This article, by Roger Paul, is reproduced with permission from the latest CCU Bulletin:
There is now a very useful checklist on the Churches Together in England website of all that an Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) needs to do in establishing a safeguarding policy: Checklist for Safeguarding in Single Congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships and local ecumenical projects.
It is for use by those who have responsibility for any aspect of safeguarding children and/or vulnerable adults in Local Ecumenical Partnerships and in local projects run ecumenically. The Methodist and Anglican National Safeguarding Officer has worked on this document in collaboration with colleagues in the Christian Safeguarding Forum, the Churches' Group for Local Unity, Action for Churches Together in Scotland and CYTÛN (Churches Together in Wales). The Group for Local Unity has fully endorsed the document. The document will be revised as new legislation and guidelines on safeguarding come into force.
The checklist itself is not meant to take the place of a safeguarding policy, but to serve as an aid to ensure that nothing is passed over in this very important and sensitive area. The basic advice, contained in the check list, is for a single congregation LEP to decide to adopt the policy of one of its participating Churches, and to carry that through consistently without alteration. LEPs should not mix and match from different policies, worst of all write their own, and once they have adopted a particular policy should follow it through in practice with the procedures of the participating church whose policy has been adopted, such as obtaining CRB checks, and acting on any disclosures or suspicions of abuse. What the checklist emphasises is that all parties need to be kept informed about what has been decided; reiterated throughout is the phrase: "Has everyone who needs to know been informed?"
For your information, Pearl Luxon, the Methodist and Church of England Safeguarding Officer will shortly be leaving us. Her successor is Elizabeth Hall. Any comments about the checklist can be made at the end of this post and will be passed on.