Services or the Police, then you should raise the concern directly, and then inform the AM Safeguarding Coordinator.
If another Quaker is contacted first (such as an Overseer or an Elder) then either you or the other Quaker must contact the AM Safeguarding Coordinator as soon as possible to make the report.