Child Protection

 King’s Church Child Protection Policy  


An Introduction

The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines on how to keep children safe in our care, how to respond to allegations of abuse and how to appoint children s workers.  Everyone working with children must adhere procedures laid out in this document and sign to say they agree to work in accordance with it.  


1). Who abuses children? Recognising signs of abuse

2). The Child Protection co-ordinator and his/her role

3). Responding to allegations of abuse or neglect

4). Avoiding situations where abuse may be alleged

5). Selecting and appointing children’s workers

6). Registration of children and recording of information

7). Parental consent

8). Insurance

9). Training

l.1 Who abuses children?

Research shows that it is: 

            Very rarely a stranger 

Often someone who knows the child – a parent, sibling, relative, carer, babysitter or a friend of the family 

Sometimes, someone in authority – such as a teacher, youth leader, children’s worker, church worker or church leader 

Paedophiles – and others – who set out to join organisations (including churches) to obtain access to children 

1.2 Recognising the signs of abuse

At King’s Church, we will endeavour to recognise the signs of abuse. We realise that some of these signs may not indicate that abuse has taken place. For a detailed list of signs of abuse, see appendix 1

2.      THE CHILD PROTECTION CO-ORDINATOR                   

Our named Co-ordinator is Jill Walker

The Co-ordinator will: 

Be the person to whom you should report any allegations that are made to you, or any suspicions you may have that abuse or neglect may have occurred 

Carry out a limited investigation into the reported allegations or suspicions 

Refer all relevant allegations or suspicions to the relevant parents, guardians or authorities, according to the severity of the allegations or suspicions 

If the allegations or suspicions in any way involve the Co-ordinator, then the child or the adult reporting it should bypass the Co-ordinator and talk with the Church Leader or one of the Church Trustees. 

This condition contains no inference – either explicit or implicit – relating to the character of the Co-ordinator.  However it is necessary to include it in this document so that you know what to do should this situation occur. Please note that you should not discuss the allegations or suspicions with anyone other than those nominated above. 


Abuse normally falls into one of four main categories –  

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse. 

Physical abuse relates to physical injury or harassment that is caused either by deliberate action or by failure to take preventive action 

Sexual abuse relates to the involvement of children in sexual activities which they are unable to comprehend or give informed consent, or which crosses normal socially acceptable boundaries. 

Neglect relates to actions, or failure to take action, that results in an impairment of the child’s health or personal development. 

Emotional abuse relates to persistent or severe emotional ill treatment or rejection that has an effect on the child s behavioural and emotional development.  

3.1 When a child makes an allegation 

Try to: 
Remain calm and assured, but sensitive to the child’s need to talk 

Listen carefully to what the child says, without making any judgement 

Find out if the child has told anyone else 

Try NOT to: 

“Push” for information 

Express shock or disbelief 

Promise absolute confidentiality or anything else that you cannot guarantee 

Conclude the conversation by: 

Thanking the child for telling you 

Reassuring the child, if necessary 

Telling the child that you will discuss it with the Child Protection Co-ordinator, and that you or the Child Protection Co-ordinator will let the child know what you are going to do. 

The next step:

Contact the Child Protection Co-ordinator as quickly as possible (the same day)  

Write down the details of the conversation (preferably within an hour of the discussion)  

Record when (ie. the date and time) the child talked to you and when you made the notes . 

Record exactly (word for word, if possible) what the child said .

Record what activities had been taking place before the discussion (as these may have encouraged the child to talk).

 3.2 When a third party makes an  allegation 

Follow the advice given above, talking with the person who is making the allegation.  Do not talk to the persons who are referred to in the allegation. 

3.3 The role of the Co-ordinator 

The Co-ordinator will endeavour, as soon as possible after being informed of the allegations, to talk with the child or the third party who is making the allegations, with the prime intention of checking that the details of the allegations are correct. 

This will require great sensitivity on the part of the Co-ordinator 

3.3.1. Allegations of Sexual Abuse 

The Co-ordinator will contact the Social Services or the Police 

The Co-ordinator will NOT: 

Speak to the child’s parent or guardian  

Carry out any investigation, other than mentioned above (to check that details of allegation are correct)  

3.3.2. Allegations of  Physical Injury or Neglect 

The Co-ordinator will: 

Speak to the child’s parent or guardian; will suggest that medical help or attention is sought for the child and if appropriate, the parent/guardian will be encouraged to seek help from the Social Services Department. 

