Reporting abuse and finding support

If you have information about a safeguarding situation where a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires immediate medical attention call the emergency services on 999. Do not delay.

The National Safeguarding Team, NST, is working to increase the capacity and expertise of parishes, dioceses and other Church of England institutions to respond to safeguarding concerns and support victims and survivors. We are not able to offer either an emergency or 24-hour response but there are Safeguarding Advisors in every diocese and Safeguarding Officers in every parish. Details of the safeguarding team based in your diocese can be found via the relevant diocesan website. Take a look at the map of the dioceses and click on the diocese where you live. This will take you to the relevant website where there will be contact information.

If you wish to report any safeguarding concerns directly to the NST please email [email protected]. We will ensure that any concerns are referred to the relevant diocese and/or statutory agency, as appropriate.

Finding support

We understand reporting abuse may be very difficult and distressing to you and it may add to your hurt by our not being able to immediately assist you. Therefore here are the contact details of other agencies that are available to assist either on a 24-hour basis or through specialist helplines and services:

  • NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child.
  • Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 ((lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
  • Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 080 8808 8141 ( free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)

Contact the National Team

MORE INFO ON SAFEGUARDING QUESTIONS

Policy and practice guidance

All of our policy and practice guidance has been approved by the House of Bishops and must, where relevant, be followed by all Church Bodies* and Church Officers**.

To view our policy and practice guidance documents, please see here.

*Church Bodies includes PCCs, diocesan bodies, cathedrals, religious communities, theological training institutions and the National Church Institutions. This policy will apply to the whole of the provinces of Canterbury and York (including the Diocese in Europe subject to local variations/modifications). There is also an expectation that the policy will apply to the Channel Islands and Sodor and Man unless there is specific local legislation in a jurisdiction that would prevent adoption.

**A "Church Officer" is anyone appointed/elected by or on behalf of the Church to a post or role, whether they are ordained or lay, paid or unpaid.

Reviews and reports

How we work and governance

Statement of safeguarding principles

We are committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our community.

The Church of England will:

  • Promote a safer environment and culture
  • Safely recruit and support all those with any responsibility related to children and vulnerable adults within the Church
  • Respond promptly to every safeguarding concern or allegation 
  • Care pastorally for victims/survivors of abuse and other affected persons
  • Care pastorally for those who are the subject of concerns or allegations of abuse and other affected persons
  • Respond to those that may pose a present risk to others

These policy commitments are based on our five foundations:

  • Gospel
  • Human rights and the law
  • Core principles
  • Good safeguarding practice
  • Learning from the past

Governance

National Safeguarding Steering Group & National Safeguarding Panel

The National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) met for the first time on 12 October 2016. This group, established by the Archbishops, is a successor to the House of Bishops Safeguarding Monitoring and Reference Group. Its membership consists of a range of representatives from across the Church, to include National Church Institutions, the dioceses and Cathedrals. It is chaired by the Lead Bishop for Safeguarding, Peter Hancock and staffed by the National Safeguarding Team.

The activities of the NSSG are set out in its Terms of Reference. The membership of the NSSG includes both lay and clerical representation and are appointed by the Archbishops. Please see the terms of reference document above for a list of members.

National Safeguarding Panel

The Church of England has published the first report from its National Safeguarding Panel (NSP), set up to provide vital reference and scrutiny from a range of voices, including survivors, on the development of policy and guidance. The Panel's members also include directors and chief executives of safeguarding charities and organisations, and church leaders and officers. It was set up, following the Chichester safeguarding reports, to resource the Church of England's leadership (Archbishops' Council and House of Bishops) with good high-level strategic advice and direction on safeguarding. Its main aims are to:

  • Provide visible leadership and excellence
  • Promote good safeguarding practice
  • Support a survivor perspective

The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Hancock who chairs the Panel and is the CofE's lead bishop on safeguarding, said: "The Panel provides that vital perspective for the Church to view its safeguarding work through the lens of experts and voices from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Survivor voices are critical to the Panel and I commend their commitment to support this ongoing work. I would like to thank Bishop Paul Butler, my predecessor in the role, who was instrumental in setting up the Panel and getting its important work off the ground."

Please see here for the National Safeguarding Panel's Terms of Reference and Membership.

Information on the National Safeguarding Team (NST)

  • National Advisor - Graham Tilby
  • National Policy Manager & Deputy National Advisor - Heather Reid
  • National Casework Manager - Moira Murray
  • IICSA Policy and Information Manager - Patricia Durr
  • IICSA Administrative Officer - Barbara Chapman
  • Provincial Safeguarding Advisor (Lambeth) - Anthony Clarke
  • Provincial Safeguarding Advisor (Bishopthorpe) -  Martyn Burrell (maternity cover)
  • National Safeguarding Training Manager - Andrea Watkins (maternity cover)
  • Elizabeth Pollard - Caseworker
  • Office Manager - Hannah Sinclair
  • Communications - Rachel Harden
  • Amanda Waggett - Administrator 
  • Helen Todd - Interim Projects Assistant

Source URL: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding

List of links present in page