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Devon EX39 2JR


Tel: 01237 471893




Miriam McDonald is the Designated Person for Safeguarding and is referred to as “Designated Person” throughout this policy.


Tel: 01237 479787



Pamela Rowland is the Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding, also known as the Safeguarding Deacon.


Tel: 01237 475060



Baptist Union of Great Britain


Regional Ministers: Nigel Manges, Carl Smethurst


SWBA, Wonford Baptist Chapel, 36 – 38 Wonford Street, EXETER, Devon EX2 5DL


Tel: 01392 433533









Part 1 


Role Descriptions

Part 2 


Policy Statement for Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church

Part 3 


Policy Statement for Safeguarding of 'Adults at Risk' in the Church

Part 4 


Definitions of Abuse

Part 5 


Responding to Concerns

Part 6 


Safe Recruitment, Support and Supervision of Volunteers

Part 7 


Code of Behaviour

Part 8 


One-to-One Work

Part 9 


Electronic Communication / Photography

Part 10 


Safe Practice and Safe Premises

Part 11 


Health & Safety / Risk Assessments

Part 12 




Safe Community – Formal Contracts

Appendix FORM 1

Lighthouse Consent Form

Appendix FORM 2

Incident Report Form (Children)

Appendix FORM 3

Incident Report Form (Adults at Risk)

Appendix FORM 4

Reporting Form

Appendix FORM 5

Designated Person / Safeguarding Deacon Action Report

Appendix FORM 6

Useful Numbers

Appendix FORM 7

Youth Register 

Appendix FORM 8

Self-Declaration Form

Appendix FORM 9

Role Description for Lighthouse Workers

Appendix FORM 10

Discipline Procedure for Lighthouse 

Appendix FORM 11

Lighthouse Risk Assessment

Appendix FORM 12

Confidentiality Policy

Appendix FORM 13

Volunteer Good Practice Guidelines and Contract





“Safeguarding” involves a range of activities aimed at promoting the individual’s fundamental right to be safe.  These include making and maintaining safe environments for all, having processes to follow should something go wrong, and support for everyone involved.”


“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”, John 13:35


Role Descriptions



Designated Person:

  • To advocate for safeguarding within the Church
  • To oversee administration process of new volunteers
  • To carry out interviews and reviews of volunteers
  • To carry out DBS checks on staff and volunteers as required
  • Main point of contact for Safeguarding referrals, responding appropriately to any concerns



Safeguarding Deacon (Deputy Designated Person)

  • To oversee implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
  • To organise Safeguarding Training for volunteers and leaders
  • To be the second point of contact for Safeguarding referrals
  • To be responsible for updating of Safeguarding Policy and Procedures
  • To review the Safeguarding Policy annually and present a report to the Diaconate



Church Secretary

  • To ensure correct procedure is followed in dealing with sensitive information (Accident Forms, Incident Reports, etc.).



Safeguarding Children and Young People in the Church


Bideford Baptist Church [referred to as 'the church' in the Policy Statement]


The vision/purpose of the church is –

“Laying a Biblical foundation on which others can build, making disciples of Jesus Christ”


In fulfilling this vision/purpose, the church

  • has a programme of activities with children and young people
  • welcomes children and young people into the life of our community
  • makes our premises available to organisations working with children and young people


The church recognises its responsibilities for the safeguarding of all children and young people under the age of 18 (regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability), as set out in:

The Children Act 1989 & 2004, Safe from Harm (HM Government 1994) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government 2010).


As members of this church, we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children and young people associated with the church and will pray for them regularly.

In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to the following policies and to the development of procedures to ensure their implementation.


Prevention and Reporting of Abuse – it is the duty of each church member and each member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people, and the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people, and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected.  The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.


Safe Recruitment, Support and Supervision of Workers – the church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and young people, whether paid or voluntary.  All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safeguarding of children.


Respecting Children and Young People – the church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and young people so that all children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.


Safe Working Practices – the church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and young people and will adopt ways of working that promote their safety and well-being.


A Safe Community – the church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people.  The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.


Responsible People

The church has appointed MRS PAMELA ROWLAND as the Safeguarding Trustee to:

  • oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church's charity trustees


The church has appointed MRS MIRIAM MCDONALD as the Designated Person for Safeguarding to:

  • advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and young people
  • take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.


Policy and Procedures – a copy of the Policy Statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard.

Each worker with children and young people whether paid or voluntary will be given a full copy of the policy and procedures and will be required to follow them.

A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the church, the parents or carers of any child or young person from the church or any other person associated with the church.

The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually.

The Policy Statement will be read each year at the annual Church AGM, together with a report on the outcome of the annual review.


Safeguarding of 'Adults at Risk' in the Church


Bideford Baptist Church [referred to as 'the church' in the Policy Statement]


The vision/ purpose of the church is -

“Laying a Biblical foundation on which others can build, making disciples of Jesus Christ”



We are committed to safeguarding Adults at Risk and ensuring their well-being.

We recognise that everyone has different levels of vulnerability and that each of us may potentially be regarded as 'at risk' at some time in our lives.

We commit ourselves to the safeguarding of people who may be vulnerable or at risk, ensuring their well-being in the life of this church.  We will ensure that the environment of the church is safe and secure for all, free from discrimination and prejudice.

We recognise that we all have a responsibility to help prevent the physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, spiritual, financial and discriminatory abuse and neglect of Adults at Risk and to report any such abuse that we discover or suspect.

We recognise the personal dignity and rights of Adults at Risk and will ensure all our policies and procedures and practice reflect this.

We believe that everyone should enjoy and have access to every aspect of the life of Bideford Baptist Church, and commit ourselves to respectful pastoral care for all to whom we minister.

We undertake to exercise proper care in the appointment and selection of those who will work with Adults at Risk, or who will be in positions of trust.  We will promote safer practice and support, resource and train, and regularly review those who undertake this work.

We commit ourselves to promoting the inclusion and empowerment of people who may be vulnerable or at risk, and to encouraging everyone, without discrimination or prejudice, to identify the gifts that God had given them, developing these in the life of the church for our mutual enrichment.

We will keep up-to-date with national and local developments relating to safeguarding.  We will follow statutory, denominational and specialist guidelines in relation to safeguarding Adults at Risk and we will ensure that all workers will work within the agreed procedure of our safeguarding policy.

We will implement the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 and 2005 and all other relevant legislation.

We will support everyone in Bideford Baptist Church who may be affected by abuse of any kind.


We recognise that:

Adult Social Care has the lead responsibility for investigating all allegations or suspicions of abuse where there are concerns about an Adult at Risk.

Where an allegation suggests that a criminal offence may have been committed, the police should be contacted as a matter of urgency.


Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.



Responsible People


The church has appointed MRS PAMELA ROWLAND as the Safeguarding Trustee to:

  • oversee and monitor implementation of the policy and procedures on behalf of the church's charity trustees


The church has appointed MRS MIRIAM MCDONALD as the Designated Person for Safeguarding to:

  • advise the church on any matters related to safeguarding
  • take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected


Policy and Procedures – a copy of the Policy Statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard.

A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of the church.

The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed at least annually.

The Policy Statement will be read each year at the annual Church AGM, together with a report of the outcome of the annual review.




Somebody may perpetrate abuse or neglect either by inflicting harm, or alternatively by failing to act to prevent harm.

