Our Safeguarding Policy:
Promoting a Safer Church
The vision statement of Westgate Baptist Church is to be a light on the hill for God; and to be a House of Prayer
Shining His light out into the community; and
Attracting people by that light and bringing them into contact with Christ.
In fulfilling this vision, we:
Our safeguarding responsibilities
Welcome children and adults at risk into the life of our community
Run activities for children and adults at risk
Make our premises available to organisations working with children and adults at risk
The church recognises its responsibilities in safeguarding all children, young people and adults at risk, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability.
As members of this church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safekeeping of all associated with the church and will pray for them regularly. In pursuit of this, we commit ourselves to this policy and to the development of sound procedures to ensure we implement our policy well.
Prevention and reporting of abuse
It is the duty of each church member to help prevent the abuse of children and adults at risk, and the duty of each church member to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and adults at risk. Any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected will be reported in accordance with our procedures. The church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the church.
Safer recruitment, support and supervision of workers
The church will exercise proper care in the selection and appointment of those working with children and adults at risk, whether paid or voluntary. All workers will be provided with appropriate training, support and supervision to promote the safekeeping of children and adults at risk.
Respecting children and adults at risk
The church will adopt a code of behaviour for all who are appointed to work with children and adults at risk so that all children and adults are shown the respect that is due to them.
Safer working practices
The church is committed to providing an environment that is as safe as possible for children and adults at risk and will adopt ways of working with them that promote their safety and well-being.
A safer community
The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any individuals who may pose a risk to children, young people and adults at risk in the community of Westgate Baptist Church are managed appropriately.
The church is committed to the prevention of bullying and, in particular during Covid-19 pandemic, will maintain regular contact with vulnerable individuals, as far as possible, and provide support where needed. It will follow the Baptist Union’s procedure for online groups related to children and young people.
Safeguarding contact points within our church:
The church has appointed the following individuals to form part of the church safeguarding team:
Carmen Boothe, Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS)
Carmen will advise the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Contact details available from the church office
Tayo Adesokan, Deputy Designated Person for Safeguarding (DDPS)
Tayo will assist the Designated Person for Safeguarding (DPS) in helping the church on any matters related to the safeguarding of children and adults at risk and take the appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.
Contact details available from the church office
The safeguarding trustee will raise the profile of safeguarding within the church and oversee and monitor the implementation of the safeguarding policy and procedures on behalf of the church trustees. Contact details available from the church office.
Our church minister is also an important part of the Church Safeguarding Team. Where possible, the Church Safeguarding Team will work together if and when issues arise. However, each person has a responsibility to report allegations of abuse as soon as they are raised.
Further definitions of these roles can be found in Westgate Baptist Church: Policies and Procedures (February 2021) and the BUGB publication ‘Safe to Belong’ (2015). Hard copies of both of these are available from the church office.
Putting our policy into practice
A copy of the safeguarding policy statement will be displayed permanently on the church noticeboard and church office and is available on our church website (above).
Each worker with children and/or adults at risk will be given a full copy of the safeguarding policy and procedures and will be asked to sign to confirm that they will follow them.
A full copy of the policy and procedures will be made available on request to any member of, or other person associated with the church.
The policy and procedures will be monitored and reviewed annually, and any necessary revisions adopted into the policy and implemented through our procedures.
The policy statement will be read annually at the church AGM, together with a report on the outcome of the annual safeguarding review.
Last reviewed February 2021