District Safeguarding Group

From Sue HOLDER, District Safeguarding Officer

We are looking to recruit some new people to be part of the District Safeguarding Group which meets quarterly to support Safeguarding across the Circuits and Districts. The new member(s) should be current practitioners in safeguarding children or vulnerable adults.

Do you know of anyone in your Churches that may be suitable to be part of this group? If so would you mind approaching them and asking them to contact me to discuss further. The President Inquiry 2011 said that the DSO should ensure the DSG should:

  • ·         ensure that District Group meetings are planned, supported by an agenda and someone to act as minute taker.
  • ·         have an independent Chair, as set out in the Safeguarding Framework 2010.  This person should be strongly committed to supporting the District Safeguarding Officer; be well-respected; and able to robustly challenge the District where necessary.  This means that it should not be the District Safeguarding Officer, the District Chair, nor a close relative of those fulfilling these roles. This reflects the approach of Local Safeguarding Children Boards where the independent Chair can challenge as necessary the senior executives of member organisations.[1]
  • ·         ensure that the District Chair or representative attend on a regular basis, with personal attendance by the Chair at least annually. The active commitment of the District Chair is crucial to promoting safeguarding within the District.
  • ·         include members who can contribute professional expertise in relation to safeguarding children / young people and /or vulnerable adults. These ‘professional expertise’ members can be drawn from within or outside the Methodist Church, or through ecumenical contacts, as appropriate.
  • ·         include those with expertise about process within the Methodist Church and those able to link between the safeguarding and pastoral mission of the Church.
  • ·         consider whether it would be helpful for the Group to have someone whose role it is to exercise chaplaincy towards other group members, and to organise chaplaincy input for training events.
  • ·         decide whether to have a joint committee or two separate committees for the work of children and vulnerable adults/adult protection. Where there are two separate committees, the lead role for domestic abuse/violence should be agreed.
  • ·         maintain the expertise of the Group through a programme of training and – where needed – professional supervision.
  • ·         report at least annually to the District Policy Committee.
  • ·         maintain a record of circuit safeguarding representatives and identify any gaps so that action can be taken by the local superintendent minister or the District Policy Committee.
  • ·         support the provision of safeguarding training, working together with the regional Training Officer.
  • ·         ensure that records are kept, both of who has been accredited to work as a safeguarding trainer in the District and who has attended such training. (The detailed record can be maintained at circuit level but the group will need to be sure this happens). 

Many thanks

Sue

Contact me on 07508 232 773



[1] There are good examples of this role being taken by an ecumenical colleague or a lay person within the Methodist Church who has professional experience.   Feedback is positive about the contribution this role can make.