All those who share an interest in safeguarding within the church are invited to join this Microsoft Teams virtual office. This includes, but is not limited to, church safeguarding officers and youth leaders.
Initially the idea around this is to provide a network of support, but as we move forward this will become a useful hub of information, a place to share good working practices, ideas and general queries (no specific cases please).
Documents can be posted and 'pinned', video/telephone meetings can be held and potentially mini training sessions (this is still being explored).
Please note that the email address used to join will be visible to other members of the 'virtual office' who may be in a different circuit to your own. If you have recently joined and do not wish for your email address to be visible, please remove yourself from the group as there are no settings to counteract this.
If you feel this may be of interest to you, please email the Becky Skinner (District Safeguarding Officer).
Government announcement on changes to standard and enhanced ID checking guidelines (DBS)
Tuesday 24 March
Due to current measures that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, we’re aware that organisations are having difficulty following the DBS ID checking guidance.
Currently, when validating ID documents, it is best practice to carry the examination out face-to-face with a live video link as an alternative method. Under the current guidance, the ID checker must be in physical possession of the original documents so they can be checked for indicators of fraud.
As the public is being advised to work from home where possible, this is causing difficulties in receiving the physical documents and is delaying applications, and in some cases, preventing applications from being submitted.
To ensure that the necessary DBS checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance will be changed for a temporary period. The change will enable:
ID documents to be viewed over video link
scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted
The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.
The change came into effect on 19 March 2020.
Please ensure that you follow the advice on GOV.UK around checking identity documents for indicators of fraud, which can be found here.
The full announcement is available gov.uk website.
Coronavirus guidance for Monitoring Support Groups
Thursday 19 March
Connexion have received a few queries about meetings of MSG groups and their most recent guidance states in terms of church business, all face to face meetings should be cancelled. We urge you to consider alternative methods for holding MSG meetings, such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Please make a clear note on records so it can be seen why events or meetings have been delayed or amended.
Because of restrictions on travel and advice for social distancing, there will be a need to consider how Safeguarding Contracts for those who pose a risk can be monitored.
If your church is considering prayer stations, and monitoring cannot be effectively applied, it would be acceptable to put in place a temporary restriction on the subject being able to attend any unmonitored activities and this should be put in writing to the subject. Remember to record all decisions made. If you feel this applies to your group, please come back to your District Safeguarding Officer.
Wishing you all well in these difficult times.
District Safeguarding Conference and the Coronavirus - An Update:
Thursday 12 March
In light of growing concerns surrounding the speed by which the virus is spreading, the District has taken the time to carefully consider the options and whether the conference should indeed be going ahead.
After much thoughtful deliberation, the decision has been made to postpone the conference until October / November of this year.
We have not come to this decision lightly and it is with regret that we make this announcement. However, due to the nature of the conference and the level of physical interaction between attendees, we do not feel that it would be appropriate for the conference to take place. I’m sure you will agree that a safeguarding conference where the organisers do not consider safeguarding the attendees would be quite a thing indeed!
It goes without saying that the health and wellbeing of our attendees as well as their extended circle of families and friends, is of great importance to us. Whilst we do not wish to be alarmist about the current situation we feel strongly that this will be the best and most prudent course of action.
Please note that all training sessions and meetings that the District is due to facilitate, will be considered on an individual basis.
We are in the process of securing an alternative date for this conference to take place and will release this information as soon as possible. Please do keep a look out in the Weekly Update and on the Safeguarding News section of the website for further updates.
With kindest regards.
Foundation Level Facilitator Training
Tuesday 14 January
Do you run facilitate the Foundation Level Safeguarding Training Course? Would you like to be able to deliver this training in your church or circuit? If so, this is for you.
The Methodist Church has recently revised it's Foundation Level Safeguarding Training and to ensure that all trainers and would be trainers, are aware of the changes, the London District will be hosting a Facilitator Training Session.
Delivering the training will be District Safeguarding Officer, Becky Skinner.
There are 30 places available. The closing date for registration is 11.59pm on Sunday 23 February.
Click here to book your place
Safeguarding Conference 2020 - Through the Looking Glass - Professional Curiosity and Disguised Compliance.
Tuesday 10 December 2019
It is with great excitement that we invite you to the annual Safeguarding Conference that will take place at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster on Saturday 14 March 2020 from 10am - 4pm.
Our theme this year will be 'Professional Curiosity and Disguised Compliance'.
We are thrilled to be joined by Marcus Erooga an Independent Safeguarding Consultant, widely renowned for his work and research into child sexual abuse.
We are sure that it will be a stimulating event, and one that will help provide relevant advice and guidance to churches, on both a local and circuit level.
Registration for the conference opens at 9am on Wednesday 11 December via Eventbrite.