At Duke Street, we take the matter of safeguarding extremely seriously. This means that all our trustees and anyone working with children, young people or vulnerable adults will have a valid DBS certificate and receive regular training. Please take time to look through our policies below.

  • Safeguarding Policy (Short version)

    Updated March 2021

    The church’s responsibility

    The church recognises its responsibility for the safeguarding of all children under the age of 18 as set out in the Children’s Acts 1989 & 2004, Safe from Harm (HM Govt 1994) and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Govt 2015). We also recognise our responsibility to safeguard vulnerable adults. We commit ourselves to constantly working at being a safer church, reviewing and improving the way we do things.

    As members of this Church we commit ourselves to the nurturing, protection and safeguarding of all children, young people and vulnerable adults associated with this church and will pray for this regularly.

    In pursuit of this we commit ourselves to the following policies and to developing procedures to ensure these policies are implemented. The church members will be reminded of this safeguarding policy annually at a church members’ church meeting.

    Our Safeguarding Team:

    • Isabel Baird: Designated person to take appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.

    • Simon Buss: Safeguarding trustee to oversee the policy and procedures on behalf of the trustees.

    • Matt Bailey: DBS Administrator



    If you are worried about a child, young person or adult who you feel is vulnerable and may be at risk, or you think someone is a risk to others, please contact our Safeguarding Team via email or telephone below:

    020 8940 1551

    If the matter is urgent, please call Richmond Social Services

    Monday to Friday - 8am to 5pm:  0208 5475008

    Out of hours:  0208 770 5000


    In an emergency relating to any safeguarding issue, the police should be contacted on 999.

    Safeguarding policies

    1. Safe response to concerns and reporting of abuse

    It is the duty of each church member and each member of the wider church family to prevent the physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children and young people, and the duty of all to respond to concerns about the well-being of children and young people and to report any child abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected. The Church will fully co-operate with any statutory investigation into any suspected abuse linked with the Church. We have policies to follow if safeguarding concerns are raised about church staff or senior volunteers (appendix 1) and on how to respond to concerns of domestic violence (appendix 2).

    2. Safe recruitment, support & supervision of workers

    The church will take proper care in recruiting workers with children and young people whether paid or voluntary. This will involve an application form, references, interview & DBS check. Workers will be provided with appropriate support, and training to promote safeguarding of children.

    3. Safe behaviour

    The church will adopt codes of behaviour that ensure that all children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.


    4. Safe environment

    The church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and young people and will adopt ways of working that promote their safety and well-being.


    5. Safe community

    The church is committed to the prevention of bullying. It also has a policy to ensure that behaviour of any who may pose a risk to children and young people in the church community is managed appropriately. We are aware that adults may be vulnerable to abuse and we have a policy on safeguarding adults.


    This policy document will be displayed in the church foyer and on the church website along with contact details of the designated person.

    Copies of this policy document and the procedures to implement it are available to any church member or parent or guardian associated with the church.

  • Duke Street Church Safeguarding Policy: Practical Guidelines

    Updated March 2021

    Practical guidelines to implement our safeguarding policy for children and young people and adults in our five policy areas:

    Policy Area 1: Safe response to concerns and reporting of abuse

    Responding to concern.

    The Church recognises that children and young people may be subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse as well as abuse arising from neglect. Signs of abuse include unexplained or unusual injuries, changes in mood or behaviour, inappropriate sexual awareness and signs of undernourishment or inadequate care. It must be stressed that this list is not exhaustive and that the presence of the symptoms mentioned is not, of itself, proof of abuse. Great care and sensitivity is therefore essential in dealing with suspected abuse.

    Responding to a child’s allegations:

    ●     Listen and keep on listening.

    ●     Don’t ask probing or closed questions – it is not for you to investigate

    ●     Never promise confidentiality

    ●     Accept what you hear without judging or showing your feelings

    ●     Tell the child what you are going to do

    ●     If there is immediate danger call the police on 999

    ●     Make careful notes as soon as possible and keep this record safe (date & time, circumstances, what child said, what you said, dates & times of incident / allegation)

    ●     Contact the Designated Person/Safeguarding Team

    Reporting concern. 

