St John’s Muxton and St Michael’s Lilleshall
SAFEGUARDING Children and Young People
Policy compiled 2016
Last Review September 2022
This policy is based upon guidance from NSPCC and the work of Kent County Council that have been adapted from their Schools and Settings e-Safety Policy Template 2012.
Our e-safety policy for children & young people:
This policy and the procedures that underpin it relate to all staff, both paid and unpaid, working with the children and young people of St John’s Church, Muxton and St Michael’s Church, Lilleshall.
In respect of this policy the term young person relates to the ages 10 – under 19 years.
- To safeguard children and young people involved within the life and outreach of St John’s & St Michael’s churches and who make use of information technology (such as mobile phones, games consoles and the Internet) as part of their involvement with us.
- To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guides our approach to e-safety.
- To ensure that, as an organisation, we operate in line with our values and within the law in terms of how we use information technology.
We recognise that:
- The welfare of the children/young people that come into contact with St John’s & St Michael’s is paramount and will govern our use and management of information technologies;
- all children, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, have the right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse;
- working in partnership with children, young people, their parents, carers and other agencies, where appropriate, is essential in promoting young people’s welfare and in helping young people to be responsible in their approach to e-safety;
- the use of information technology is an essential part of all our lives; it is involved in how we as an organisation gather and store information, as well as how we communicate with each other. It is also an intrinsic part of the experience of our children and young people, and is greatly beneficial to all. However, it can present challenges in terms of how we use it responsibly and, if misused either by an adult or a young person, can be actually or potentially harmful to them.
We will seek to promote e-safety by:
- appointing an e-safety coordinator;
- developing a range of procedures that provide clear and specific directions to staff and volunteers on the appropriate use of ICT;
- supporting and encouraging the young people using our services to use the opportunities offered by mobile phone technology and the internet in a way that keeps themselves safe and shows respect for others;
- supporting and encouraging parents and carers to do what they can to keep their children safe online and when using their mobile phones and game consoles;
- developing an e-safety agreement for use with young people and their carers;
- use our procedures to deal firmly, fairly and decisively with any examples of inappropriate ICT use, complaints or allegations, whether by an adult or a child/young person (these may include breaches of filtering, illegal use, cyberbullying, or use of ICT to groom a child or to perpetrate abuse);
- informing parents and carers of incidents of concern as appropriate;
- reviewing and updating the security of our information systems regularly;
- providing adequate physical security for ICT equipment;
- ensuring that user names, logins and passwords are used effectively;
- Staff who have official email accounts provided via St John’s & St Michael’s Churches these will be used for all communications with young people, and monitored as necessary;
- ensuring that the personal information of staff, volunteers, congregation members and children/young people (including children and young people’s names) are not published on our website;
- ensuring that images of children, young people and families are used only after their written permission has been obtained, and only for the purpose for which consent has been given;
- any social media tools used in the course of our work with children, young people and families must be risk assessed in advance by the member of staff wishing to use them;
- providing effective support for staff and volunteers on ICT issues, through supervision and training;
- examining and risk assessing any emerging new technologies before they are used within the organisation;
- ensuring that staff do not use their mobile phones whilst working with children and young people.
The name of our e-safety coordinator is Dan West
He/she can be contacted via the church office 01952 670033
We are committed to reviewing our policy, procedures and good practice annually.
Role of the e-safety co-ordinator:
- To maintain a register of all the church social media accounts, including account logon identities, passwords and records of who has access to these.
- To keep up to date with new and emerging technology.
- To offer advice and support to the church workers using the technology.
- To ensure the accounts and their activity are reviewed on a regular basis (annually).
Guidelines for using social networking with young people:(a young person is anyone aged between 10 and under 19)
- Before entering into the use of social networking services to communicate with young people it is important to:
- Assess your needs and readiness
- Consider what your objectives are
- Consider the medium you may wish to use.
- When required use a separate designated Facebook account for the use of St John’s & St Michael’s youth work. This account should be open to examination and should not be used by workers as a personal account. At least 2 people should have full access to all church social media accounts.
- One to one communications between young people and workers using a social networking site should be kept in the public eye. On Facebook this can be done using the wall function. This can be used to communicate with young people individually and to also reply to private messages that have been sent.
- In the case of group messages another adult should be copied into the messages.
- Maintain a log of all electronic contact (both incoming and outgoing) with individuals and groups including messaging and texting.
- Instant chat on social media sites should not be used as it does not provide a log of conversations. 2 Adults to be involved in any BAND communications with 2 adults to be involved in any online communications. To be reviewed as emerging technology relevant to our needs becomes available.
- Do not use abbreviations in communication with young people as these can be misinterpreted.
- Workers should not use the account after 10pm in order to maintain a safe boundary between work and personal life. If using e-technology as a group activity ensure adult workers understand what is happening within the group.
- Ensure all electronic communications are appropriate and professional.
- Parental consent must be sought for the use of social communication with children
Guidelines for using telephone and mobile phone communication:
- It is the responsibility of leaders/helpers to maintain a log of all electronic contact (both incoming and outgoing) with individuals and groups including telephone, messaging and texting.
- No contact with children and young people between 10pm and 8am or during the school day.
- No mobile phones to be used by workers during the session that they are working with children and young people.
Registration, Supervision, Records, Review & Reporting:
- A register must be kept of all church social media accounts, including account logon identities, passwords and records of who has access to these. This is kept by the e-safety co-ordinator.
- The PCC reserves its role as executive authority over all aspects of the church use of social media.
- Records must be maintained of all church use of social media.
- All church use of social media must be subject to review at any time and will be an agenda item for the PCC on an annual basis.
- In the event that there is any inappropriate use of electronic communications or use of the internet these must be reported to the Safeguarding Officer and e-safety co-ordinator.
- Where young people have breached the agreed use of our information technology systems and especially if they have put themselves or others at risk, their parents will be informed.
- Ensure the maximum appropriate level of privacy is applied. Non-members of groups must only be able to know the group exists.
- Non-members of a group must not be able to see who is a member of a group, or group postings or photographs unless they have been cleared for general publication.
- All changes relating to a group (accepting friend requests, ‘tagging’, publishing to a wall etc) must be approved by the group leader before becoming effective.
- Friend relationships should not be accepted unless known to at least 2 church members.
- It must be ascertained that any new contact is not an impersonator.
- Workers private accounts must not be used to accept friend requests or from vulnerable children and adults unless it can be demonstrated that their relationship is separate to their position in the church. Any such relationship should be reported to the Safeguarding Officer.