Abuse may occur within a family or in an institution or community setting by those known to the Child or Adult at Risk or, more rarely, a stranger.  There are four types of abuse as officially defined in government guidance:  physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

We have adopted the definition of an 'Adult at Risk' as being someone who may be in specific need as a result of: Sensory or physical disability or impairment; A learning disability; A physical illness; A mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including dementia; An addiction to alcohol or drugs; A reduction in physical, mental, or emotional capacity; Someone who has, for any reason, become unable to take care of themselves, or to protect themselves from significant harm, abuse, bullying, harassment, mistreatment or exploitation. 

It is the duty of each Church Member and each member of the wider church family to prevent any form of abuse, and the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of others, and to report any type of abuse that may be disclosed, discovered or suspected.  The Church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the Church.  

If you have any suspicions of abuse:

  • Do not dismiss your concerns;
  • Do not confront the individual(s) about whose behaviour you have concerns;
  • Do not take responsibility for deciding whether or not abuse is actually taking place;
  • Do not investigate allegations;
  • Do not act alone;
  • Do not take sole responsibility for what has been shared or any concerns you may have;
  • Do follow the Church’s procedure for responding to concerns.



Physical – Actual or likely infliction of pain or physical injury, which is either caused deliberately, or through lack of care.

Psychological or Emotional – Persistent acts of emotional ill-treatment, which cause mental distress or anguish, or negate the wishes of the individual, which may also involve conveying that they are worthless and unloved, inadequate, or giving them responsibilities beyond their years or capabilities.

Sexual – Involves forcing or enticing a Child or Adult at Risk to take part in sexual activities to which they have not consented, or do not truly comprehend, or where the other party is in a position of trust, power or authority and uses this to override or overcome lack of consent.  This includes encouraging sexually inappropriate behaviour, or any suggestive talk or behaviour which could be construed as sexual in nature.

Note: No-one should enter into a sexual relationship with someone for whom they have pastoral responsibility or hold a position of trust.

Neglect or Act of Omission – Repeated deprivation of assistance / failure to care for or protect a Child or Adult at Risk from danger, including the failure to intervene in behaviour which is dangerous to themselves or others, or which may seriously impair health and development.

Additionally, other forms of abuse could also include:

Spiritual Abuse – Acts or behaviour which, while seeking to encourage or challenge an individual's spiritual life, are controlling or manipulative, coercive or heavily pressured, effectively preventing freedom of choice.

Financial or Material Abuse (Adults at Risk) – Inappropriate use, misappropriation, embezzlement or theft of money, property or possessions.

Discriminatory Abuse – Inappropriate treatment of someone because of their age, gender, race, religion, cultural background, sexuality, disability, etc.

Institutional Abuse – The mistreatment of abuse of someone by a regime or individuals within an institution.  It can occur through repeated acts of poor or inadequate care and neglect, or poor professional practice or ill-treatment.

Domestic Abuse – Any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members.

Cyber Abuse (Cyber Bullying / Cyber Stalking) – The use of information technology (e-mail, mobile phones, websites, social media, instant messaging, chatrooms, etc.) to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner.

Self-Harm / Self-Neglect – Self-Harm is the intentional damage to a person’s own body.  It is used as a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.  An Adult at Risk may also be neglecting themselves, which can result in harm to themselves.

‘Mate Crime’ – When someone (particularly those with learning disabilities) is befriended by members of the community, who go on to exploit and take advantage of them.

Modern Slavery – The practice of treating people as property; it includes bonded labour, child labour, sex slavery and trafficking.  It is illegal in every country in the world.

Human Trafficking – When people are bought and sold for financial gain and/or abuse.

Radicalisation – The process by which people come to support any form of extremism and, in some cases, join terrorist groups.

Honour Marriage / Forced Marriage – When one or both of the spouses do not, or cannot, consent to the marriage.


Whilst it is not possible to be prescriptive about the signs or symptoms of abuse and neglect, the following list sets out some of the indicators which may be suggestive of abuse:

  • Unexplained injuries on areas of the body not prone to such injuries;
  • An injury that has not been treated/received medical attention;
  • An injury for which the explanation seems inconsistent;
  • Disclosure of harmful behaviour;
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour or mood (e.g. becoming very quiet, withdrawn or displaying sudden bursts of temper);
  • Inappropriate sexual awareness;
  • Signs of neglect such as undernourished, untreated illnesses, inadequate care, etc.


It should be recognised that this list is not exhaustive and that the presence of one of more indicators is not in itself proof that abuse is taking place.  It is also important to remember that there might be other reasons why most of the above are occurring.



How to respond when someone wants to talk about harm or abuse

  • Listen and keep listening – take what is said seriously.
  • Avoid passing judgement on what you are told.
  • Remain Calm – no matter how difficult it is to listen to what is being disclosed.  You have been chosen because the person feels able to talk to you.
  • Reassure – tell them that they have done the right thing by telling you, and that you believe them.
  • Never promise confidentiality, or offer false reassurance.
  • Explain what you intend to do / when this will happen, and don’t delay in taking action.
  • Write down what was said (in their own words) and pass to Designated Person.
  • Contact the Designated Person within 24 hours and report the disclosure.
  • If a Child, Young Person or Adult at Risk is considered to be in imminent danger of harm, a report should be made immediately to the Police or Social Services.

Note: In circumstances where an injury requires urgent medical attention, there should be no delay in administration of First Aid or emergency medical assistance.

Note: The concerns you have should be kept confidential between you, the individual concerned and the Designated Person for Safeguarding.

The Designated Person may then need to inform the B.U. Safeguarding Contact and the statutory authorities.

Never go and talk to the alleged abuser or try to investigate the allegations yourself.





  • Listen to and acknowledge what is being said. o Try to be reassuring and remain calm.
  • Explain clearly what you will do and what will happen next.
  • Try to give them a timescale for when you and how you / Designated Person will contact them again.
  • Take action – don’t ignore the situation.
  • Be supportive. o Tell them that:
  • They were right to tell you; o You are taking what they have said seriously; o It was not their fault; o Be open and honest.
  • Give contact details for them to report any further details or ask questions they may have.
  • Do not promise confidentiality.
  • Do not show shock, alarm, disbelief or disapproval.
  • Do not minimise what is being said.
  • Do not ask probing or leading questions, or push for more information.
  • Do not offer false reassurance.
  • Do not delay in contacting the Designated Person.
  • Do not contact the alleged abuser. o Do not investigate the incident any further.
  • Never leave them waiting to hear from someone without having any idea of when or how that may be.
  • Do not pass on information to those who don’t need to know, not even for prayer ministry.


Stage 1 – Record and Report


The record should: 

  • Be made as soon as possible after the event, using the individual’s own language;
  • If handwritten notes are typed up, the original handwritten notes should be retained;
  • Include full name, address and date of birth (or age if DOB is not known);
  • Include the nature of the concern(s), allegation(s), disclosure(s);
  • Include a description of any bruising or other injuries that you may have noticed, and the demeanour of the Child or Adult at Risk (using Form 4);
  • Include an exact record of what has been said, using their own words;
  • Include what was said by the person to whom the concerns were reported, including any questions asked;
  • Include any action taken as a result of the concerns;
  • Be signed and dated;
  • Be kept secure and confidential and be made available to the Safeguarding Team, the Church Minister (as far as this is consistent with the welfare of the individual concerned and possible pastoral responsibilities to any others involved), at the discretion of the Designated Person;
  • Ensure that the Designated Person or Deputy is made aware of the disclosure within 24 hours of the concern being raised;
  • Report should be recorded on Incident Report Form, when possible (see Form 2 / 3);
  • Should you be unable to contact the Designated Person or Deputy, and you consider the individual to be in imminent danger of harm, a report should be made immediately to the Police or Social Services (if such a report is made without reference to the Designated Person, the Designated Person should be informed as soon as possible after the report is made).


