Child Protection Policy

  1. Donaghadee Methodist Church fully recognises its responsibilities for child protection.


  1. Our policy applies to all staff and volunteers working in the church and its affiliated organisations. There are five main elements to the policy:
  • Ensuring we practice safe recruitment in checking the suitability of staff and volunteers to work with children.
  • Raising awareness of child protection issues and equipping children with the skills needed to keep them safe.
  • Developing and then implementing procedures for identifying and reporting cases, or suspected cases, of abuse.
  • Supporting any children who has been abused in accordance with his/her agreed child protection plan.
  • Establishing a safe environment in which children can learn and develop.


  1. We recognise that because of their regular contact with children, staff and volunteers are well placed to observe the outward signs of abuse. The church will therefore:
  • Establish and maintain an environment where children feel secure, are encouraged to talk, and are listened to, and
  • Ensure children know that there are adults in the church whom they can approach if they are worried.


  1. We will follow the procedures set out by the relevant authorities to:
  • Ensure we have a nominated Council Member responsible for child protection;
  • Ensure every member of staff and volunteer knows the name of the designated senior person responsible for child protection and their role;
  • Ensure all staff and volunteers understand their responsibilities in being alert to the signs of abuse and responsibility for referring any concerns to the designated senior person responsible for child protection;
  • Notify social services if they have concerns about a child who is on the child protection register;
  • Develop effective links with relevant agencies and co-operate as required with their enquiries regarding child protection matters;
  • Keep written records of concerns about children, even where there is no need to refer the matter immediately;
  • Ensure all records are kept securely and in locked locations.
  • Develop and then follow procedures where an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer.
  • Ensure safe recruitment practices are always followed.


  1. We recognise that children who are abused or witness violence may find it difficult to develop a sense of self worth. They may feel helplessness, humiliation and some sense of blame.  Their behaviour may be challenging and defiant or they may be withdrawn. The church will endeavour to support the child through:
  • An ethos which promotes a positive, supportive and secure environment and gives children a sense of being valued;
  • A behaviour policy which is aimed at supporting vulnerable children.  The church will ensure that the child knows that some behaviour is unacceptable but they are valued and not to be blamed for any abuse which has occurred;
  • Liaison as necessary with other agencies that support the child such as social services, child mental health services and schools.