Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

The Church of England is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church community.

In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.

"The Diocese of Worcester is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults to worship and grow in Christ safely. I take that commitment very seriously and believe that making our churches safe for all is everyone’s responsibility. To enable that, our diocesan safeguarding team provides professional advice and training, as well as supporting those who may have suffered abuse. I commend to you the important policies and procedures detailed here. It is my prayer that they will help to ensure that all can flourish as God’s Kingdom People."
Bishop John

If you have concerns about a child, young person or an adult who may have been harmed or be at risk of harm, please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers for advice and support:  

  • Hilary Higton, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07495 060869

  • Delia Stokes, Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07376 374380

  • Sarah Booth, Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07375078677 

If you have concerns about the immediate safety of someone please don’t delay in ringing the Police  on 999 or Children or Adult Services:

  • Worcester Adult and Children’s Social Care – Childrens 01905 822666 Adults 01905 768053 (out of hours 01905 768020) 

  • Dudley Adult and Children’s Social Care -0300 555 0055 (out of hours 0300 555 8574)

  • Sandwell Adult Social Care - Adult 0121 569 2266 (out of hours 0121 569 2355)

  • Sandwell Children’s Social Care – 0121 569 3100

  • West Mercia Police (Worcestershire) - 101

  • West Midlands Police (remainder of the Diocese) - 101

Safe Spaces: an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse

Launched in September 2020, this service offers support to survivors of church-related abuse whether or not a report has been made. This independent service is run by the charity Victim Support and funded by the Church of England together with the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church in Wales. It is free to access via telephone, email or web-chat.

Past Cases Review 2 (PCR 2)

Currently, we - like all the other dioceses in the Church of England - are conducting a Past Cases Review 2 (PCR 2) into safeguarding matters relating to sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults. Click here to find out how to report past abuse, as well as a helpline and other support available to anyone impacted by these matters.

Dealing with safeguarding during the coronavirus pandemic:

The NSPCC has created a new webpage with information and advice for parents or carers who are worried a child or young person may be struggling with their mental health or has anxiety about coronavirus. The webpage includes information on: talking about feelings and worries; keeping in touch and balancing screen time; ways to create structure and routine; and helping to give children a sense of control. Read the information and advice: Talking to a child worried about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Domestic Abuse: We know that for those experiencing domestic abuse, self isolating at home presents additional dangers. Women’s Aid have provided some specific safety advice.

Safer Recruitment
The following guidance has been adopted for use in this diocese.
Open Safer Recruitment

Who can I contact for advice?
How to contact our diocesan safeguarding advisors and useful local social care numbers.
Open Who can I contact for advice?

Safeguarding Audit Report from SCIE
In September 2016, the Diocese of Worcester's safeguarding processes were independently audited by the Social Care Institute for Excellence.
Open Safeguarding Audit Report from SCIE

The Diocesan Safeguarding Group
The Diocesan Safeguarding Group has the responsibility of the governance of safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the Church of England in the Diocese of Worcester.
Open The Diocesan Safeguarding Group

Listening service
Our diocese has set up an Authorised Listening Service, which is now available to anyone who has been affected in this way. The listening service offers the opportunity to talk about sensitive issues with a trustworthy stranger.
Open Listening service

Complaints & Whistleblowers
Safeguarding Complaints Procedure.
Open Complaints & Whistleblowers

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