Stage 2 – Review and Refer


Upon receiving a report of concern, the Designated Person / Safeguarding Deacon:

  • Will also take account of any other reports that may also have been received;
  • May consult with the Regional Baptist Association Minister (see ‘Contact Details’) in order to seek guidance from the Baptist Union;
  • May speak with others within the Church that may have relevant information and knowledge that would impact on any decision that will be made;
  • Note: Such conversations should not lead to undue delay in taking any necessary action and should be fully recorded;
  • May seek advice from the local Social Services Department or Police in knowing how to respond appropriately to the concerns that have been raised.  If the advice of Social Services or the Police is to make a formal referral, this advice should be followed.


The Safeguarding Team (Safeguarding Deacon and the Designated Person) will decide which of the following options to pursue upon receiving a concern/allegation:

  • Refer back to the worker who made the initial report if there is little evidence of harm, asking for appropriate continuous observation;
  • Refer the concern to others who work with the individual in question, asking for continued observation;
  • Speak directly to the adult about whom the concern has been raised.  However, if there is any question at all of possible sexual abuse or serious physical abuse, the Designated Person should never address the adult directly, but should refer their concerns to the Police or Social Services;
  • Make a formal referral to MASH[1] / LADO[2] / Local Social Services Department / Police – depending upon the immediacy of the concern.  Any formal referral to Social Services should normally be made within 24 hours of receiving the report.



All original documents should be retained safely and securely by the Designated Person or Safeguarding Deacon, and a written record should be made of all the actions taken in reviewing and referring the concern.


Stage 3 – Report and Support

Responsibilities in Stage 3 of the process are shared by the Safeguarding Team and the Minister (as far as this is consistent with the welfare of the individual concerned).


The Duty to Report

Whenever a formal referral is made to Social Services or the Police, the Designated Person should:

  • Report the referral to the Minister (as far as this is consistent with the welfare of the individual concerned);
  • Report the referral to the Safeguarding Deacon;
  • Report the referral to the Regional Baptist Minister (see ‘Contact Details’).


If a worker has an allegation made against them, they should step down from all church duties until the incident has been investigated. 

If a worker has been removed from their post, or would have been removed from their post because of the risk of harm that they pose, there is a statutory duty to report the incident to the Independent Safeguarding Authority.  

A record should be kept of all safeguarding incidents and should be considered in the annual review of the Church’s Safeguarding Policy.

If an allegation or concern is raised about the Designated Person or a member of their family, then the Safeguarding Deacon will be the person to whom the concerns should be raised.

If an allegation or concern is expressed about the Minister, then this should be dealt with using the Church’s standard procedure.  Additionally, the Regional Baptist Minister should be informed immediately.

The Duty to Support

Once concerns, suspicions and disclosures have been addressed, the Church continues to have a responsibility to offer support to all those who have been affected: Child, Young Person, Adult at Risk, other family members, church worker / volunteer, Safeguarding Team, minister(s) / Leadership Team, etc.

There are many individuals within the Church who may be suffering from the effects of abuse.

The Church has a responsibility to support these people, no matter what form of abuse they have suffered; whether they suffered abuse as children or as adults; whether it was prolonged abuse or a one-off attack; or even whether the abuse seems trivial to the onlooker.

It is common for those who have been abused to lose their trust in those around them.

This is likely to affect their faith as well as their relationships with others.  There is no quick-fix to heal the damage caused by abuse, and it is crucial that those who have been abused are given space and time to go through their own healing process.

One of the most important things to remember is that survivors need someone to listen to them; to believe them.  They may need to repeat their story time and time again, needing it to be heard in different contexts at different times over the years, in order for them to process the experience.

It is important that survivors:

  • Are accepted for who they are, without them being made to forgive or being put into a position of feeling guilty and responsible for what happened to them.
  • Know that God loves them unconditionally, and that nothing can or will change this truth.
  • Can be confident that those in the Church community who know about the abuse, are with them on their journey – no matter how long or difficult that journey may be.



What if an Adult at Risk doesn’t want help?

The mental capacity of the Adult at Risk is vital in deciding what should be done.

Mental Capacity is whether or not someone has the capacity or ability to make decisions about themselves and their safety and well-being.  There is a fine balance between the individual’s rights to autonomy and their need for protection.

All actions should be based on the assumption that the individual has the capacity and the right to make their own choices in relation to their personal safety and well-being.  This includes upholding their right to follow a course of action which others may deem unwise or eccentric, including staying in a situation of abuse.

If the Adult at Risk doesn’t want help, it may still be necessary to inform the statutory authorities, who can put a Safeguarding Plan in place so that, as far as possible, the adult continues to be protected.  This is particularly important:

  • When the person lacks the mental capacity to make such a choice
  • When there is a risk of harm to others
  • In order to prevent a crime


If at all unsure of whether or not to pass on information about abuse without permission, the Designated Person should contact the B.U. Safeguarding Team for advice.

It is also important that the individual knows where to get appropriate help and support if they should change their mind.



The Church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with Children, Young People, or Adults at Risk, whether paid or volunteer.

All workers will be issued with the Church's Safeguarding Policy, and will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision in order to promote good safeguarding practices.

All volunteers working on behalf of the Church will be subject to reasonable vetting procedures, including CRB / DBS Checks, as required.

The responsibility for finding new volunteers lies with the Designated Person and the Safeguarding Deacon. 


Guidelines for Appointment of Children’s Workers / Youth Leaders and Helpers  

The Church will ensure that the following selection procedures have been followed: 

  • A written role description (written by the Designated Person);
  • Good Practice Guidelines and Volunteer Contract Form have been read, agreed and signed;
  • A self-declaration form signed, saying that there is no reason why they cannot work with children or young people;
  • A meeting / interview with the Designated Person / Safeguarding Deacon;
  • The candidate’s criminal record should be checked (CRB/DBS);
  • Probationary period set (recommend 4 sessions);
  • The candidate has read the Church’s Safeguarding Policy, and has signed their agreement to working within this policy;
  • Church to provide training on Safeguarding / Child Protection;
  • Appointment of leaders / designated safeguarding person should be confirmed annually at the church AGM.


Administration of this process will be overseen by the Designated Person.

Until this process is completed, workers must be continually supervised.  

All leaders and helpers should have a calling to work with children / young people, which should, in turn, be recognised by the Church Leadership Team and have the agreement of the existing children’s workers / youth leaders and helpers.

The first priority of leaders and helpers should be their own spiritual welfare, and therefore they should receive teaching and be part of a worship service regularly.  

All leaders and helpers should set a good example for Christ in their personal lifestyle.

Children’s workers / youth leaders and helpers are encouraged to be accountable to each other with regard to best practice and child protection.

All leaders and helpers should meet with their supervisor(s) regularly for support and to share any concerns they may have.

However, anyone may raise any concerns or suggestions regarding the ministry amongst children and young people, with any of the Safeguarding Team, at any time. 

Regular meetings of the children’s workers and youth group leaders and helpers should take place to ensure that discussion regarding activities, or possible concerns about certain children and young people, can take place.


Young Leaders (under 18)

In law, young leaders under the age of 18 are children, and cannot be treated as adult members of a team.

Training will be given to ensure that the young leader is helped to develop and hone skills, attitudes and experience.  

A young leader must be closely supervised by an adult leader at all times and never given sole responsibility for a group of children/young people, unless otherwise agreed by the Diaconate.

When considering ratios of staff to children, the young leader needs to be counted as a child, not a leader.

