1.1 Alnwick Baptist Church (ABC) is a charity registered in England and Wales. Registered Number: 1143745.

1.2 For the purpose of this policy the term “worker” is used to describe all people that may carry out activities on behalf of ABC including but not restricted to: volunteers, ministers, leaders, trustees, both employed and volunteer.

1.3 ABC adopts the following definitions:

Adult abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. This can include single or repeated acts, be intentional or unintentional, be an act of neglect or an omission or failure to act, can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm or exploitation.

(No Secrets 2000)

Safeguarding adults means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risk and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted, including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.

(Care Act 2014)

The term Adult at Risk refers to:

Any person aged 18 and over "who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect  aim or herself against significant harm or serious exploitation”.

(No Secrets 2000)

Child abuse consists of anything which individuals, institutions or processes do or fail to do which directly or indirectly harms children or damages their prospects of safe and healthy development into adulthood.”

(National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse 1996)

Safeguarding Children means “protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes.”

(Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013)

The term Child refers to:

any baby, toddler, child or young person who hasn’t yet reached their 18th birthday.

1.4 ABC takes the care and wellbeing of others seriously and it is the duty of all workers to safeguard Adults at Risk and Children.

1.5 In the course of their activity workers may come across situations that give them cause for concern about an Adult at Risk or Child’s well-being. This policy explains the basis on which they are expected to respond and the procedures they are required to follow.

1.6 This policy works from the principle that all Adults at Risk and Children have a right to be kept safe, to be treated with respect and to be free from abuse and neglect.

1.7 It is the duty of all ABC workers to safeguard and protect Adults at Risk and Children.

1.8 This policy covers the safeguarding and protection of Adult at Risks in relation to Neglect and Acts of Omission, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Psychological Abuse, Discriminatory Abuse, Financial or Material Abuse, Organisational and Domestic Abuse, Modern Slavery, Self-Neglect and Radicalisation, including concerns arising from e-safety incidents. It also covers the safeguarding and protection of children in relation to Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse, Emotional Abuse and Neglect.

1.9 The ill treatment of Adults at Risk and Children occurs widely across society and is not restricted to any particular class, group or circumstance. As an organisation, ABC may encounter both victims and perpetrators of ill treatment, not just as visitors to ABC, but also as staff, volunteers and trustees of ABC and/or our partners. Whenever an allegation of ill treatment is made, whether current or historical it must be taken seriously.

1.9.1 ABC acknowledge that anyone could ill-treat an Adult at Risk or Child e.g. a member of staff, a parent, a carer, another Adult at Risk or another Child.

1.10 Adults at Risk or Children cannot be expected to take full responsibility to protect themselves from harm or abuse.

1.11 All workers, partners and the wider congregation will be informed of ABC’s safeguarding policies and procedures.

1.12 All ABC workers will receive a DBS (if appropriate) and their induction will involve familiarisations with safeguarding and other organisational policies. Safeguarding issues will be monitored and reviewed once a year at a Charity Trustees meeting.

1.13 Those experiencing abuse, alleged perpetrators of abuse and those reporting abuse will be offered support to access appropriate services.

1.14 ABC will, where possible, work to ensure that individuals are informed about any action to be taken, including any referral to Adult Services and/or Police, and are made aware of any information that will be shared with others.

1.15 Work to safeguard Adults at Risk and Children will be carried out in partnership with other agencies and take precedence over any other issue. Sharing of information with other workers will be on a need to know basis.

1.16 ABC’s designated person for safeguarding Adults at Risk is Andrew Norwood. ABC’s designated person for safeguarding Children is Jean Simpson. If the designated person is not available or the concern involves the designated person, then direct all concerns to the Safeguarding Trustee, Sue Layton.

1.17 ABC’s Adult to Child ratios for Junior Church are as follows:

                 0 -2 yrs                            2 -3 yrs                     3-8 plus years

       1 Adult per 3 children     1 Adult per 4 children     1 Adult per 8 children

1.18 There will be at least 2 Adults present at all times in Junior Church.


The Care Act 2014 has identified the main different forms of adult abuse as:

Physical Abuse – Non-accidental harm. Including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.

Sexual Abuse – Contact and Non-Contact Sexual Abuse. Including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological Abuse – Actions that impact upon mental wellbeing. Including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment,  verbal abuse, isolation, or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

(It is important to note that every other category of abuse will almost inevitably involve elements of psychological abuse).

Financial or Material Abuse – Including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with Wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and Acts of Omission –Including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Discriminatory Abuse Oppressive and discriminatory attitudes towards Vulnerable Adults according to race, gender, disability, sexuality, religion or cultural background.

Organisational Abuse – Actions to meet the needs of systems/regimes, which impact upon individuals beyond an acceptable measure.

Modern Slavery - Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Self-neglect - Covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviours such as hoarding.

