Safe to Grow
The church is committed to the prevention of bullying of children and young people. The church will seek to ensure that the behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the community of the church is managed appropriately.
concentrates quite rightly on the importance of children’s and young people’s workers being appointed carefully, behaving appropriately, and adopting safe practices in order to promote the safety and welfare of children and young people in the life of the church. However, when children and young people become a part of the life of the church they become part of a far wider community. This wider community life of the church has the potential to enrich their development and growth, but it also brings with it additional risks that need to be addressed.
Firstly, this wider community involves the other children and young people. We dare not ignore the fact that children and young people are able to be cruel and unkind to one another. We, therefore, need to have procedures in place which address in particular the potential for bullying. (Please note that any counter bullying policy will relate to all forms of bullying and will include the bullying of children by adults and vice versa.)
Secondly, children and young people are often introduced and welcomed into the wider church community. Particularly when children and young people attend church on Sundays (but also on other occasions) they will be on the premises and may interact with a wide range of people who will not have been through any kind of ‘vetting’ procedure and who may not have any awareness of the church’s safeguarding policy and procedures. In this regard, a particular issue arises when a person attends the church who is known to have offended against children or young people in the past. As a gospel community that seeks to be inclusive and that offers forgiveness and new life, a church will wish to do all in its power to enable such a person to find their place within the community of the church. However, this will have to be done in such a way that children and young people are not placed at risk.