The Mothers’ Union has adopted the Oxford Diocesan Policy on Safeguarding and is supported with advice and training by the Oxford Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (John Nixson).
You MUST inform the Mothers’ Union Office if your branch or group of members are organising an event or ongoing project which requires safeguarding measures i.e. where children are being cared for without the presence of a parent or guardian.
Safeguarding must be included in your planning and the leaders of the activity may need to be checked through the DBS process. Venues should be checked against Oxford Mothers’ Union Health and Safety guide lines, it is the responsibility of the person organising the event to ensure this is carried out.
If the event involves a church, then the DBS checks may be carried out through the Diocese. If not, then the MU Safeguarding Advisor can arrange a DBS check.
Where a DBS check is required, it will be at Enhanced level and include a check against the Police Database. There will be a small administration fee but the check itself is free for volunteers.
Registering for the Update Service
If you have been checked, then please would you register for the UPDATE Service within two weeks of receiving your DBS certificate. Details will be sent to you with your DBS certificate and/or by email. This will enable your DBS record to be kept up to date automatically without requiring a new DBS check to be made at the same level, unless you move house or change your name. It will also mean that other organisations which require you to be checked can, with your permission, examine your DBS record immediately, provided they require a check at the same level i.e. enhanced with a database check. Equally, if you already have a check for a volunteer role at the correct level through another organisation and have registered for the Update Service, then Mothers’ Union can check your record without having to request a new DBS check.
A variety of Safeguarding training modules including group training and online training are available through the Diocese.
What to do if you have a safeguarding concern
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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.
Mothers Union Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor
Revd Denise Lady Brown: contact via MU Office