Radicalisation - Exploitation into violent extremism.

Domestic Abuse – Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

The Children’s Act 1989 has identified the main different forms of abuse as:

Emotional Abuse – Constant criticism, threats, rejection as well as withholding love, support or guidance, which has severe and persistent negative effects.

Neglect – The persistent failure to provide for a child’s basic needs which is likely to         cause serious impairment. This includes during pregnancy, inadequate supervision and inappropriate medical care.

Sexual Abuse – Involves forcing or enticing a child to take part in sexual activities. This includes assault by penetration, oral sex, rape and exploitation through prostitution or pornography.

Physical Abuse – Punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, poisoning, shaking. This includes fabricated or induced illness.

Any or all these types of abuse may be perpetrated as a result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. Incidents may be multiple, either to one person in a continuing relationship or service context, or to more than one person at a time. It is important to note that many situations may involve a combination of the categories listed above.

2.1 This policy and accompanying procedure applies whenever ABC workers are engaged in activity on behalf of ABC.

2.2 Basic training in relation to safeguarding is mandatory for all workers and should be refreshed at a minimum of every 3 years.

2.3 This policy will be reviewed annually as a minimum and more frequently if indicated by changes to legislation, guidance or good practice.

2.4 Any worker wishing to engage in higher risk activities e.g. overnight stays, working with children with disabilities, using the internet should speak to the Safeguarding Trustee prior to arranging the activity.


3.1 In the course of their work, workers may become aware of or be made aware of concerns about an Adult at Risk or Child. Concern about a vulnerable person’s well-being may be triggered by a specific incident, including disclosure or the deterioration of a persons' physical or emotional health over a period of time or noticing unusual behaviour or circumstances for someone.

3.2 It is important that anyone acting on behalf of ABC record their concerns as soon as possible using the ABC Safeguarding Concern Form (see Appendix 1) and discuss such concerns/worries with the Designated Person or Safeguarding Trustee immediately and that a written record of the discussion is made.

3.3 When working in partnership with other organisations it will be agreed which safeguarding procedures are being followed.

3.4 Concern should be reported:

      • Where an incident has occurred, or an allegation has been received, which indicates that an Adult at Risk or Child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering harm.
      • Where workers have concerns, which lead them to suspect that an Adult at Risk or Child has suffered or is suffering significant harm, or may be at risk of such harm.

3.5 In the event that an ABC worker has an Adult at Risk or Child concern, then they should immediately discuss the concern with the Designated Person.

3.6 If a crime has just been committed or there is an immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999. If someone needs urgent medical attention call the Ambulance service on 999.

3.7 When a decision has been made to raise an Alert for an Adult at Risk, the staff member responsible will discuss how this is to be done with the person, as appropriate to his/her capacity and understanding and record the discussion.

3.8 When a decision has been made to make a referral to Children’s Social Care for a Child, if appropriate, the child and the parent should be informed and a record of the discussion made.

3.9 There will be times when an Adult at Risk, the child or the child’s parent does not agree with an Alert being raised, however this must not prevent the Alert being made when this is considered necessary.

3.10 There may be circumstances when a decision is made not to discuss the making of an Alert or referral with the person concerned because of issues of safety relating to the individual or the worker.

3.11 The details of any decision made under paragraphs 3.5, 3.6, 3.7 or 3.8 must be recorded on ABC’s Safeguarding Concern Form, see appendix 1.

3.12 ABC may become aware of information as part of their work which may not trigger a threshold in terms of level of concern and is deemed a low-level concern. Information regarding these low-level concerns will be kept in the “Safeguarding Concern folder” while ABC are still in contact with the person.

3.13 Information relating to the Adult concerned must be passed on as soon as possible, usually by means of a telephone call via Foundry House Call Centre on (01670) 536400. Any verbal communication should be confirmed in writing. When raising the Alert, you should ascertain whether there is a specific form to use when confirming the Alert. If so, you should ensure that you complete the appropriate form.

3.14 Information relating to Child concerns must be passed on as soon as possible, usually by the means of a telephone call to Children’s Social Care on (01670) 629400. Any verbal communication should be confirmed in writing. When making a referral, you should ascertain whether there is a specific form to use when confirming the referral. If so, you should ensure that you complete the appropriate form.

3.15 All forms will be sent (marked Private & Confidential) to the person who received the verbal information within 24 hours. (N.B. Ensure you obtain the name and address of the person who received the referral).

3.16 Details of the concern and Alert/ Referral will be filed in the ‘Safeguarding Concern Folder’ held in the appropriate organisation, as long as ABC have involvement in that incident.

3.17 Any further action will follow the Local Safeguarding Adults or Children Procedure.

3.18 Following Alert / Referral to the relevant services, further involvement by ABC will be determined by the aims and objectives of the specific project and/or the outcomes of the initial Alert / Referral.

