You are here About the Diocese Safeguarding Diocesan Safeguarding Policy and Guidance Section 11: A Safe Environment and Activities

Please note that the following is a guideline only and must be considered within the context of the activity and arrangements available in your chaplaincy.

The House of Bishops’ Safeguarding Policy Statement states that:

"The Church will strive to create and maintain environments that are safer for all, that promote well-being, that prevent abuse, and that create nurturing, caring conditions within the Church for children, young people and vulnerable adults…The Church will strive to support all church officers to adhere to safer working good practice and to challenge the abuse of power."

11.1 Code of Safer Working Practice

All those working on behalf of the chaplaincy with children, young people and adults, must:

  • Treat all individuals with respect and dignity.
  • Ensure that their own language, tone of voice, and body language is respectful.
  • Ensure that children, young people and adults know who they can talk to about a personal concern.
  • Record and report any concerns about a child, young person or adult and/or the behaviour of another worker with their activity leader and/or local Safeguarding Officer. Sign and date the record.
  • Obtain written consent for any photographs/videos to be taken, shown, displayed or stored (please see Model Consent Form - Images).
  • Administer any First Aid with others around, where possible.

In addition, all those working on behalf of the chaplaincy with children and young people, must:

  • Always aim to work with or within sight of another adult.
  • Organise toilet breaks for young children. Ideally, there should be two adults of the same gender as the children assisting with toileting. At a minimum, ensure another adult is informed if a child needs to be taken to the toilet.
  • Respond warmly to a child who needs comforting but allow the child to determine the degree of physical contact (see Section 11.2).
  • Ensure that the child and parents are aware of any activity that requires physical contact and its nature before the activity takes place.

Must not:

  • Invade an individual’s privacy whilst washing and toileting.
  • Use any form of physical punishment.
  • Be sexually suggestive about or to an individual.
  • Scapegoat, ridicule or reject an individual or group.
  • Permit abusive peer activities e.g. initiation ceremonies, ridiculing or bullying.
  • Show favouritism to any one individual or group, including those who may attempt to involve in excessive attention seeking.
  • Allow unknown adults access to children, young people and adults that may be vulnerable. Visitors should always be accompanied by an approved person.
  • Allow strangers to transport children, young people and adults who may be vulnerable in the group.
  • Befriend children, young people and vulnerable adults on social media.
  • Take photographs on personal phones or cameras as this means that images are stored on personal devices.

In addition, for children and young people, must not:

  • Give transport to children you are supervising, on their own or your own, unless there are exceptional circumstances; e.g. in an emergency for medical reasons or where parents fail to collect a child and no other arrangements can be made to take a child home.  In such situations, the circumstances and your decision must be recorded and shared with an appropriate person at the earliest opportunity.
  • Drink alcohol whilst working with or supervising children.  Smoking should be prohibited in church buildings. Where children are in attendance at a church event but no childcare or youth activity is arranged then parents and carers must act as they feel appropriate. Church Officers have a responsibility to ensure that any event organised under the auspices of the chaplaincy is appropriate and safe for all in attendance.
  • Arrange social occasions with children and young people (other than events which also include adult family members/carers) outside organised group occasions.


  First Published   17 October 2019
  Last Updated   28 July 2020


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