    The church Safeguarding Team will deal with any allegation or suspicion of neglect or abuse. This will involve:

    • Collating and clarifying the details of the allegation or suspicion

    • If appropriate, referring matters on to the relevant external agencies, which have a legal duty to investigate

    If a child is considered to be in danger of harm, a referral should be made to the local authority children’s social care (see phone numbers below). In an exceptional case where a child is considered to be at immediate risk, the police should be informed without delay by calling 999.

    In Richmond, the telephone number to use during working hours is:

    0208 8547 5008 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm)

    Outside of these working hours, please contact the emergency Duty Team: 0208 770 5000


    If referral is made to the local authority, social services will make an assessment of the situation and provide support to ensure the child’s safety.

    Follow up & support. Whatever the outcome and the subsequent decisions, all concerned will need support. The Child Protection Team will help the Designated Person ensure that this support is available, involving the Senior Minister as necessary.

    See Appendix 1 below for our policy guidelines on serious safeguarding situations involving church staff, senior volunteers and church trustees:

    See Appendix 2 below for our policy guidelines on working with domestic abuse


    Policy Area 2: Safe recruitment, support and supervision of workers.

    The church will take proper care in recruiting workers with children and young people whether paid or voluntary. Ministry leaders must be church members and the elders will be responsible for their appointment. They must not be new Christians.  This will involve:

    1. Application form: potential ministry leaders & team members must read the Duke St Church Safeguarding Policy and Guidelines and fill out ‘Application form for involvement in children’s work’. See Appendix 3

    2. Interview: the interviewer will ask about the candidate’s Christian belief and previous experience. The candidate will be asked if they have ever been asked to leave a post working with children or they have ever had children taken into care.

    3. References: two references, not the interviewer. If the candidate has been in the church less than 12 months, one reference will be from a previous church leader.

    4. DBS check. Since DBS checks can now be processed quickly all candidates should have a DBS check before starting volunteering. DBS checks should be renewed every 5 years.

    5. Training and support. Team leaders and members should be provided with a clear job description and clear line manager. They should receive the support and training they need for the job. They should attend the next possible safeguarding training event.

    6. Review after first 6 months. In the rare event that an unsuitable person has been appointed the ministry leader in consultation with the elder responsible will decide what to do.


    Appointment of temporary team helpers


    Ministry Leaders may appoint Temporary Team Helpers who must sign a Temporary Self-Disclosure form.  Before first helping they must be briefed on our Safeguarding policy and guidelines by the Ministry Leader.  He/she must never be left in sole charge of a group of children.

    If the “Temporary Team Helper” is to participate in more than 4 activities in a year, then they should be treated as a “Team Member” and the appointment procedure outlined above will apply.

    Appointment of young helpers


    Young helpers may be appointed by the Ministry Leader in discussion with the Youth Worker and with the knowledge and permission of their parents.

    The young person must be at least in secondary school year 10 (aged 15 or over).

    He/she may help out in no more than two Sundays in a month unless approved by parents and Youth Worker.

    He/she must never be left in sole charge of a group of children (although it is permissible for them to supervise a safe group activity providing there is another Team Member in the room at all times.)


    Policy Area 3: Safe Behaviour

    The church will adopt codes of behaviour that ensure that all children and young people are shown the respect that is due to them.

    Respecting Children and Young People

    • Treat all young people with dignity & respect

    • Respect personal privacy

    • Be sensitive to their needs & likes / dislikes

    • Avoid questionable activity e.g. rough or sexually provocative games & inappropriate language

    • Challenge unacceptable practice or behaviour

    • Avoid being alone with one child

    • Be very careful with physical contact

    • Don’t undermine parents.

    Young Children’s Toileting

    • All adults taking children to the toilet should have an up to date DBS check.

    • Adults should inform other helpers that they are taking children to the toilet

    • Whenever possible, adults should take children of the same gender

    • If a baby or toddler has a soiled nappy or toddler has wet or soiled clothes a parent should be called unless a parent has left nappies or spare clothes and a helper has agreed with a parent to change the child.

