Referring a Safeguarding issue to the Safeguarding Team

If you have an enquiry or need to seek advice from the District Safeguarding Team (DST) in relation to a generic or non-urgent safeguarding issue, wish to enquire about safeguarding training, need to consult the DST about an allegation or safeguarding incident relating to a child or adult in your church/circuit or in respect of a specific case or individual, then you should use the Safeguarding Enquiry, Notification and Referral form which will open in a new window when you click the link. The form is designed to be filled in on your PC, but you need to save it to your PC first and then open it in Acrobat Reader before filling it in. When you have completed it, save it again.

Completed forms which contain personal information relating to a concern should be sent by encrypted email using Galaxkey. If you do not already have a Galaxkey account then click here for simple instructions.

Acrobat Reader is free and is normally installed on every PC but if you do not have it you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC from the Adobe web site.

All safeguarding enquiries, concerns and referrals should be sent to: This inbox will be reviewed daily during office hours.

The responsibility for Safeguarding

Every Church is required to appoint a safeguarding representative, though this role could be shared across a number of churches. Every Circuit is required to appoint a safeguarding co-coordinator.  Please inform the District Safeguarding Officer and the District Office if there is a change in church or circuit safeguarding representatives. The District Safeguarding Officer is the point of contact within the district for safeguarding but may refer matters to the Chair of District, The Connexional Safeguarding Team, and to others as and when appropriate.

Safeguarding Handbook

To enable churches to follow good practice the Methodist Church originally produced the Methodist Safeguarding Handbook. This has now been completely replaced with a new document entiteld "Safeguarding Policy, Procedures and Guidance for the Methodist Church". This and other useful documents can be found on the Methodist Church web site Here.

The Safeguarding Risk Assessment Policy and Procedures Document can be accessed Here

Safer Recruitment and DBS checks

Revised safer recruitment guidelines were sent to all circuits in June 2013. There is a brief 10 step guide and a more substantial document. The policy needs to be implemented locally for the recruitment of all paid staff and all volunteers in the churches. Both documents are available below.

10 Step Guide

Recruiting Safely

The DBS certificate is part of a safer recruitment process. This should not be seen as a stand-alone check but as one of the recruitment checks undertaken when appointing people to roles in the church. One of the implications of the new arrangements is the enhanced role for the church or circuit safeguarding officer. DBS certificates are now only returned to the applicant and not the verifier, and if the certificate contains information a photocopy of the certificate must be sent to the Churches Agency for Safeguarding. 

New Practice Guidance for DSB checks was published in August 2015. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks should preferably be done electronically. If you have difficulties please contact the district office.

Methodist ministers can also use the electronic DBS system. They must use the organisation reference and password of the District rather than the Circuit. Their Superintendent, the District Safeguarding Officer, District Chair or other qualified verifier can verify their application.

DDC (Due Diligence Checking Ltd.) is the new Registered Body that will be processing all DBS / PVG application for the Methodist Church. A few points to take note of with the new system:

Lay verifiers can be added onto the system by ministers who wish them to verify on their behalf. In this way lay verifiers can easily be added onto the system and information can also be easily kept up to date.

All DBS applications will be done electronically.

PVG (Scotland) applications will still be paper based.

Whilst those post holders that previously required a CRB in Methodism can still obtain a new DBS, there is a requirement under The Freedom of Information Act, and reinforced by our guidelines, that Safer Recruitment procedures will have been followed for the appointment of both paid staff and all volunteers.

The DBS eligibility guidance can be found here.

Creating Safer Space Foundation Module

The Creating Safer Space Foundation Module (CSS FM) has been updated to reflect what has been learned since it was introduced. It is a requirement for all those who have a role in relation to safeguarding to attend the 2.5 hour Foundation Training, and those who have previously attended the original course must attend a refresher course every four years. More information is available from the District Safeguarding Training Officer, and information is also available on the Methodist Church website using this link.

Creating Safer Space Advanced Module

It is a requirement that all active ministers, local preachers, worship leaders, circuit safeguarding officers, those in paid employment involving work with children or vulnerable adults, and a number of other specified groups must attend the Advanced Module. A programme of training sessions is being developed over the next two years and further details will be available later int he

More information is available on the Methodist Church website using this link.

Past Cases Review [PCR]

The report on the Past cases review, Courage Cost and Hope, can be read here. One year on a progress report was published and can be read here.

Safeguarding: Recording of information

It is important that all information relating to safeguarding is held securely. The circuit safeguarding officers are responsible with the superintendents for ensuring that this is happening at both circuit and church level. All incidents, accidents, concerns must be written up and kept in a safe place. If the statutory authorities are consulted regarding any such incident, this needs to be notified to the District Safeguarding Officer. All contact with statutory authorities regarding concerns needs to be in writing with a copy to the district.

Safeguarding information has to be kept for 75 years.It must be kept in the circuit and the safeguarding officer must know where any information is held and who has access to it.

Gill Crippen: Northampton District Safeguarding Officer

General Safeguarding enquiries/referrals:

Safeguarding Strategy

The District Safeguarding Group have been developing a strategy document which provides a framework for Safeguarding in the Northampton District over the next few years. The stratetgy was considered and approved by the District Executive in August 2016 and an Executive Summary was approved at the September Synod. Both documents can be downloaded using the links below.

Full version (24 pages)              Executive Summary (2 pages)

District Office

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