The Safeguarding Policy and Procedures apply to a young leader just as they do to any other person.  

The permission of parents or carers needs to be sought for the young leader, just as you would for any other person under 18 years old.

If the young leader accompanies a group on a residential trip, ideally they should have separate sleeping accommodation to both the adult leadership team and the children or young people they are working with.

Young leaders should not be given leadership responsibility for a group immediately below their own age – it is advised to have a gap of at least 2 years. 

Young leaders under the age of 18 will need to have a CRB/DBS check done if they are appointed to work in a regulated activity with children and young people in a group to which they do not belong. 


Appointing Paid Workers  

When appointing a paid youth or children’s worker, a formal recruiting procedure will be undertaken.  This will be done using guidance from the Safe to Grow (Baptist Union) guidelines.


Equal Opportunities Policy

As an organisation using the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) / Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure services to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, Bideford Baptist Church undertakes to treat all applicants fairly.  We undertake not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a disclosure on the basis of conviction or other information received.

We welcome people to serve the Church on the basis of the right mix of talents, skills, character, potential and call of God, including those who have a criminal record.

A CRB/DBS will be requested in line with Bideford Baptist Church’s recruitment policy of workers / volunteers only after it has been determined that it is both proportionate and relevant to the position concerned.

A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to a person serving the Church.  Any decision will be dependent on the nature of the position and the nature and circumstances of the offence(s).


Respecting Children, Young People and Adults at Risk

The Church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with these groups, so that everyone is shown the respect that is due to them.   




The following are guidelines for a code of behaviour.


Leaders and Helpers should:

  • Treat everyone with respect and dignity.  Use age-appropriate language and tone of voice.  Be aware of your own body language and invading another person’s personal space.
  • Listen well.  Be careful not to assume you know what someone else is thinking or feeling.  Listen to what is spoken and how it is said.  At the same time, observe the body language to better understand what is being said.
  • Do not engage in any of the following: 

                     Invading someone's privacy when they are using the toilet or showering;

                     Rough games involving physical contact with a leader;

                     Sexually provocative games;

                     Making sexually suggestive comments, even in ‘fun’;

 Scapegoating, belittling, ridicule or rejection;  Forming exclusive relationships.

  • When it is necessary to exercise control or discipline, this should be done without using physical punishment or shouting.  (However, a situation may arise where someone needs to be restrained in order to protect them or a third person). 
  • For those children attending Lighthouse, should they soil their underclothes / nappy, the leader / helper should in the first instance contact the parent to carry out the cleaning and changing of clothes.  For those attending an event where the parent isn’t present, the parent should be contacted by phone.  By arrangement with the parent, should they not be able to be present, then verbal permission should be obtained (and recorded and signed by the leaders) for two adults, of the same sex as the child, to assist the child. Where possible, encourage the child to do as much of the cleaning themselves. 
  • Wherever possible, First Aid should only be administered by qualified First Aiders.  If it is necessary for clothing to be removed for this treatment, there should always be another adult present.  If any form of intimate care or ministry is being provided to a member of the opposite sex, a colleague of that gender should always be present or nearby.
  • All First Aid treatment / non-routine changing or personal care should be recorded.
  • Do not respond to or encourage excessive attention-seeking that is virtually sexual or physical in nature.
  • Workers should never plan to be alone with a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk; if this does happen, a written report of the situation should be made immediately after the event / meeting and given to the Designated Person and the Safeguarding Deacon.
  • When there are insufficient leaders and workers to have two for each group, doors should be left open, or two groups should work in the same room (wherever possible, all doors should be fitted with glass panels).
  • On occasions when regular one-to-one work with a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk is required (e.g. mentoring), this should take place with appropriate supervision and accountability structures.  If one-to-one work is to be considered, then advice should be sought and clear guidelines put into place to ensure everyone's safety. 
  • A minimum of two leaders should always be present.


Leaders and Helpers should:

  • Never invite a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk to your home alone.  It may be acceptable to invite a group if another adult is in the house.  Establish that each parent/carer knows where the event is taking place, and at what time it finishes. 
  • The Designated Person should be notified prior to any trips for children or young people that take place in the name of Bideford Baptist Church.  Parental permission must always be sought for any such event.
  • Not share sleeping accommodation with children or young people.

1. Be aware of any physical contact that occurs and record where necessary.  For instance, if they need to stop a fight, administer first aid, remove someone from danger, or protect themselves or others from attack.

  • Not use physical punishment when exercising control or discipline.
  • Take a register of who attends the Children's Groups (including leaders present).
  • Keep a record.  If any significant incidents take place, a record should be made on an Incident Report Form.  The report should contain the names of all those involved, and anything of note which you observed, e.g. details of any fights broken up by workers, allegations made, incidences where someone is asked to leave.
  • The report should be signed and dated, then passed to the Designated Person and Safeguarding Deacon, which should then be filed securely.  All workers who witnessed, heard or responded in any way should record details on a separate Incident Report Form.  This should all be done as soon as possible.


Transporting Young People

Leaders and volunteers should not give lifts to children/young people on their own, other than for short journeys.  They should also ensure that, if transporting children or young people, they have correct insurance cover and are aware of the law regarding carrying young people in a car.

Ensure you have written parental permission before transporting children or young people.  Where possible, children or young people should sit in the back of the vehicle – where there are 3 or more children or young people in the vehicle, then the child or young person sitting in the front seat should be dropped off first.  Workers should avoid being alone in a car with any child or young person, particularly a child or young person who is particularly vulnerable; for example, a child with a crush on a worker, or a child whose behaviour is difficult to manage.

The Church should not use people as drivers for children or young people when their criminal record shows a record of driving offences that suggest that the person may not be a safe driver.

Seat belts must be worn by all people in the car when transporting children or young people.


There may be occasions when a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk asks to speak to a worker on their own.  The most common situation is when a youth worker is offering support or pastoral guidance, where privacy and confidentiality are important. 

The following guidelines should apply:

  • If the worker believes that to speak to the Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk on their own would place them in a vulnerable position (e.g. the individual has developed an attachment to the worker), the worker should insist that another worker should also be present;
  • If it is possible for the conversation to be held in a quiet corner of the room where others are present, but where sufficient privacy can be assured, this option should be taken;
  • If this is not possible, the conversation is best held in a room with the door left open or where there is glass in the door, so that others can see inside the room;
  • There should always be another adult in the building, and the individual should be made aware that they are there;
  • Another adult should know that the interview is taking place and with whom;
  • A worker should set an agreed time limit prior to the conversation and stick to it!  It is the responsibility of the worker to set this ground rule and to end the session at the designated time.  Make another appointed time to continue if necessary.
  • Workers should not invite a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk to their home alone nor go to their home if they are alone.


Abuse of Trust

Relationships between Children / Young People / Adults at Risk and their helpers / leaders can be described as ‘relationships of trust’.  The leader is someone in whom a degree of trust has been placed – this may be because the leader has an educational role, is a provider of leisure activities, or is offering pastoral care.  It is not acceptable for a leader / helper to form an exclusive relationship with the individual concerned.  

Any behaviour from an adult leader or adult volunteer that might allow a sexual relationship to develop between the person in a position of trust and the individual(s) in their care should be avoided.  Any sexual relationship within a relationship of trust is unacceptable so long as the relationship of trust continues.

Volunteers are expected to exercise caution and avoid placing themselves in a position where their actions might be open to criticism or misinterpretation.


Pastoral Relationships:

Workers should remain aware of the power imbalance within pastoral relationships and the potential for abuse of trust.

Behaviour suggesting favouritism or giving the impression of a special relationship should be avoided.

