Section D. Safeguarding

Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

A message from Bishop John on safeguarding: 

Bishop John"The Diocese of Worcester is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults to worship and grow in Christ safely. I take that commitment very seriously and believe that making our churches safe for all is everyone’s responsibility. To enable that, our diocesan safeguarding team provides professional advice and training, as well as supporting those who may have suffered abuse. I commend to you the important policies and procedures detailed here. It is my prayer that they will help to ensure that all can flourish as God’s Kingdom People."

The Church of England is committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of everyone within our church community.

In all these principles we will follow legislation, guidance and recognised good practice.

These pages relate to the work carried out by the Safeguarding team.

The Diocese is currently undergoing a review of it's safeguarding past cases. Find out more.

In September 2016, the Diocese of Worcester's safeguarding processes were independently audited by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Read the full report.

Bishop John said: “I am most grateful to the Social Care Institute for Excellence for their thorough audit of safeguarding arrangements in the Diocese of Worcester. Safeguarding children and adults is of the utmost importance and it is reassuring that the auditors found no major gaps in our provision. We welcome their suggestions of areas for further development; these are mostly around the further improvement of actions or structures already in place in the Diocese. We are implementing our action plan in response to these considerations so as to be as safe a church as possible for all God’s people.”

Read the full safeguarding audit report from SCIE.

Independent Chair of Safeguarding

The Diocesan Safeguarding Group has the responsibility of the governance of safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the Church of England in the Diocese of Worcester. The key purpose of the Group is to ensure that proper safeguarding procedures are in place, that all Church bodies and relevant people are aware of them and of their responsibilities, that they are being effectively implemented and that appropriate training is provided. The Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Group is Geoff Taylor-Smith.

Geoff will work closely with our Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers as well as other external bodies to ensure safeguarding in the diocese is as effective as possible and subject to robust and independent scrutiny.

Geoff is the Head of Children and Families for the YMCA in Worcestershire with responsibility for the strategic management and delivery of children and family services for the charity. In this role he is the designated safeguarding lead. Previously, Geoff held senior posts in several local authorities and most recently was an Assistant Director with Worcestershire County Council’s Children’s Services where he played a key role in the development and management of services for children and families. He was formerly a teacher after graduating from university and is a Foundation Director of St Nicholas Owen Multi-Academy Company, which comprises six Catholic schools.

Using the navigation menu on the left or the links below, you can find information about safeguarding and recruitment policy, training, advice and forms.

Who can I contact for advice?

The following people are available to deal with enquiries:

  1. Any issues concerning safeguarding children - Hilary Higton, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07495060869 OR Delia Stokes Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, 07376374380.
  2. To obtain blank forms and for help completing the DBS forms contact the DBS Administrator 01905 732811 (dbsadmin@cofe-worcester.org.uk)
  3. For training dates click here 
  4. Training or questions about children's work or training for children's groups - Emma Pettifer, Diocesan Children's Officer.
  5. Training or questions about youth work or training for youth groups - Simon Hill, Diocesan Youth Officer.

Worcestershire , Dudley and Sandwell Social Care Numbers

Worcester Adult and Children’s Social Care – Childrens 01905 822666 Adults 01905 768053  

(out of hours 01905 768020) 

Dudley Adult and Children’s Social Care -0300 555 0055 (out of hours 0300 555 8574)

Sandwell Adult Social Care - Adult 0121 569 2266 (out of hours 0121 569 2355)

Sandwell Children’s Social Care – 0121 569 3100

West Mercia Police (Worcestershire) - 101

West Midlands Police (remainder of the Diocese) - 101