Guidelines for developing a Safeguarding Policy
Any organisation or church that has contact or works with children, young people and adults must ensure they are properly cared for and protected. Abuse happens in families, institutions or communities from every social, religious and cultural setting and can involve leaders, teachers and workers. Very often the abuser is known or in a trusted relationship with the child, young person or adult. We should not think ‘it could never happen in my organisation’, because it might. Abuse is a serious crime and its consequences far-reaching.
Our motivation in producing these Guidelines for developing a Safeguarding Policy is based on our Theology of Safeguarding statement. We recognise the risks to children, young people and adults and our responsibility as Christians in protecting and safeguarding them to the highest standards possible.
Basis of the Guidelines
- These Guidelines are designed to be used by any church or Christian organisation with a base in the UK acting as a sending agency overseas, both short-term and long-term.
- They are designed to safeguard children, young people and adults of families working overseas and children, young people and adults with whom organisations come into contact, both at home and abroad.
- It is recognised that different procedures might be needed in these different contexts. It is also recognised that there may be huge difficulties in operating safeguarding policies in the many different legal, social and cultural contexts in which organisations work.
- Although these guidelines have been formed specifically with cross-cultural contexts in mind, they can be useful in UK situations, both same-culture and cross-cultural.
- The guidelines are also designed to help national churches and organisations with whom the UK organisation or UK church partners.
- The principles behind the guidelines should apply to all personnel and their families working overseas. This includes national staff of UK churches and mission organisations, UK staff travelling/visiting overseas, volunteers working overseas, and mission personnel who work within the UK.
Goals for the Guidelines
This document represents a minimum standard for members of the Global Connections network. With that in mind we are seeking to:
- demonstrate excellence in the area of safeguarding;
- establish a uniform minimum standard that all organisations can use as a basis for producing their own safeguarding policies and procedures;
- facilitate ongoing networking and sharing of resources in both prevention and response.
Our prayer is that all Global Connections members will take these guidelines seriously and that all churches and organisations will work through the suggestions and consider how they can make improvements.
These guidelines have been developed by Global Connections in consultation with Steve Bryant (WEC) and Rebecca De Vos (WEC) from the Global Connections TCK and Member Care Forum, Graham Fawcett from Thrive Worldwide, and professional advisors from thirtyone:eight.
The Guidelines are currently being updated, and will be released in July 2021