    • When changing a child, it is good practice to balance the privacy of the child (i.e. not changing in a completely open area) with the safety of the helper and child (i.e. perhaps changing in an area with the door ajar and other helpers knowing where you are).


    Use of Social Media

    Within our youth guidelines we have specific practical guidance on this area.


    Online Safe Behaviour

    With the Covid 19 situation, children and young people are currently engaged in online youth and children’s activities, and this may continue for some time.

    Please be aware that online safeguarding principles are the same as ordinary safeguarding – there are no differences.  However, these are the specific risks we need to be aware of:

    • The opportunity for grooming/sexual exploitation

     • Sharing of personal contact details of young people and youth workers

     • Inappropriate conversations between children/young people and workers

     • Potential allegations against workers

     • Use of apps with age restrictions (13 for Facebook, 16 for WhatsApp)


    Safe Practice in Work with Children under 13

    1. All adults interacting on line must be DBS enhanced checked

    2. Parents/carers must be present during the time of the online activity

    3. A brief record kept of the online activity

    4. Activity must always be a group activity


    Safe Practice in Work with Children over 13:

    1. Code of conduct – ensure there is an agreement in writing about the online meeting which is shared with the young person – draft below

    2. All adults interacting with young people must have an enhanced DBS check

    3. There must be no meetings with young people with just one adult

    4. A record must be kept of meetings, who is present and the timings of the meeting

    5. Permission of parents must be sought for recordings

    6. Group meetings are always preferred to one-to-one meetings

    7. Call organiser must have the ability to mute/block participants if there are inappropriate interactions

    8. Organisational profiles for the online meeting must be used and not personal accounts

    Online meetings with Children over 13 years

    • Clothing, venue and environment must be acceptable

    • Times of the meetings will be appropriate – there will be no meetings after 9pm

    • Video camera must be on at all times

    • No hidden conversations in chat

    • Outline the purpose of the meeting/s and how long they will last

    Safe Practice for Young People over 16+

    Option 1 for work on zoom:

    • Specific permission must be obtained from parent/guardian for this unique form of one to one

    • Youth must be present with their parent in the room (not a bedroom, but a living room or kitchen).

    • They can use earphones. This doesn’t mean that parents listen to the conversation, but are at least present.

    • Youth leader must have another adult present in the room during their conversation (not in bedroom). However earphones can be used too.

    • Explain this practice to youth, and that they must agree to it.

    • Keep a record of when the meeting was


    Option 2:

    • Other alternative is to have one to one recorded on zoom. Permission must be given from parent and young person. Recording saved on secure computer.



    Policy Area 4: Safe Environment

    The Church is committed to providing a safe environment for activities with children and young people.

    No environment is free of risk, but the Church’s policy is designed to develop safe practices in all its activities with children and young people. An important element in this is close collaboration between those working with children, the Church’s trustees and parents.  It is important to provide clear information to parents or carers about the Church, its activities and its safeguarding policy and to have their consent for all activities.


    Child Registration Form

    Information held about each child includes any special needs, illnesses or allergies as well as contact details to be used in the event of an emergency.


    Room Risk Assessment

    The Church’s Health and Safety Policy recognises and seeks to minimise risks to young people by paying attention to child-specific risks. Rooms used for youth & children’s activities have a risk assessment. Leaders & helpers should be aware of safety of the room and potential hazards


    Fire safety

    Leaders and helpers should be aware of fire escapes and fire drills.


    First aid

    Equipment is in the main kitchen, kitchenette off the Fellowship Hall (crèche) and in the upstairs kitchen opposite room 104.



    Particular care must be taken when children or young people are transported to outside events or outings. Drivers must have comprehensive insurance which covers use of the vehicle for voluntary work. Anyone who regularly transports children or young people in their vehicles must have Enhanced DBS Disclosures, as required for leaders and workers. Seat belts must always be worn and vehicles must never be overloaded. It will be the responsibility of  parents/carers to provide a safety compliant car seat for any children to whom lifts are provided.


