PCCs are key to safeguarding

Each PCC must adopt the CiW Safeguarding Policy. This should be formally recorded in the minutes, then the accompanying Safeguarding Policy statement signed and displayed in each church and church premises.

The PCC must ensure that worship and activities comply with the policy and recommended procedures. The PCC must also appoint a parish or ministry area Safeguarding Co-ordinator – this may be for a specific church, or it may be appropriate to identify a co-ordinator who is responsible for a number of churches in a group.

The safeguarding policy clarifies the role of the Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator, who is “responsible for providing the PCC with advice and assistance on safe recruitment and practice and to ensure the PCC adheres to the Church in Wales’s safeguarding policy as directed by the Province.” 

Ensuring that safe recruitment procedures are followed for all paid and volunteer workers extends beyond the completion of disclosure and barring (DBS) checks. The PCC is also responsible for ensuring that there are clearly identified roles and responsibilities with approved job descriptions; references and DBS checks are obtained; appropriate training is provided and a probationary period undertaken.

Compliance with the CiW policy is also required with regard to any concerns or allegations brought to the attention of the PCC, which should not be investigated by the Safeguarding Co-ordinator. Records must be maintained in accordance with the Data Protection Act, and notified to the provincial safeguarding officers. Implementing these requirements is ongoing. However, each parish should have a Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator in post, who has completed a DBS check and Safe Church training.

The PCC should be cognisant of the wider safe recruitment criteria and safeguarding must be included as an agenda item at each PCC meeting – there is plenty to discuss!
you are not alone. The Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinator has a key role to play in supporting the PCC and i am also available to provide advice and assistance.

In addition to the Safe Church training currently being delivered to Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators and children and youth workers, an abbreviated Safe Church awareness course, lasting approximately 2 hours, is available.

Please contact me if your PCC would like this training: Tel: 07881 016188 lynnrees@churchinwales.org.uk