Workers should never take advantage of their role and engage in sexual activity with someone with whom they have a pastoral relationship.

All people receiving pastoral ministry should be treated with respect and should be encouraged to make their own decisions about any actions or outcomes.

Workers under the influence of alcohol or drugs should never pastorally minister to anyone.

Workers should recognise the limits of their own abilities and competencies, and they should not hesitate to get further help when working with situations outside of their expertise or role.


Electronic communication has become enormously important and popular over the past 10 years.  It is an easy way to communicate with young people in particular.  However, there are dangers associated with electronic communication that call for vigilance; electronic communication is often an extremely informal mode of communication which can create the potential for communication to be misunderstood.

  • Because of the informal style of electronic communication, workers can easily cross appropriate boundaries 
  • Some adults who are intent on harm choose to use electronic communication as a way to meet and ‘groom’ Children / Young People / Adults at Risk


The following are guidelines written to try to maintain healthy and safe relationships:

  • Electronic communication must never become a substitute for face-to-face contact. 
  • Parents / carers and the individual concerned has the right to decide whether or not a worker should have e-mail address or mobile phone numbers, etc.
  • Workers should only use electronic means of communication with those from whom appropriate consent has been given. 
  • Direct electronic communication with children of primary school age is inappropriate and must be avoided.
  • Only workers who have been appointed under the Church’s agreed procedures should use any electronic means of communication to make contact on behalf of the Church or one of the Church’s organisations.
  • Contact via electronic communication should generally be for information-giving purposes only and not for general chat.
  • Workers should not share any personal information and should not request or respond to any personal information other than that which is necessary and appropriate as part of their role.
  • Workers should, where possible, save all messages sent and received.
  • Workers should be careful in their communications so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation of their motives – clear, unambiguous language should be used and the use of unnecessary abbreviations should be avoided.
  • Electronic communication should only be used between the hours and 8am and 9pm. 
  • Official Church emails should be sent out with a church header and footer indicating that this is an official communication; this should also be copied to the church’s e-mail address.
  • No personal details should ever be placed onto the Church Website or any social network page (including name).


Instant messaging services

The use of instant messaging services should be kept to a minimum.  Where someone in need or at a point of crisis uses this as a way of communicating with a worker: 

  • All conversations should be saved as a text file if possible, and printed and stored in the Church’s secure filing cabinet.
  • A log kept of who and when they communicated.



Social Networking Sites

  • Adults should not make or accept ‘friend requests’ from children or young people on social networking sites. 
  • Communication via social networking sites should only be done by designated people through the Church’s Facebook page.
  • The church’s Facebook page is to only have a limited number of administrators.
  • All communications should be transparent and open to scrutiny.
  • All “conversations/messages” should be saved.



When taking any photographs or video footage of young people / children, staff and volunteers must comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.  The following guidelines must be adhered to:

  • Signed consent should be attained from parents / carers for photographs to be taken at Church activities (Appendix Form 1).
  • When photographs are displayed or published, individuals should not be identified by name, nor should it be possible to infer someone's identity from the photograph. 
  • The location should not be disclosed when children or young people are present in published photographs.
  • Photographic material should be stored safely on the Church’s password-protected computer.
  • Leaders and volunteers should not store or take images of children and young people on their mobile phones or other electronic devices.
  • Any photographs sent to the press must not identify individual children or young people by name, nor should the names of individual children be able to be inferred from an accompanying caption or story.
  • Copies of photographs must not be distributed to other individuals without the permission of a parent / carer.  This includes digital images.
  • Any photographs or video taken (after receiving appropriate parental consent) should only be done on designated Church photo equipment (camera, video camera, etc.), by designated photographers (appointed by the Safeguarding Team).  The designated Church photo equipment should be stored and kept secure.  The designated Church photo equipment should have its data transferred onto the Church Computer as soon as is practicably possible and deleted from the designated Church photo equipment.
  • The Church Computer is password-protected and the Safeguarding Team and appointed people (agreed by the Safeguarding Team) will be the only people with access to the secure data.  The designated photographer should inform another leader/helper of their actions, making them accountable.  Such footage should never be uploaded to social networking sites/websites without permission.
  • No details of any child or young person should ever be placed onto the Church Website or any social network page (including name).





Other Church Users

Other groups that use Bideford Baptist Church should be required to have Safeguarding Policy and Procedures in place, based on the Home Office recommendations “Safe from Harm”.

A clause relating to this fact should be included in an official hiring agreement.

As evidence of their compliance, the Designated Person / Safeguarding Deacon / Church Secretary or other appointed person would be entitled to request to see a copy of the Safeguarding Policy and Procedure Document.  It is not the Church’s responsibility to ensure the correct implementation of said Safeguarding Policy, as this is the responsibility of the hirer.

One-off hirers (for example, children’s parties) would not be expected to have a Safeguarding Policy, but they would still need to show due care and attention.


Good Practice Guidelines for Discipline

An appropriate policy should be agreed upon by each different ministry, as necessary, reflecting the relevant age group / general activities.


Good Practice Guidelines with Colleagues

If you see another volunteer / helper acting in ways that might be misconstrued, be prepared to speak to them or to one of the Safeguarding Team about your concerns.  Leaders and helpers should encourage an atmosphere of mutual support and care, which allows all workers to be comfortable enough to discuss inappropriate attitudes or behaviour.



The following adult to children / young people recommended minimum ratios should apply:


Age Range

Recommended Ratio (min.) - Indoor Activities

Recommended Ratio (min.) - Outdoor Activities

0 - 2yrs

1:3 (min. 2)

1:3 (min. 2)


1:4 (min. 2)

1:4 (min. 2)

4 - 7yrs

1:8 (min. 2)

1:6 (min. 2)

8 - 12yrs

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably 1 of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children

2 adults for up to 15 children (preferably 1 of each gender) with an extra adult for every 8 additional children

13yrs +

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably 1 of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children

2 adults for up to 20 children (preferably 1 of each gender) with an extra adult for every 10 additional children


This does not take into account special circumstances such as behavioural issues, developmental issues, disability and so on, which may mean an increase to the recommended ratio.

In calculating the ratios of workers to children, young leaders who are under the age of 18 should be counted as one of the children/young people, not one of the leaders/helpers.




  • All leaders and helpers are responsible for being observant for any health and safety issues which may affect their group, for example: 
  • Access to the building should be safe and well lit;
  • There should be adequate heating and lighting in the venue;
  • Ensure there is enough space and appropriate activities for everyone;
  • Have a First Aid Kit and telephone available, along with access to emergency contact details of each individual;
  • Check the premises for hazards (e.g. piles of chairs, etc.);
  • Check equipment for sharp edges or missing parts;
  • No smoking permitted in the building;
  • Fire Drills should be carried out annually (minimum);
  • Any food should be prepared carefully and hygienically, and should be overseen by a person holding a Food Hygiene Certificate;
  • Individual activities will be risk assessed and all leaders aware of details;
  • Children under the age of 8 should not be on the Church premises unless they are under the care of an adult.

It should be insisted that children under the age of 8 are accompanied by a parent / carer (or another adult identified by the parent/carer) when not part of an organised children’s group.

Alternatively, during those times when the child is not involved in the organised children’s group, the Church should make arrangements for an adult to supervise such children.



Risk Assessments

A generic written Risk Assessment will be carried out on a regular basis, covering the general weekly Sunday morning activities.

A specific Risk Assessment will also be carried out for any other one-off activities which may take place throughout the year.

Risk Assessments will be made available to the Church Leadership Team and Group Leaders.