    Overnight activities

    Particular care is taken to ensure that the code of behaviour is followed by all workers and leaders on overnight events. Parental consent is essential and parents/carers are provided with the address of the venue and a contact telephone number. Careful consideration should be given to ensuring a sufficient number of leaders and workers, appropriate sleeping arrangements and the safety of the accommodation used. Special safety rules may be necessary for some activities.


    Incident book

    Incident forms are kept in a folder in the Sunday School cupboard in LG4 store room. A form should be filled out immediately following the end of the activity so that it is a contemporaneous record of what happened. This should be discussed with the team leader and staff as appropriate. There should be appropriate follow up with the family.


    Policy Area 5: Safe Community

    The Church is committed to the prevention of bullying of all – adults, children and young people.


    Bullying may include the following:


    • name-calling, teasing or mocking;

    • physical intimidation, such as hitting or kicking;

    • unwanted sexual contact or sexually abusive comments;

    • persistently stealing or “borrowing” items;

    • inappropriate texting or e-mailing;

    • sending offensive or degrading images by phone or e-mail;

    • abusive use of social networking sites;

    • gossip and harmful rumours;

    • unwarranted exclusion from groups or activities;

    • practical jokes which cause physical or emotional harm.


    Bullies can be adults or children and signs of bullying may include withdrawal and unwillingness to participate in activities, as well as physical symptoms such as torn clothing or bruises.

    It can also be the case that bullies may be people in authority in the church or who have leadership roles.  They may use their role to ask and expect unrealistic things from people, and this is also not to be tolerated.


    The Church will not accept bullying in any form, and everyone should know that they can report any incidents of bullying. The experience of feeling bullied is enough to report.  Any allegations will be treated seriously and thoroughly investigated. Steps will be taken to stop the bullying immediately, and the parents of the bully and the bullied will be informed. Bullies will be helped to try to change their behaviour.

    All allegations and incidents of bullying will be recorded on an incident form, with details of actions taken.

  • Appendix 1: Policy guidelines on Serious Safeguarding Situations involving Church Staff, Senior Volunteers and Church Trustees.

    This policy covers someone senior in the Church – either within a paid role, a senior voluntary role, or is a Trustee of the Church, and applies when the circumstances relate to; 

    1. Someone who has behaved in a way that has, or may have harmed, an adult or a child

    2. Someone who has possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to a child or adult

    3. Someone who has behaved towards a child or adult, or presented themselves in a way, that indicates that they may pose a risk to children and adults

    The situation of abuse may relate to a current situation, or a “historical/non-current” situation will need to be considered under this policy.

    1. When information arises in relation to a Duke Street member of staff, senior volunteer and Church Trustee, this needs to be reported to the Safeguarding Officer, unless it involves that person.  If that is the case, the information needs to be reported to the Trustee responsible for safeguarding.  A decision will be made about whether the Senior Minister is informed at this point, and this will need to be evidenced in case recording if the Senior Minister is not to be informed.

    2. Information may reach the public domain about the concern, and it is important that there is a statement prepared which will give factual information only, and this also needs to be shared with the Church.

    3. Any information from a survivor who discloses information needs to be heard by an appropriate person in a compassionate, sensitive and caring way, and must not be treated any differently to information that is disclosed about anyone else.  The protection and support to the survivor must be at the forefront of all practice. 

    4. Ideally, someone should be allocated to support the person who has given the information, ensuring that they are updated with the process, and that the option to report the incident/information to the police is given to them.  The police and Local Authority may investigate further, and the Church will need to respect this process, and ensure that this legal process is not compromised in any way. 

    5. In all situations where there is concerning information relating to a Church staff member, senior volunteer, or Church Trustee, that person must be asked to stand down from their duties with immediate effect.  It may not be appropriate to share with them the nature of the information, but it is also important that they have someone to support them in the process, who is different to the person supporting the victim.

    6. The agreement for this person to stand aside from their duties must be put in writing, and should be shared with others as appropriate.  There should be a clear factual statement made which is truthful, and shared with those affected.

    7. The management of any serious situation will fall to the statutory authorities and they should lead, and their investigations and response should not be compromised by the Church in any way. 

