Safeguarding is about preventing harm and abuse. And making a timely and appropriate response if it occurs.
Harm or abuse of children and adults at risk can happen anywhere – even in church communities. We have a duty to Ensure a Safe Church for All. This means protecting children and ‘adults at risk’.
The Church aims to minimise the risk of harm occurring. If harm or abuse does occur, with appropriate support and training, it will be recognised and reported. If it occurs we will work with the Police and Social Work services if appropriate.
The Church’s National Safeguarding Service aims to:
Ensure best practice in preventing harm or abuse
Ensure that the Church makes a timely and appropriate response when harm or abuse is witnessed, suspected or reported
Safeguarding, protecting children and adults at risk from harm, is a permanent and necessary part of Church life. The needs of the child, adult at risk or survivor come first. This is also called the paramountcy principle.
Our key safeguarding message is a simple one for current and historical abuse:
‘If harm or abuse is suspected or witnessed, or is reported to you, you must immediately report it your Safeguarding Coordinator or line manager’.
And then, if appropriate, information is shared with Police Scotland or local authority social work departments. This ensures multiagency working.
How to contact the Church’s National Safeguarding Service
By email, the website or telephone. The service is available 9.00am–4.45pm, Monday to Friday. You can leave a message on the answering machine outwith these times.
The Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service
The Church of Scotland
121 George Street