When a known offender is present:

  • The Church should be a community that is welcoming and open to all.  It is a place for people who have failed and for people in need.

However, the gospel imperative to welcome the sinner needs to be set alongside the need to ensure the protection of Children / Young People / Adults at Risk.

  • Where someone attending the Church is known to have committed some form of abuse in the past, then whilst extending friendship to the individual, the Church in its commitment to the protection of everyone involved will meet with the individual and discuss boundaries that the person will be expected to keep.
  • It may be appropriate to draw up a formal contract between the Church and the person who has abused.

This might also state that the abuser or alleged abuser (until such time as the allegation has been cleared or proven) must decline offers of hospitality from Church Members where there are Children / Young People / Adults at Risk present.


Where necessary, this will include working with other agencies such as the Baptist Association, Baptist Union, Probation Services and so on.

Records must be kept to show all actions taken by the Church.


A contract would consider the following:

  • Identify the meetings that the individual can attend;
  • Specify that they will always sit apart from Children / Young People / Adults at Risk;
  • May ask that they are always accompanied by a befriender on Church premises;
  • Require the individual not to attend small group meetings, or that they decline offers of hospitality, where Children / Young People / Adults at Risk are present;
  • Will state that the individual will never be alone with Children / Young People / Adults at Risk whilst attending Church functions;
  • Will require the individual to stay away from certain areas of the building.


Guidance will be sought from the Regional Minister in relation to whom within the Church should be notified if an offender joins the congregation.








Name of Young Person:


Date of Birth:






Home Telephone No.:






School Year:


E-Mail Contact:




Emergency Contact (1):


Tel. No.:


Emergency Contact (2):


Tel. No.:


MEDICAL INFORMATION (please give details)


Medical Condition:



Behavioural Issues / Disability:






Dietary Needs:



Additional Support Needs:







Do you consent to photos being taken of your child for local display, publicity or use on the Church Website?



Do you consent to unnamed photos being used on the Church Website and Church Facebook Page?



In an emergency, if I cannot be reached, I give permission for my child to receive First Aid / necessary hospital treatment, including anaesthetic.



I give permission for my child to take part in organised trips to activities off-site and to travel with a driver deemed responsible according to Safeguarding guidelines.

(prior information will be given on such activities)



I give permission for recognised Youth Leaders to use electronic means of communication with my child, subject to age restrictions for Social Networking sites (e.g. mobile phones, e-mail). Including Facebook communication via the Church Facebook Page – not personal Facebook Pages.




PARENT / GUARDIAN (print name):










This form has been produced in accordance with Bideford Baptist Church Safeguarding Policy, in line with the Baptist Union 'Safe to Grow' Policy.

To request a copy of the relevant policy, or if you have any concerns relating to Safeguarding, please contact

Miriam McDonald (Designated Person for Safeguarding), or Pam Rowland (Designated Safeguarding Deacon), The information given on this form will be kept by Bideford Baptist Church in a secure location.



Date and Time





Personnel involved (volunteers):



Young People involved:



Description of Incident

Try to be concise, including the main points of the incident in chronological order -

Notes or bullet points are acceptable.

Also include any concerns about the way in which the incident was handled, and any pastoral issues arising.


[cont. overleaf if required]


Signed:                   __________________________________             Date:    ______________________















[cont. overleaf if required]


Signed:                   __________________________________             Date:    ______________________



Date and Time





Personnel involved (volunteers):



Vulnerable Adult(s) involved:



Description of Incident

Try to be concise, including the main points of the incident in chronological order -

Notes or bullet points are acceptable.

Also include any concerns about the way in which the incident was handled, and any pastoral issues arising.


[cont. overleaf if required]


Signed:                   __________________________________             Date:    ______________________















[cont. overleaf if required]


Signed:                   __________________________________             Date:    ______________________







Name of Child / Young Person:


Date of Birth:






Name of Person reporting event:










Report on the next page, using body chart where appropriate (but do not undress the child)




Name of Person contacted:




Signature (of person making record)




FORM 4 (cont.)






(Once completed, please rule off, and sign and date directly below the line)










Name of Child / Young Person:


Date of Birth:






Name of person who reported event to Designated Person or Deputy:













Please use reverse side of the form if necessary.

Once completed, please rule off, and sign and date directly below the line































National Emergency Helplines

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (free 24-hour service)
  • ChildLine: 0800 1111 (free 24-hour helpline for children)
  • LADO: 01392 384964 (Local Authority Designated Officer - Exeter)


General safeguarding advice and guidance

  • Action on Elder Abuse: 0808 808 8141 (
    1. specialist organisation that focuses on the issue of abuse towards the elderly.
  • Action on Hearing Loss: 0808 808 0123 (
    1. national voluntary organisation that provides information, training and awareness raising of deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Age UK: 0800 169 6565 (

National organisation offering advice and information on all aspects of elderly life.

  • Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 1122 (

Provides information, support and guidance on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

  • Baptist Union Initiative for People with Learning Disabilities (
    1. national, denominational body providing conferences, publications, advice and teaching materials for people with learning disabilities and their family and churches.
  • Bullying UK: 0808 800 2222 (

Bullying UK is part of Family Lives, a charity supporting and helping people with issues that are a part of family life.

  • CAADA – Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (
    1. national organisation providing practical help and support for professionals and organisations working with domestic abuse victims.
  • Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS): 0845 120 4550 (

An independent Christian Safeguarding charity which offers training and resources for churches and a 24-hour helpline for all safeguarding issues and disclosures.

  • Circles UK: 0118 950 0068 (

Circles UK works in partnership with criminal justice agencies to create circles of support and accountability in which sex offenders are enabled to reintegrate responsibly into the community.

  • DDC – Due Diligence Checking: 0845 644 3298 (

DDC supports organisations (e.g. BUGB) by providing criminal records services and checks, training and advise.

  • Independent Age: 0800 319 6789 (
    1. charity that provides advice and support for older people, their families and professionals on community care and other issues.


  • Kidscape: 020 7730 3300 (

Parents Helpline: 08451 205204

Kidscape works to provide individuals and organisations with practical skills and resources to keep children safe from harm.  The charity was established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse.  Among other things, it provides a helpline for parents of bullied children.

  • Livability: 020 7452 2000 (

A Christian charity working with disabled and disadvantaged people to help achieve social inclusion, empowerment and justice.

  • MENCAP: 0808 808 1111 (
    1. national organisation that works in partnership with people with a learning disability, offering support, advice and advocacy services.

Mind: 0300 123 3393 (

Mental health charity offering advice and support for people in mental distress and their families.

  • NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 (
  • Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB): 0303 123 9999 (
    1. national voluntary organisation focusing on the needs of blind and partially sighted people.  RNIB offers help with advice, aids and equipment.
  • The Relatives and Residents Association: 020 7359 8136 (

Gives advice and support to older people in care homes and their relatives and friends.

  • Respond: 0808 808 0700 (

Support and help for victims of abuse who have learning difficulties, and their families.

  • Safe to Grow ( Includes templates, forms, example policies and procedures.
  • Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 (24/7) (

The service provides emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

  • Scope: 0808 800 3333 (
    1. national charity that provides support, information and advice to people with disabilities and their families.
  • selfharmUK (

An on-line organisation that offers information, advice, support and training on the subject of self-harm.

  • Survivors UK (

Support for survivors of male rape or sexual abuse.

  • Think U Know (

Resources and all the latest information about new technologies and websites that children and young people are visiting.


  • Torch Trust: 01858 438260 (

Christian resources and activities for blind and partially sighted people.

