Available until: 20th Sep 2017
To develop, manage and implement the United Reformed Church’s safeguarding policies in accordance with legal requirements and to provide support to synods and local churches to enable them to conform to best practice in their work with children and adults at risk.
Policy & the national safeguarding programme is determined by Mission Council’s Safeguarding Advisory Group on behalf of the United Reformed Church’s General Assembly (the governing body of the United Reformed Church).
The Safeguarding Officer plans and delivers the policy and programmes under the direction of the Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship), the line manager for this post.
The URC uses the services of an independent agency to process its DBS/PVG forms and is part of the Christian Forum for Safeguarding; the Safeguarding Officer is the main point of contact with both agencies for ecumenical colleagues.
The United Reformed Church has 13 Synods. The Safeguarding Officer supports the Synod Moderators, Synod clerks and Synod Safeguarding Officers, offering training and acting as an advisor to the synods on matters of Safeguarding when necessary.
Policy Development and Implementation
1. Maintain up-to-date knowledge of legislation, policy and recognised best practice in England, Scotland and Wales regarding the protection of children and adults at risk.
2. Update safeguarding policies and procedures to reflect current legislation and best practice in agreement with the Safeguarding Advisory Group.
3. Participate in the ongoing development of safeguarding policy and best practice in partnership and collaboration with Churches and agencies in England, Scotland and Wales as appropriate.
4. Ensure the development and dissemination of Safeguarding policies and procedures that can inform and support every level of URC life and work towards their responsible implementation.
Past Case Review
1. Ongoing support of the cases going through the PCR process.
2. Liaise with relevant parties on active cases, making external referrals to statutory agencies where required.
3. Implement changes from any outcomes identified by the PCR Learning and responding to future cases identified.
Advice and Guidance
1. Serve as the Assembly point of contact for URC synods and (occasionally) local churches, when abuse is reported or suspected: support those involved in taking appropriate action and liaise with the URC Press Officer on issues of potential reputational risk.
2. Offer guidance as necessary in safeguarding crises to enable effective support and appropriate situation management to be undertaken.
3. Advise on matters of Safeguarding policy and practice.
4. Provide advice and guidance on DBS eligibility to Synods and local churches.
1. Organise and deliver training to key URC Synod personnel: Safeguarding Officers, Synod Moderators, Children’s and Youth Development Officers and other staff as appropriate.
2. In conjunction with Education and Learning, ensure that appropriate safeguarding training is being undertaken by ordinands, advise on further in service training of ministers, and advocate the provision of training within the synods to ensure compliance with legal requirements.
3. Ensure that colleagues at URC Church House and other appropriate staff are kept abreast of safeguarding policy developments and requirements.
Decisions and Administration
1. In consultation with senior colleagues as appropriate, assess and advise whether volunteers and locally employed workers with blemished disclosures should be authorised for work with
3 children and/or adults at risk within the URC. Advise the URC Secretary for Ministries as requested on blemished disclosures of ministers, accredited lay preachers and URC centrally employed staff.
2. In accordance with URC Safeguarding policy, receive and hold behaviour agreements between local URC churches and known sex offenders, checking annually with Synod SO to ensure that agreements are current, managed and adhered to by all parties to the agreement.
3. Keep appropriate case records, mindful of retention schedules and Data Protection law. Ensure the Safeguarding office administration processes are functioning satisfactorily and fulfilling the needs of the URC.
4. Point of contact for liaison with DDC regarding DBS applications and contract negotiations and reviews.
5. Ensure risk matrix is kept up to date, providing regular reviews in line with the safeguarding strategic plan.
1. Provide annual department review to finance.
2. Plan annual budgets through liaison with line manager and Chief Finance Officer
Updated April 2017
Working with Committees and Volunteers
This section lists the type and level of interaction that this role has with committees and other groups. It will vary from time to time and as directed by the line manager.
1. Safeguarding Advisory Group - Three meetings per year, acts as Secretary.
2. Synod Safeguarding Officers - Three meetings per year.
3. Christian Forum for Safeguarding - Attend and participate on behalf of the URC. Four meetings per year.
4. Children’s & Youth Work Committee - Attend occasionally as requested.
5. Children’s and Youth Development Officers (CYDOs) - Provide appropriate training, training resources and advice. Three meetings per year, attend as requested.
6. Ministries Office - Cooperate in their complementary role in applying for DBS/PVG checks for ministers, accredited lay preachers and central staff members.
7. Education and Learning Office - Liaise to ensure that safeguarding training is integrated appropriately in EM1, EM2, and EM3.
8. Mission Council - meets twice per year, provide report and attend where required.
9. General Assembly – meets every two years, provide report and attend where required.
This section refers to the way in which the job is done rather than the duties/responsibilities.
1. Promote a culture of open and effective communication to enable constructive relationships with colleagues and internal and external customers.
2. Actively foster an environment which nurtures equality and cherishes diversity.
3. Promote, monitor and maintain best practice in health, safety and security.
4. Work collaboratively to develop a customer service culture which fosters continuous improvement
5. Take responsibility for own personal development and support the development of others to enhance their skills and knowledge.
6. Support the United Reformed Church in its desire to be a community where those belonging to vulnerable groups feel and are safe.
If you are interested in working for us and can meet all the above requirements, please contact us/see our website for an application form (noting that we do not accept CVs):
Human Resources Office, the United Reformed Church, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT
Closing date for applications: 12 noon Monday 25 September 2017 - Interview date: Monday 16 October 2017
This job description reflects the overall scope and responsibilities of the role. However, it is not an exhaustive list and the job holder is expected to undertake any other reasonable duties that might be requested. All jobs change or evolve over time in order to meet organizational or departmental needs and this job description will therefore be subject to periodic review and change if required
Annually | Permanent
Annually | Contract
Annually | Permanent