    8. A small group of senior people in the Church, including the Safeguarding Officer, should meet together – this group can be known as “the core group”, and should meet to share accurate information, identify any information that needs to be passed on to other agencies/organisations and manage the case within the Church, reviewing as appropriate.

    9. If a case proceeds outside of the Church, the core group will need to ensure that they are updated, and should the case proceed to court, that there are appropriate support processes in place. 

    The situation when serious allegations are made against church staff is difficult for any Church to manage, but the focus needs to be support and compassion for any survivors, and ensuring that there is protection for any other potential victims, as well as ensuring that any statutory processes are respected. 

  • Appendix 4: Duke Street Church Policy guidelines on Safeguarding Adults

    Adults need safeguarding too – some adults need protection because their circumstances put them particularly at risk, whether temporarily or permanently. This may be due to physical or mental disability, illness, addiction, age, victims of domestic abuse/violence or a stressful life event. As a result, they may have difficulty in making or communicating decisions, taking care of themselves, or protecting themselves against harm or exploitation.

    It is also important to recognise that those who have survived abuse, as a child or/and adult, are vulnerable and need to be respected and protected within the Church.

    There are legal frameworks in relation to protecting adults who are vulnerable, such as the Care Act 2014, and any concerns in relation to an adult who needs safeguarding, either disclosed or identified from situations outside of Duke Street Church, or situations which arise within Duke Street Church, need to be reported to the Designated person, and should be referred to the Local Authority.  There is an Adult Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) who is able to support and discuss cases with those who refer adults where there may be concerns. 

    Adults who have experienced abuse need to be listened to, and be respected in relation to their situations.  It is important that they maintain control of any information and action, and are always made aware of what is happening to their information.  However, there may be unique situations where a decision is made to refer on information concerning a vulnerable adult even when that person does not want that to happen.  These decisions should be discussed fully and comprehensively with the Designated Person, and must consider the safety and protection of the vulnerable person as priority.  

    If an adult discloses abuse, it is important to;

    1. Listen and keep listening, ensuring that clear records are taken and that, if possible, the same person is involved to continue listening.

    2. As with children, never promise confidentiality, as this may not be possible

    3. If there is immediate danger, action needs to be taken, and possibly the police and social services involved.

    4. Update the Designated Person as soon as possible, and review the plan for the person who has disclosed on a regular basis.

    In relation to safeguarding adults, there is always a need to ensure that particular teams, such as the Care Team and Manna House team, have an awareness of safeguarding adults and are able to offer care and protection appropriate to the group of people they work with. 

  • Appendix 2: Policy guidelines on working with Domestic Abuse

    The Church is committed to helping those who are victims/survivors of domestic abuse. There is growing awareness in society of the extent of domestic abuse and recognition that domestic abuse is a crime, not a private matter to be kept in the family or community, and that it affects all of those who are within the family, including the children of the abuser and the abused.


    Definition of Domestic abuse

    The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

    Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

    • psychological

    • physical

    • sexual

    • financial

    • emotional


    Controlling behaviour

    Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.


    Coercive behaviour

    Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. This is not a legal definition.


    Domestic abuse and young people

    The definition of domestic abuse, now includes 16 and 17 year olds, and has raised awareness that young people in the 16 to 17 age group can also be victims of domestic violence and abuse.

    People experience domestic abuse regardless of their social group, class, ethnicity, age, disability or sexuality.



    Responding Well to Domestic Abuse and Violence

    If a victim discloses abuse, it is important to:

    1. Respect and listen and believe the violence and abuse.  Assure the victim it is not their fault and outline the issues around confidentiality.

    2. In relation to confidentiality, it is not possible to respect this when someone is being hurt and a criminal offence has been committed, someone is in danger, and when children are involved.

    3. If there are children involved, child protection procedures need to be followed.

    4. If the victim is in immediate danger, be aware that intervention may heighten risk issues, but it is important to explore how to ensure people are safe.  If children are involved, a referral needs to be made, and if it is possible to encourage the victim to make the referral themselves, perhaps supporting them through the process. 