  • Victim Support: 0808 16 89 111 (

Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales.

  • Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247 (
    1. national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. 

Supports a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.









Leaders present:











































































Surname  ........................................................  

First Name  .....................................................

Address  .........................................................  

Email  ..............................................................


Home Tel. No  .................................................


Mobile  ............................................................

Post Code  ......................................................  

*Work Telephone  ............................................

Date of Birth  ................................................... 

* If necessary may we contact you at work?      Yes/No


Bideford Baptist Church aims to promote equality of opportunity for all persons and welcome participation from a wide range of individuals, including those with prior criminal records.  The voluntary position for which you have applied is an exempted occupation for the purposes of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1975).  All ‘spent’ and ‘unspent’ convictions must be declared.  Having an ‘unspent’ conviction will not necessarily impede your involvement with Bideford Baptist Church: this will depend on the circumstances and background to your offence.  If you fail to disclose an offence and we are later informed of any undisclosed criminal matter, you may be subject to disciplinary action.  Evaluation of information is based on strict confidentiality and discretion.


  1. Have you ever been convicted of any criminal offences or accepted any reprimands or cautions or Police warnings?  Yes   No   


If yes, please supply details of any criminal convictions/cautions/reprimands:




  1. Are you a person known to any Social Services department as being an actual or potential risk to Children or Young People? Yes   No   


If yes, please supply details of incident(s) and Social Services department involved:




  1. Have you ever had a disciplinary sanction (from any organisation) relating to child welfare:


          If yes, please supply details of the incident:       Yes             No   





I declare that the information given herein is correct to the best of my knowledge.  I understand that it is necessary for me to declare any information requested and that the position for which I have applied may involve access to Children, Young People and/or Vulnerable Adults.  I hereby give my consent for Bideford Baptist Church to conduct a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check if so required.  I agree to notify Bideford Baptist Church of any pending prosecutions / cautions / warnings / reprimands or convictions whilst I remain in post.


Full Name ..................................................................................................................................  


Signature  .....................................................................         Date  ..............................................  


Please return this form to the Bideford Baptist Church Secretary in an envelope marked

‘Private and Confidential - SDF’, Bideford Baptist Church, Mill Street, Bideford EX39 2JR


  Please tick the box if you have used additional sheets of paper to provide further information.




Our aim in Lighthouse is to reveal the love of God to all the children who come, and encourage them to develop a real and living relationship with Him.

All helpers will be working towards this aim, but there are certain specifics that each person would be asked to do.


These are as follows:

  1. To pray for the children / other workers;
  2. To support the leader(s) in the delivery of teaching materials, as required;
  3. To lead games, story sessions or worship when asked;
  4. To work with a specific age group, as required;
  5. To take part in games and physical activities as planned;
  6. To assist the children in art/craft activities without doing the tasks for them;
  7. To encourage the children to talk about God and how He relates to them;
  8. To encourage the children to worship by participating fully in worship times;
  9. To encourage the children to pray by praying aloud with your group;
  10. To help set up / pack away when you are on the rota –  at least 20 minutes before the service and 10 minutes after;
  11. To be available to pray before the service – 5 minutes.


All helpers will read and follow the guidelines set out in the Safeguarding Policy, and will report anything to the Designated Person. 

They will also follow discipline procedures as highlighted in the policy.

All volunteers will have a probationary period of at least 4 sessions when beginning to serve in this ministry before agreeing to serve officially, and will be subject to DBS Checks, in line with current Safeguarding Procedures.



Signature of volunteer                 …............................................................................


Date                                                  …............................................................................


Signature of Co-ordinator           …............................................................................





Our aim in Lighthouse is for all children to feel safe and secure, and to be treated with respect.

We realise that it is a freer environment than school, but recognise the need for order and structure so that all children are valued and treated fairly.

It is rare for any problems to arise, but the procedure for dealing with incidents is as follows:

  • Distract from bad behaviour and encourage good;
  • Verbal warning to cease behaviour;
  • Removal from situation and second verbal warning –  parent informed after service;
  • ‘time out’ (from 2 to 5 minutes, depending on age of child)  somewhere in room near leader(s) – parent informed after service; • Parent / carer asked to remove child from Lighthouse for that session;
  • Exclusion from Lighthouse for an agreed period.



Physical handling of children is discouraged in any form of discipline, but if a child is posing a physical threat to another child or themselves, then minimal handling or restraint may be required, under supervision of two adults.

This must be reported in the Lighthouse Incident Book and shared with parents.

There are times when younger children will need encouragement to join in certain activities, and in those circumstances it is acceptable to hold hands, physically encourage sitting down or standing up, and give physical help to play games etc.

In these cases, there will always be more than one adult present, and the type of handling will be in relation to the need.



Potential Hazard

Who is at Risk?

Existing Control Measures

Risk Rating

Preventative Measures








Tripping or falling over Laptop Lead

Any Child

Ensuring electrical leads are covered


Children not allowed behind desk with laptop








Tripping or falling during games

Any Child

Layout organised to minimise risk


Games well controlled








Tripping or falling travelling to and from

Lighthouse Room

Any Child

Children supervised and kept together

in corridor / around steps


Adults to be spread evenly from front to back, with children in middle

Leaders –

Until children re-enter church,

then responsibility lies with parents







Allergic Reaction

Any Child

Parents asked about allergy risks – Info. kept in folder


Check for food allergies








Cutting themselves

Any Child

Rounded safety scissors used


Children supervised during craft activities








Swallowing items

Younger Children

All children reminded not to put anything in mouths


Supervision during craft activities








Children leaving room unattended

Any Child

All children supervised, door closed,

children warned not to leave room


Verbal warnings if children try

to open door

(see behaviour policy)






Bideford Baptist Church believes that the relationships developed between workers or volunteers and those to whom they are ministering must be based on trust.

Children / Young People / Adults at Risk have a right to trust that any sensitive information which they disclose to a volunteer or worker will not be discussed with others if they indicate that this is their wish.

However, confidentiality is a complex issue, and the purpose of this document is to clarify the legal situation and to provide guidance on good practice.

Staff and volunteers should make themselves aware of these Confidentiality Guidelines and use them in conjunction with the Safeguarding Policy of Bideford Baptist Church.

If workers or volunteers are unsure about disclosing information in any circumstances, the situation should be discussed with the Designated Person or Safeguarding Deacon (maintaining anonymity if necessary).


Legal Aspects

Any Church Ministry involving Children / Young People / Adults at Risk falls into the group of professions where confidential relationships recognised by law exist, and those receiving this ministry have the right to expect confidentiality, if required. 

However, exceptional circumstances exist where confidentiality MAY NOT be maintained.

These include situations where:

  • The individual is in, or could be placed in, a life-threatening situation (including self-harm);
  • Another person is in, or could be placed in, a life-threatening situation;
  • A Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk is undergoing, or is at risk of, abuse (see Safeguarding Policy);
  • The rights of someone else would be infringed;
  • Someone else may be harmed.


These exceptional circumstances DO NOT include disclosure about:

  • Drug use;
  • Illegal activity;
  • Sexual activity

(unless the young person is aged 13 or under, in which case a report should be made to MASH).


Unless such activity places the individual in the situations listed above.



Confidential Information

Information which an individual confides to a worker or volunteer is deemed to be confidential if that individual requests it to be so.

Workers and volunteers must be aware that an individual may be signalling that the information is to remain confidential through the means by which it is disclosed, e.g. asks to talk in private.

Information that appears trivial must still be deemed confidential, if requested.

Information is not confidential if it is in the public domain, e.g. on social networking sites.


