LIFESTREAM EUROPE CHILD PROTECTION POLICY
(to be read and understood by all team applicants)
LifeStream Europe Policy: Safeguarding the Welfare of Children and Young People
Lifestream Europe recognises the importance of ministry to children and young people, and it’s responsibility to protect and safeguard the welfare of Children and young people entrusted to the festival’s care. All Team members must accept that the welfare of the child is paramount. The highest standards towards children and young people will be maintained in all pastoral, counselling, worship, prayer and recreational circumstances. All Team members may have contact with children and young people; and so all will be asked whether they have been subject to criminal or civil proceedings, and whether they have caused harm to children.
Clear recruitment procedures, training and supervision are essential for achieving a high-quality service to children and young people participating in LSE activities. It is the duty of all people working with children and young people to prevent abuse and unsafe situations from occurring. All workers are also required to report any abuse disclosed, discovered or suspected, in line with these procedures. LS Europe will collaborate fully with the statutory and voluntary authorities concerned with investigating abuse. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of the Police and Social Services to investigate the truth of any allegation of abuse.
Good Practice Guidelines
It is essential that any child abuse issues are not trivialised or exaggerated, and that the proper steps are followed. Please be aware that your words and actions may be open to misinterpretation, and therefore you should take great care to avoid situations in which they could be misunderstood.
- You should never pray with, or meet, a child or young person outside the organised activity.
- All prayer ministry with children or young people should take place under authorised leadership supervision and not after 10.30pm.
- You will be responsible for ensuring that abusive peer activities (such as bullying, etc.) do not occur.
- All steps must be taken to ensure that the site is safe for children, young people and young workers.
- Any concerns that you may have should be reported to your Team Leader.
Dealing with an allegation
For all workers, the most important consideration is to safeguard and promote the welfare of the children and young people with whom they come into contact. Any allegations of abuse must be taken seriously.
LS Europe has a duty to report all allegations of abuse to the relevant statutory and voluntary authorities. Allegations may come directly from a child or young person, or from a fellow team-worker, or from an adult. Allegations may refer to a family member, or to someone outside the family such as a teacher, youth leader, or pastor etc. No groups of people are exempt from being abusers or from being abused.
Abuse falls into four broad categories, which can be defined as follows:
Physical Injury. Any injury to a child or young person caused by a parent or family member, or another person who is responsible for their care, or in loco parentis.
Neglect. A failure to meet a child or young person’s basic needs for food, warmth, protection and care.
Emotional Abuse. The persistent, severe emotional ill-treatment or rejection that severely affects the emotional and/or behavioural development of a child or young person.
Sexual Abuse. The use of a child or young person to meet an adult’s sexual desires.
If a child or young person begins to tell you about abuse it is vital that you do the following:
- Listen carefully but do not ask leading questions or place your own interpretation upon what they have said.
- Reassure the child or young person that they have done the right thing in telling you. Tell them what you intend to do next.
- Never ‘promise not to tell anyone’ or say ‘you will keep it a secret’.
- Report the child or young person’s disclosure to your Team Leader immediately.
- As soon as possible, write down what you were told by the child or young person, using their own words to describe the abuse, and pass this report to your Team Leader.
- New Wine Europe has procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse:
Please report all allegations of abuse to your Team Leader (or Section Leader). They will inform the LS Europe Child Protection Co-ordinator, who will take up the matter with the relevant statutory and voluntary authorities which are responsible for investigating allegations of abuse. The first person to be told of the abuse may be asked to give a statement to the Police. It is important to remember that what has been disclosed is confidential and should only be shared with others on a ‘need-to-know’ basis. After telling of abuse, a child or young person can be distressed and concerned about what will happen next. They should be reassured that they have done the right thing, and someone should stay with them within the supervised team situation, and pray with them if required. It is important to remember that the best interests of the child or young person – and the need for the abuse to stop – come before the interests of LS Europe or the abuser.
We also recommend that, if abuse is disclosed to you, you seek the comfort and support of prayer ministry for yourself.