If the parent/guardian is unwilling to seek help, the Co-ordinator will try to ascertain the reason.  If the parent/guardian is simply nervous about consulting the doctor, the Co-ordinator may suggest that someone accompanies the parent/guardian.  If the parent/guardian is opposed to seeking help, the Co-ordinator will, in cases of real concern, contact the Social Services Department with the details of the allegations. 

Maintain a detailed record of the actions that have been taken. 
 3.3.3. Allegations of Emotional Abuse 

The Co-ordinator will discuss the allegations with the child and will then decide if any practical further action is feasible.   

Options include: 

  • Making the parents/guardians of the child aware of the circumstances, if the situation can best be resolved by the parents/guardians. This is providing that it is not the parents that the child is making allegations about. 
  • Making the relevant church workers aware of the circumstances, if they are the best people to resolve the situation.

3.3.4. Contacting Social Services

  • All referrals should be made by telephone.
  • Referrals should be followed up in writing within 24 hours.
  • Social Services should acknowledge the written referral within 1 working day of receiving it. If you do not receive acknowledgement within 3 working days, contact Social Services again.


This section is aimed at trying to avoid situations where abuse may take place or may be alleged. 

It is aimed at safeguarding: 

a) The children’s welfare, by avoiding situations where abuse may take place 

b) The welfare of the children’s workers, by avoiding situations where abuse may be alleged.

 We cannot possibly address every situation.  However the following notes are intended to provide guidelines for common situations that may be encountered when working with children. 

4.1 Supervision 

When an activity involving children is taking place, we aim to ensure that there is always more than one adult supervising the activity, one of which should be a female.   

If that is impossible – perhaps because an activity is taking place in a different room – we aim to minimise the isolation by, for example, making sure that the door remains open, so that other adults may see into the room. 

The aim should be to have a staffing ratio as follows:

Age 0-2 yr                 1 adult : 3 children

Age 2-3 yr                 1 adult : 4

Age 3- 5 yr                1 adult: 6

Age 6-8 yr                 1 adult: 8

Over 8 years              1 adult: 8, though where possible 2 workers, preferably one of each  gender, for up to 20 children.  

Where the above staffing levels cannot be ensured we should consider cancelling the activity.  A decision to continue with the activity may be taken if it is considered safe to do so, but we must take into consideration all of the relevant circumstances.  Any activity where the staffing levels are not adequate should only be carried out after detailed discussion with the children’s protection co-ordinator and with the consent of the children’s protection co-ordinator having been given before-hand.

4.2 Physical Contact 

Three kinds of physical contact are considered here: 

Children requesting hugs and cuddles, or to sit on knees 

Taking children to the toilet

Dealing with troublesome children 

4.2.1 Children’s Requests 

It is strongly advised that we should not instigate physical contact with children, other than with those to whom we are related. 

Where children request physical contact, great sensitivity is required on our part.  The following suggestions are strongly recommended. 

We should: 

Only agree to that physical contact in open places, where there are other adults around 

Try to keep – particularly in the case of hugs and cuddles – the physical contact to a minimum, for example, we could hug the child and then move the child away to our side, only continuing hand-holding or allowing the child to link arms if that is what the child obviously wants 

Only allowing children of pre-school or infant school age to sit on our knees.  We should actively discourage all other children from sitting on our knees, perhaps by suggesting that they should sit next to us 

4.2.2. Taking Children to the toilet

Some children, particularly younger children, need help with going to the toilet.   If it is likely that particular children may need help with this, the consent of the parent should be obtained beforehand for a particular adult to assist the child where necessary.  Where possible, children should be taken to the toilets by adults of the same sex.  Adults should never help with matters of a personal nature if a child can do it for themselves.

Parents should be informed if their child had a specific problem, wet themselves or needed help with changing.

