Managing and reducing risk
The Church of Scotland recommends that at least two adults, recruited and PVG checked through the Church, are present when children and/or protected adults are involved in church groups, activities, events etc in person or online.
For a worker who is working on their own, procedures should be put in place to enable them to access support from others. A risk assessment of a group will identify risks. For example, working alone in a service user's home as a pastoral care worker/visitor brings risks that should be identified by carrying out a risk assessment.
One way of reducing risk to both children and adults is to endeavour to make sure that there are sufficient adults working with children. The ratios below have been taken from the Care Inspectorate's guidance. Church groups providing activities for children are not required to be registered with the Care Inspectorate.
|Under 2 years
|2 to under 3 years
|3 to under 8 years
|Over 8 years
*The adult to child ratio is 1:10 if children aged 3 years and over attend a church group for fewer than four hours a day
When thinking about adult-to-child ratios, Kirk Sessions may wish to consider the following questions:
- In the event of a child becoming ill or having an accident, do we have enough workers to meet the needs of the child and, at the same time, ensure the welfare of the remaining children?
- Do we have sufficient workers to meet the behavioural and emotional needs of all the children in the group? For example: what would we do if a child with serious behavioural difficulties became a member of the group? How would we ensure the welfare and safety of the child, children and workers?
Many activities carry with them an element of risk, and it is not possible to reduce all risk when working with children, young people and/or adults at risk. A Kirk Session cannot guarantee that a child, young person or adult at risk will be 100% safe when participating in church activities.
However, parents/carers will expect the Church to undertake a risk assessment when planning and delivering activities.
Click on the headings below for more information.
How to safeguard/risk assess an activity or outing
- Identify the risks
- Identify what safeguards need to be in place to address this risk
- Record who is responsible for ensuring that safeguards are in place
- Completion date
- Sign, date, review date and securely store
The Safeguarding Service Risk Assessment Tool
A risk assessment should be carried out as part of good safeguarding practice before activities with children, young people or adults at risk are carried out in the Church of Scotland. The SG20 Safeguarding Risk Assessment Guidance is available for download.
The steps outlined on the risk assessment tool can be used to risk assess an activity or outing.
The risk assessment should be completed by the most appropriate person. A written record is recommended. This should be signed, dated, a date added for a review to take place, and securely stored.
Please note that the table of identified risks and what safeguards need to be in place are not all-encompassing; therefore, please add any that are applicable to your activity or outing.
Church of Scotland Insurance Services Ltd arranges Church property and liabilities insurance in its capacity of Insurance Intermediary. It also arranges other classes of business, including household insurance for members and adherents of the Church of Scotland and insurances for charities. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Church of Scotland Insurance Services Limited
121 George Street
Edinburgh EH2 4YN
Tel: 0131 220 4119
Fax: 0131 220 3113