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Child protection policy published in third edition

The House of Bishops has, today, published the third edition of its child protection policy for the Church of England: Protecting all God's Children.

"This fully revised edition builds on the work of the past eight years, since the first publication," said the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Warwick and a member of the group that prepared the new edition. "It shows the Church's commitment to the safeguarding of its children and to the support of all those working with children and young people, both lay and clergy.

"The document contains agreed policy and procedures for every diocese and parish to follow and is a response to new legislation and government guidance. It seeks to draw together the good practice developed over the past years both within the Church and in other voluntary organisations."

The new edition of Protecting all God's Children includes:
- more detailed advice on issues of confidentiality and information sharing, consistent with recent government guidance, canon law, the data protection act and human rights legislation;
- guidance on the use of disclosures from the Criminal Records Bureau in the recruitment procedure for clergy, paid employees and volunteers;
- and advice on ministering to and supervising any within congregations who have harmed children in the past.

The principles of the House of Bishops' child protection policy are:-

- We are committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of the children within our church community.
- We will carefully select and train ordained and lay ministers; volunteers and paid workers with children and young people using the Criminal Records Bureau, amongst other tools, to check the background of each person.
- We will respond without delay to every complaint made, that a child or young person for whom we are responsible may have been harmed.
- We will fully co-operate with statutory agencies during any investigation they make into allegations concerning a member of the church community.
- We will seek to offer informed pastoral care to any child, young person or adult who has suffered abuse.
- We will care for and supervise any member of our church community known to have offended against a child.

Protecting all God's children is published by Church House Publishing, price £5.95 and is available from Christian bookshops and Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020-7898 1305, e mail bookshop@c-of-e.org.uk, or on the web at: www.chbookshop.co.uk (mail order available).