4.2.3. Dealing with Troublesome Children 

We are committed to the children in our care and recognise that children have the right to be safe and feel safe within the church environment. We will not accept bullying in any form.  Where a child’s behaviour is unacceptable the child’s parents should be contacted.  If a child’s behaviour puts other children or team members in danger, the situation should be made safe and the child’s parents should be asked to collect their child immediately. 

It is strongly advised to never send a child of primary school age out of an activity – particularly where it is an evening activity – unless: 

We arrange for the child to be collected by the parent

Another older sibling will offer to take the child home and the parent has been notified

Or we arrange for the child to be looked after by an adult one to one within the club 

It is strongly advised that the only time that we should hold, pull or push a child should be where that is the only action possible, for example to avoid another child being hurt.  When this is done, the minimum possible force should be used. 

It is strongly advised – in line with the above advice on supervision – that we should avoid taking a troublesome child into an isolated situation.  

A church worker is expected to use whatever method is necessary to defend against a physical attack against themselves or against another child.  It should involve the minimum necessary force and should not stray into retaliation.  

If any such serious incident occurs, the Child protection co-ordinator should be fully informed of the event and a written record of all the details and surrounding circumstances should be made as soon as possible.  The child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) will be contacted as soon as possible in order to explain the circumstances of the incident. 

4.3 Dealing with unwell Children 

It is advised that we should – depending on the child’s level of   “unwellness” – arrange for one of the following actions to take place: 

For the child to be looked after by an adult helper until the parent can collect the child 

For another older sibling to take the child home

For the child to be transported home (see the advice on “Transporting Children by Car”) below 

4.4 Taking Photos or videos

It is generally permissible to take photographs of children enjoying normal club activities. Where possible these should focus on an activity and show groups of children rather than individuals. It is the duty of the children’s leaders to ensure that anyone wishing to take photographs or videos of the children is not allowed to have time with or have access to children without supervision. No-one is to be permitted to take photographs or videos without the prior approval of the Child protection co-ordinator and prior consent from the child’s  parent or guardian.

4.5 Publishing Images

Permission should be sought from both the parent/carer and the child before any image is used for publicity or educational purposes (such as another Sunday school lesson). Such images should never include any identifying details or the child’s name, other than the first name of the child. Children should always be appropriately dressed for such photographs (for example no swimwear or inappropriate clothing).

Any complaints about inappropriate images should be reported and recorded.


It is strongly advised that we should: 

·. Aim to ensure that there is another adult in the car, placing the adult in the front passenger seat and child in the rear seat. 

·. Where this is not possible do not transport a single child. Ask another child to accompany also, placing the children in rear seats where possible. 

·. If the above cannot be arranged do not transport the child but make other suitable arrangements.    


5.1 Exclusions  

The following categories of people will be excluded from working with children, and will be excluded from any activities that are being run exclusively for children: 

·. People with a record of abusing children. 
 ·. People with a record of violent or inappropriate sexual behaviour. 
 A “ record” will be taken to mean that there is compelling evidence that the person has been involved in such offences.  It will not be limited to that person having a criminal conviction for such offences. 

5.2 Volunteers 

Volunteers will be CRB policed checked upon application, a self-declaration form will be filled out, a personal profile completed and references taken up.   

New volunteers will, wherever possible, work with a more experienced worker for a period of 2–4 months, according to the circumstances.  

At the end of that period the new worker will meet with the Child protection co-ordinator and the experienced worker who has been supervising them to review their progress. Together a suitable role for new worker will be established.   

5.3 Full Time Children’s Workers 

Full time workers must have a satisfactory CRB police check before commencing their appointment. 

Full time workers must have evidence of training in Child Protection, or be prepared to acquire this before commencement of post.  


All activities must have an attendance register, which records names, addresses and emergency contact numbers of child attending. Also noted must be the leaders and helpers on duty.   Children should be registered into a session and also registered out.  If children are allowed to go home alone, there should be a space indicating this on the membership form which should also be signed by parents.  All children need to have  a completed  parental consent/membership form. 

6.1 Recording Details of Accidents

Where a child is involved in an incident where physical injury has obviously occurred: 

·. Consideration should be given to consulting a designated First Aid Person.  If the incident takes place during school hours, the child should be taken to the nearest school staff member.

