We all hope that the children and young people we meet and support through Mothers’ Union are safe and happy and that they benefit from the programs we are involved in through our branch work and in our churches. Most of the time this is true but sometimes we may have a concern and then it is good to know what to do.
Every local authority has a Safeguarding Children Board with contact information on how to raise a concern with them. It is part of our duty to do so, either directly ourselves or through the designated safeguarding officer for your church. Also, the Oxford Diocese has a newly appointed Safeguarding Advisor, John Nixson, email: email@example.com or tel: 01865 208290.
Make sure you know who to speak to and how to contact them. All local authorities have that information on their websites and your church should publicise the contact details of their designated officer on their noticeboards.
In a real emergency, you must dial 999 and call the police.
If you are worried about a child and unsure whether your concern constitutes abuse and should be taken further, you can contact the Diocesan Safeguarding advisor, details above, or the NSPCC has a helpline to ask:
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel:0808 800 5000
Sadly, abuse is not only confined to children and young people, vulnerable adults can also be victims. Local authorities have people who deal with these cases too.
And don’t forget that if you or your team are running activities for children and young people where parents or guardians are not present, then they must have a current DBS check. The Oxford Diocese also offers general Safeguarding training, handbooks and model policies.
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