3.19 All workers have a responsibility for ensuring that all concerns are recorded in line with this procedure.

3.20 In situations where an ABC worker is requested to attend a Case Conference, they must discuss this request with the Safeguarding Trustee. It will be usual for a written report to be completed and submitted prior to the Case Conference in line with the local authority’s Safeguarding Procedures. The content of the report must be discussed/shared with the individual concerned before the report is submitted.

3.21 Any worker affected by reporting an incident will be signposted for support appropriate to their needs.


4.1 Introduction

ABC workers may encounter Adults at Risk and Children in the course of their activity. The possibility that workers might act in a way that compromises the well-being of an Adult at Risk or Child is recognised by ABC.

4.2 Procedure

Where it is suspected that a worker may have acted in a way that compromises the well-being of an Adult at Risk or Child, the person with the suspicion must report it to the Safeguarding Trustee immediately. If the suspicion relates to the Safeguarding Trustee, another Trustee should be informed.

4.2.1 Out of normal working hours, the Safeguarding Trustee should be contacted on his/her mobile telephone to inform him/her of the concern. Any subsequent action will be instigated by the Charity Trustees.

4.2.2 The welfare of the Adult at Risk or Child is paramount and immediate action must be taken to ensure their protection and to obtain any medical attention that may be needed.

4.2.3 Information about the suspicion must not be shared with other workers, without the permission of the Safeguarding Trustee.

4.2.4 It is necessary to consider when a suspicion is raised whether there is any indication that other individuals may also have had their well-being compromised by the member of staff, or a volunteer.

4.2.5 Where a concern is raised that a worker may have acted in a way that compromises the well-being of an Adult at Risk or Child, the matter must be investigated without any presupposition that harm has or has not occurred. In most cases while investigations are being carried out it will be necessary to arrange voluntary paid leave of absence, suspension without prejudice for staff or redeployment. Volunteers will be requested not to undertake any further voluntary work.

4.2.6 Where there is an allegation against a worker with regard to a child, a referral to the Local Authority Designated officer will also be made by telephone to 07342 057398.

4.2.7 Three separate strands of investigation will be required:

      • Northumberland County Council will carry out their Safeguarding procedures.
      • The circumstances may require a police investigation to ascertain whether a crime has been committed.
      • The disciplinary procedure may be involved to ascertain whether there has been misconduct or gross misconduct by staff, which may not necessarily be of a criminal nature. A similar process of investigation will be carried out in relation to a volunteer to establish whether guidelines and procedures for volunteers have been followed.

4.2.8 The outcomes of concerns involving a worker will be notified to DBS, other regulatory bodies and funding partners, as appropriate.


5.1 Introduction

5.1.1 The incidence of disclosure of historical abuse or neglect is increasing and is triggered by a wide range of events. Disclosures could relate to any former activities carried out by ABC or to previous experiences unrelated to ABC.

5.1.2 Where a disclosure is made, ABC will need to take seriously its responsibility to assist in the protection of Adults at Risk and Children with whom the perpetrator is now in contact, by providing information that could assist in tracing his/her whereabouts.

5.1.3 There may be a conflict between the wishes and needs of the adult or child who may ask for the information to go no further and the needs of other individuals who need protection from abuse. NOTE: there is strong evidence to show that abuse outside the family is rarely confined to one victim.

5.2 Procedure

5.2.1 Where a person seems to be on the point of making a disclosure, it is important to advise him/her that there are limitations to guarantees of confidentiality.

5.2.2 In the informal settings in which much of ABC’s activities takes place, it may be difficult to foresee when a disclosure is about to be made. This highlights the importance of making explicit the organisation’s guidelines on confidentiality at the earliest point of contact.

5.2.3 Only the minimum of information about the alleged abuse should be taken and written down, by the person receiving the disclosure i.e. when it occurred, who was the perpetrator, where it occurred and minimal details about what occurred. It will be necessary for the discloser to give detailed accounts to other agencies.

5.2.4 Following a disclosure, the member of staff/volunteer must discuss it with the appropriate ABC Designated Person.

5.2.5 The person making the disclosure must be reassured that he/she has done the right thing in telling and that support will be available for him/her. It is also important to say that it may not be possible to keep him/her informed of all action that will be taken as a result of the disclosure.

5.2.6 A decision about referral to Adult or Children’s Safeguarding team and (Local Authority) Designated Officer, in the case of a child disclosure, will be made by the Designated Person with the support of the Safeguarding Trustee. This could involve contacting adult or children’s social care and the office relevant to where the alleged perpetrator now lives, if known.

5.2.7 Subsequent actions will follow the procedure of the relevant Adults or Children’s Services.

5.2.8 This policy should not be read in isolation and has links to:

Safe recruitment policy

The following links provides additional useful reading