·. The details of the incident should be recorded in the “Accident Book”. Follow the instructions in the book making sure that you carefully note; 1) the name of child, 2) the date and time and 3) nature of the incident and 4) the first aid action taken. The person who attended to the incident and an adult witness must sign the incident entry. If a parent is collecting the child, they must be shown the entry in the book and asked to sign to show that they have read the entry in the book.

  •  Recording Details of other incidents

An incident is something that has happened that is not an accident but did need adult intervention.  It may have been a fight, abusive language or something such as a toileting accident. 

Incidents such as these should be recorded.  Parents should normally be informed of any such incident.

  • Recording details of suspected abuse or an allegation of abuse

Write down the details of the conversation in which the abuse was suspected or alleged (where possible within an hour of the discussion)  

Record when (ie. the date and time) the person talked to you and when you made the notes. Record also the name of the person who talked to you.

Record exactly (word for word, if possible) what the child said .

Record what activities had been taking place before the discussion (as these may have encouraged the child to talk).


When an activity involves taking children out of the area where the activity is normally held, a Special Trip/Activity Parental Consent Form must be completed. 


Kings Church holds a current Insurance policy, which includes public liability cover. Details are available upon request.

9. Training

Adults working with children or vulnerable adults, will be required to undertake appropriate “Safe guarding Children” training, which must be updated regularly.  

Once you have read and understood your obligation to comply to this policy in role in King’s Church please complete the following form overleaf in the presence of the co-ordinator.

Text Box: King’s Church Child Protection Policy Declaration Form

I have read and understood the Kings Church Child Protection Policy, and agree to adhere to it .

Name ……………………………………………………………..Signed………………………………………………………………………….

Wintessed by the Child Protection co-ordinator  ………………………………………………………………….

Date ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………  

Text Box: Appendix 1
Recognition of signs which might indicate child abuse

There are many indicators/factors that abuse of some form is taking place. Some of these factors may not be worrying in isolation but in combination can give serious cause for concern.

Identification of abuse is often difficult. It is useful to consider:

  • Is there a pattern of unexplained injury or illness?
  • Note explanations that are inconsistent
  • What has the child said spontaneously?
  • A sudden change in behaviour?

 Indicators of Physical Abuse


To the eyes, mouth or ears

Fingertip bruising (grasp mark)

Bruises of different ages in the same place

Outline bruises (i.e. of a shoe, belt)

Bruises without obvious explanations

Bruising to non mobile babies

Burns, bites and scars:

Clear impressions of teeth

Burns or scalds with clear outlines

Small round burns (cigarettes)

Large number of different aged scars

Scars that indicate a child did not get medical treatment

Unusual shaped scars


Fractures in children under 1 year

Alleged unnoticed fractures

Other injuries

Poisoning, injections, ingestion or other applications of damaging substances including drugs and alcohol

Signs of shaking including any bruising to a young baby

Facial petichiae (small blood spots)

Indicators of Neglect

Children who are:

Not receiving adequate food

Exposed through lack of supervision to injuries

Exposed to inadequate, dirty and/or cold environments

Abandoned or left in circumstances without appropriate adult supervision

Prevented by their carers from receiving appropriate medical advice/ treatment

Indicators of Sexual Abuse

Sexual transmitted diseases

Recurrent urinary infections

Genital and rectal itching and soreness

Bruising in the genital region

Sexual play/ masturbation that is inappropriate to a child’s age, development and circumstances

Sexually explicit behaviour

Young children with an inappropriate level of sexual knowledge

Sexual abusive behaviour to other children, especially younger children

Indicators of Emotional Abuse

Abnormally passive, lethargic or attention seeking behaviour

Specific habit disorders e.g. Faecal smearing

Severely delayed social and speech development

Excessively nervous behaviour such as rocking

Low self esteem

General Indicators

Onset of enuresis – day or night

Sleeping and eating disturbance

Recurrent abdominal pains

Social withdrawal

Restlessness and aimlessness

Poor trust and secretiveness

Running away

Self harm

Hysterical fits, faints etc

The general indicators may occur in any child being abused but are particularly important in cases of sexual and emotional abuse where outward signs may not be present.