About the Safeguarding Service
Safeguarding is about preventing harm and abuse and making a timely and appropriate response if it occurs.
Harm or abuse of children and adults at risk can happen anywhere – even in church communities. We have a duty to Ensure a Safe Church for All. This means protecting children and "adults at risk".
The Church aims to minimise the risk of harm occurring. If harm or abuse does occur, with appropriate support and training, it will be recognised and reported. If it occurs we will work with the Police and Social Work services if appropriate.
We provide a service for Church Councils, congregations and over 70 CrossReach services.
What we aim to do
The Safeguarding Service aims to:
- Ensure best practice in preventing harm or abuse
- Ensure that the Church makes a timely and appropriate response when harm or abuse is witnessed, suspected, or reported
What we do
Safeguarding – protecting children and adults at risk from harm – is a permanent and necessary part of Church life. The needs of the child, adult at risk, or survivor come first. This is also called the paramountcy principle.
Our key safeguarding message is a simple one for current and historical abuse:
'If harm or abuse is suspected or witnessed, or is reported to you, you must immediately report it your Safeguarding Coordinator or line manager'.
And then, if appropriate, information is shared with Police Scotland or local authority social work departments. This ensures multiagency working.
The Safeguarding Service supports the whole Church in the UK and abroad. This includes over 70 CrossReach adults' and children's social care services.
Who we are
The Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service employs eight permanent staff. The team has expertise in:
- Responding to suspected or reported abuse
- Safeguarding policy and procedure enquires
- Safe recruitment (PVG Scheme and Disclosure and Barring checks)
- Child protection
- Adult protection
- Supporting survivors of historical abuse
- Work with convicted sex offenders
- The provision of tailored safeguarding training programmes
The Safeguarding Service contributes to the national Public Protection agenda and our work is overseen and scrutinised by the Church's Safeguarding Committee.
The Safeguarding Service is committed to upholding the values of Grace, Integrity, Respect, Professionalism, Collaboration and Innovation in all that we do. You can read our values statement in full here.
How to contact us
By email, the website or telephone. The service is available 9.00am–5pm, Monday to Friday. You can leave a message on the answering machine outwith these times.The Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service
The Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Telephone: 0131 240 2256
Reporting current or historical abuse
If you are a member of the Church, a volunteer or a paid member of staff, contact your Safeguarding Coordinator or line manager. Otherwise contact the Safeguarding Service directly.