Section 6 - Reporting concerns or allegations
6.1 Any concerns or allegations must be made to the DSP in the first instance, unless they are about the DSP in which case they should be made straight to the DSA. In an emergency, always contact the emergency services.
6.1.1 A written record of these must be kept. (Refer to the main Safeguarding policy for detailed information on data protection).
6.2 The DSP must inform the DSA/Diocesan Safeguarding Team within 24 hours (excluding weekends/bank holidays*) of any incidents or concerns. The DSP and the DSA will agree the best way forward and inform the Leader.
6.2.1 If the matter is about the Leader, the DSP must inform the DSA as normal and also the Episcopal Visitor.
6.2.2 If a matter is so urgent it cannot wait until after the weekend or Bank Holiday, contact must be made with the police or social services, and the DSA team if available.
6.2.3 It is expected that local protocols will be put in place to address the reporting of concerns, and it must be made clear that reporting a concern to the DSA cannot be overruled by anyone else in the community.
6.3 All members are required to comply with any requests for assistance from either the DSP or the DSA.
6.4 If the DSP is uncertain whether a matter should be raised with the DSA, they should raise it in any event and keep a record of the discussion.
Good practice advice
When dealing with a safeguarding matter, communities need to be mindful of the guidance set out in the Responding Well policies. These matters will mostly be dealt with by the DSA, and therefore it is important that they are informed as soon as possible and within 24 hours in any event, excluding weekends and Bank Holidays.
The key thing for communities is to recognise what might constitute a situation which requires a safeguarding response. This is where being able to observe behaviours and have open discussions becomes important, as this is the opportunity to be able to spot at an early stage where things may need an intervention. This is all part of creating a healthy, safe culture.
Please refer to the main Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults policy for full examples of the behaviours, signs and situations which may give you cause for concern and which may require a safeguarding response.
If you are in any doubt about whether to report a concern, consult with your DSA and make a written record of their advice.