Disclosing Confidential Information

If information shared by an individual meets the exceptional circumstances above, a staff member or volunteer should arrange to disclose it to the Designated Person or Safeguarding Deacon, who will then decide whether to involve others in deciding how to proceed.

With issues of Safeguarding, the procedure is clearly outlined in the Safeguarding Policy.



  • Information imparted as confidential should be shared with other team members only if agreed by the individual concerned.
  • Such information remains confidential, even when there is no longer contact with the individual concerned.
  • Care must be exercised in sharing any sensitive information with other members of the team, even when confidentiality has not been requested.


       Will it help the other person in his/her work with the individual?

       Will it help me in my work with the individual?

  • Clarity should be sought about the individual’s intentions.


       Do you mind if I talk to other leaders about what we have been discussing?

  • Be aware that an individual may subsequently publish the information shared on social networking sites.


Staff Members / Volunteers

  • Staff members and volunteers have a right to confidentiality, and their personal information must not be shared with others.


Disclosure to Parents

  • Whilst it is important to encourage a child or young person to confide in a parent, or to encourage an Adult at Risk to ask for help from their carer / support worker, the wishes of the Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk are paramount.

Parents / Carers do not have the automatic right to see the records belonging to the individual, or to have confidential information disclosed to them, without specific consent from the Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk.


Disclosure to Children / Young People / Adults at Risk

  • Children / Young People / Adults at Risk should never be asked to keep any information confidential.

Therefore, although it is sometimes helpful to share life experiences, great care should be exercised in revealing information about yourself which you would not be happy to be passed on.


Disclosure to those outside the Organisation

  • Children / Young People / Adults at Risk should never be discussed with friends or acquaintances outside the organisation, however reliable.
  • If information is requested by a partner agency in line with multi-agency integrated working, the “seven golden rules” of information sharing should be followed –

See website:


The Right Not to Know

  • Staff and volunteers should not feel that they must accept every confidence requested.  Skill should be exercised in handling requests for confidentiality, and it should be borne in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to refuse.
  • Never accept confidences from individuals of the opposite sex.
  • Be aware that, in some situations, an individual may accept confiding in two people, which may ease the load.
  • Staff and volunteers have a right to be supported in dealing with difficult situations, and advice can be sought from the Designated Person or Safeguarding Deacon, without naming the individual concerned, if necessary.


Written or Otherwise Recorded Information

•     Information which is recorded in writing or by other means must be stored and used with confidentiality in mind





I have read and understood the Bideford Baptist Church Confidentiality Policy, and agree to abide by the guidance, OR


The Bideford Baptist Church Confidentiality Policy has been explained to me by

.................................................................................. and I agree to abide by the guidance.




I understand the importance of keeping confidences, and that information I hear at Bideford Baptist Church events should not be shared with people outside.




I understand that I should not agree to keep confidences where:

  • A Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk is in, or could be placed in, a life-threatening situation, including self-harm;
  • Another person is in, or could be placed in, a life-threatening situation;
  • A Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk is undergoing, or is at risk of, abuse as detailed in the Safeguarding Policy;
  • The rights of other Children / Young People / Adults at Risk would be infringed;
  • Someone else may be harmed.






........................................................................................................................ (Staff and Volunteers Aged 18+)









......................................................................................................................... (Volunteers under 18)






These guidelines are issued in conjunction with Home Office recommendations Safe from Harm and Working Together to Safeguard Children.

All volunteers must adhere to these guidelines for safe working practice and for the prevention of any abuse.

As far as possible, a volunteer should not be alone with a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk where their activity cannot be seen.

This may require leaving doors open, having two groups working in the same room, having another adult present, or being in a place where others can observe your practice.

The volunteer should treat everyone with respect and dignity befitting their age, watch language, tone of voice, and where you put your body.

The volunteer should not form exclusive relationships with any Young Person or Adult at Risk – either another volunteer or individual attending an activity.

The volunteer should not engage in any of the following:

  • Invading the privacy of individuals when they are using the toilet;
  • Rough, physical or sexually provocative games;
  • Making sexually suggestive comments, even in ‘fun’;
  • Inappropriate and intrusive touching of any form;
  • Any scapegoating, ridiculing, or rejection

The volunteer should not encourage excessive attention-seeking that is overtly sexual or physical in nature.

The volunteer should not arrange church-related activities within their own homes to which Children / Young People / Adults at Risk that they have met at Bideford Baptist Church events are invited;

Nor should they visit (in their own homes) Children / Young People / Adults at Risk whom they have met at Bideford Baptist Church.

Both of these rules apply unless done so with another adult and the Designated Person is aware and has given permission for the meeting.

The volunteer should avoid giving lifts to Children / Young People / Adults at Risk on their own.

If they are alone, the volunteer should ask the individual to sit in the rear of the car.  When giving lifts to more than one Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk, as far as possible the volunteer should arrange lifts so that the individual sitting in the front is dropped off first.

Volunteers must ensure that they are adequately insured to carry work-related passengers in their vehicles.  In the case of Children / Young People, written Parental Permission should also be sought.

If a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk has developed an unhealthy attachment to a particular volunteer, then that volunteer should not give/offer lifts to that individual, and an alternative should be sought.

All volunteers must be familiar with and follow Bideford Baptist Church’s advice on safe use of the internet.

Volunteers should not share sleeping accommodation with Children / Young People / Adults at Risk in any activity involving overnight stays.

Volunteers are accountable to the Designated Person and to the Church Leadership Team and other volunteers in the area of physical contact.

Concerns about possible abuse should always be reported to the Designated Person or Deputy.

Volunteers should receive regular supervision to review all aspects of the work from their appropriate leader / deacon.




If you have any concerns regarding the safety of a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk, then you must speak to the Designated Person.  If you feel that the Designated Person is involved in any way, then you must report it to the Deputy Designated Person (Safeguarding Deacon).  If the suspicions in any way implicate both the Designated Person and the Deputy / Safeguarding Deacon, then you must contact the multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on Tel. No. 0345 1551071.

The Telephone No. for the out-of-hours Emergency Duty Team is 0845 6000388.

You should record any concerns you may have on an Incident Report Form as soon as possible after the event.  These notes should be signed, dated and have the time of the disclosure on them.  Record where the disclosure took place and what was happening directly prior to the disclosure.  These notes and the reporting to the Designated Person should be done as soon as possible and definitely within 24 hours.  You should try to use the individual’s own language and record any questions that you asked to prompt a response.

Note: Questions should only be 'open' questions, not closed ones –

e.g. “Who is it you are afraid of?” - NOT “Is it daddy that you are afraid of?”

If a Child / Young Person / Adult at Risk gives any cause for concern, wants to disclose something to you, or you suspect abuse, then there are some basic rules you must follow:

Inform the individual that you may have to pass on what is said to you if you feel it is necessary.  Do not promise confidentiality.

  • Do not investigate yourself – report to Designated Person.
  • Do not suggest your own version of events – allow the individual to speak and try not to interrupt.
  • Do not take responsibility for deciding whether is taking place / has taken place. 

Record what you have witnessed and pass it on to the Designated Person.

  • Do not act alone.
  • Do not ask leading questions.
  • Do not offer false reassurance (e.g. “Everything will be OK”); instead, reassure them that they have done the right thing in telling you.
  • Do not show shock, alarm, or disapproval at anything disclosed to you.
  • Do not take sole responsibility for what has been shared or any concerns you may have.


MASH (Devon) – 0345 155 1071

Police – 0845 2777 444

ChildLine – 0800 1111






















(Designated Person)









[1] Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub

[2] Local Area Designated Officer


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