Child means any person aged under 18 years:
Vulnerable Adult means any person aged over 18 years who is, or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is, or may be unable to take care of or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 checks for working with Vulnerable Adults are confined solely to those requiring personal care and there is no requirement relating to ringing activities.
CCCBR has recently produced its General Statement on Safeguarding Children in Towers which may be found on its website at http://www.cccbr.org.uk on the Tower Stewardship heading under the Committees Tab. All ringers are urged to familiarise themselves with it. The relevant points for YACR events are given below.
YACR activities do not usually fall within Regulated Activities as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and amended in 2009 and further amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
YACR Ringing Activities legally REQUIRING DBS check where carried out on a regular basis OR involving overnight stay (e.g. weekend courses):-
- The YACR member acting as Lead Tutor must hold a current DBS Certificate;
- Checking is the responsibility of the YACR Safeguarding Officer.
YACR Ringing Activities NOT requiring DBS checks are:-
- Teaching children under supervision of a DBS checked leader
- Helping children by ringing another bell or standing behind
- General ringing at practices, meetings or on outings
- Visitors to towers
- One-off teaching or deputising
- Transporting juniors as a one-off domestic arrangement.
Sunday Service ringing and local tower practices are always the responsibility of the parish and so YACR offers the following advice:-
All tower captains should be DBS checked if there are children in the band;
All parish based training should always be carried out by at least two adults, preferably comprising both sexes.
Particular attention needs to be paid to "Guidelines for maintaining safer environment for children in the belfry" which are set out on p2 of the CCCBR General Statement. These include written parental consent, and the maintaining of Attendance Registers when children are present.
DBS Certificates are obtained free of charge by application to the Parish Safeguarding Officer. In exceptional circumstances, e.g. ringers unattached to a parish, application may be made to the YACR Safeguarding Officer who will seek processing through the relevant diocese. A charge will usually be involved.
Account needs to be taken of the implementation in May 2017 of "Promoting a Safer Church: The Church of England's Safeguarding Policy for children, young people and adults." This involves its adoption in respect of all volunteers, including ringers, and requirements for registration are being put in place at parish level across all dioceses. Registration does not require DBS outside the categories set out above, but may involve the signed acceptance of a Code of Conduct. Ringers may also be required to undertake Safeguarding Training, either online or by course attendance, and comply with requirements to sign in and out at their own and other towers. It's too early yet to be definitive, but more information will be provided as matters develop. At the moment (Sep 2017) there appears to be little uniformity across dioceses.