    5. Outline relevant resources and information and ensure that these are known to the victim.

    6. Record the incident and keep it confidential.

    7. Share the incident with someone who can support you and can help to think through the issues and action.

    8. Offer other opportunities to meet and talk to the victim, and ensure that there is appropriate contact.

    9. Review the safety and risk issues in relation to the perpetrator if they and the victim are in the same Church.

    10. If the victim/perpetrator is a staff member, senior volunteer, Church Trustee, please talk to the Safeguarding Officer immediately.


    Child Protection Framework

    This process must be adhered to, and action taken, if there are children – anyone under the age of 18 – in the household and affected by domestic abuse and violence.  It is recognised that it can be difficult to make a referral, which can be with or without the permission of the victim.  Local Authority Social Work Departments are much more aware of the issues and sensitivities in relation to domestic abuse and violence, and will ensure that they operate with professionalism and an awareness of the situation.  Nevertheless, it is important that they are aware of the information concerning domestic abuse and violence, so that they can act on it appropriately.  It is not the role of the Church, nor anyone employed within the Church, to investigate the issues and incidents – only Social Services and the Police have these statutory powers. 

  • Appendix 5: Duke Street Church Policy guidelines on working with adults who pose a risk to children and adults

    The premise is that everyone should have an opportunity to attend Duke Street church even if they are known to pose a possible risk to children, and that as long as there is a plan in place, they are to be welcomed. As well as ensuring that children are not placed at risk, the person who poses the risk is assured that information concerning them and the risks they present are handled sensitively, confidentially and that the information is only shared with trustees on a “need to know” basis.


    1. If information concerning a church attendee who poses a risk (CAR) is presented to a church member, they must confidentially pass it to a trustee as soon as possible.

    2. The trustee will ensure that other trustees are informed in confidence, and that the information is passed through to the safeguarding team.

    3. The safeguarding team will review the information and ensure that there is one church member designated by the Church Council who acts as an on-going link (Responsible Individual (RI)) to the CAR.

    4. The RI will meet with the CAR, and will talk with them about the information available, request any other material (such as probation reports & Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements = MAPPA) and will compile a draft plan with the person who poses a risk. The RI and the person responsible for safeguarding in the Church should aim to meet with the Probation Officer if there is one involved, and the CAR if appropriate should be present.  This is in order to ensure there is exchange of relevant information and that all information of risk is shared.  The Probation Officer would be able to give an assessment of whether it is safe for the CAR to attend Church, what the conditions are for attendance, and this assessment must be adhered to.  It may be appropriate that the Probation Officer shares the risk assessment with the RI, which must be confidential, but will give clear and well evidenced information relating to risk

    5. This plan is likely to specify that the person cannot attend any specific activities with children/young people at the church. The plan may include a requirement that the CAR cannot attend any social activities, including tea/coffee after services, and can only attend the evening service, where there are likely to be no children/young people.  Additionally, CAR should not hold any management roles/roles of responsibility in the Church as this could allow them opportunities to meet with and engage with children or those who are vulnerable.

    6. This plan will be referred back to the safeguarding team who will review it, and ensure that the plan is robust. This will be the “church management plan”, which will be signed by the person who poses a risk, the safeguarding trustee and the RI in a 3 way meeting.

    7. This plan will be shared with the safeguarding team and trustees only.

    8. The plan will be reviewed after 6 months, and then move to an annual review.


    If there are any concerns about the CAR not adhering to the management plan, this will be brought back immediately to the safeguarding team. Whilst the plan is reviewed, the person who poses a risk will be asked not to attend Duke Street Church or its activities.

  • Appendix 3: Application form

    If you would like to join our team and are a regular member of the congregation at Duke Street please complete the linked form and return to Jo Samuel.

  • Our Safeguarding Team:

    • Isabel Baird: Designated Person to take appropriate action when abuse is disclosed, discovered or suspected.

    • Simon Buss: Safeguarding trustee to oversee the policy and procedures on behalf of the trustees.

    • Matt Bailey: DBS Administrator



    Telephone Number: 020 8940 1551

Duke Street Church

Duke Street, Richmond, TW9 1DH

P: +44 (0)20 8940 1551



©2023 by Green Hill Camp. Proudly created with