Diocese of Manchester

Safeguarding resources for use during pandemic

This page has information and resources to support your work in keeping children and vulnerable adults safe during the coronavirus emergency.

Please visit the Document Library for new resources to support work with children and young people during the pandemic. This includes advice on social media and videoconferencing, support networks and online youth work.

The Church of England also has Mental Health reflections for coping with anxiety and loneliness (March 2020) and new information in relation to Domestic Abuse during Covid-19 (April 2020).

DBS checks 

We are currently living in some very extraordinary and difficult times; however, we recognise the importance, now more than ever, to make sure that we continue to follow Safer Recruitment and continue processing DBS checks.

The Church of England and Thirtyone:eight websites are regularly updating their pages so please check them when you can.

The Disclosure helpline remains open to answer any questions you may have. However, with staff working remotely, it may take a little longer than usual to answer your call. The telephone number is 0303 003 1111 option 1.

Checking of ID documents

As the public is being advised to work from home where possible, this is causing difficulties in receiving the physical documents and is delaying applications and, in some cases, preventing applications from being submitted.

To ensure the necessary checks can still be carried out, the DBS standard and enhanced ID checking guidance has been changed for a temporary period from 19 March 2020.

The change has enabled:

  • ID documents to be viewed over video link

OR

  • scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted

The applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.

If it is still not possible for someone to renew their DBS whilst self-isolating or shielding, even in the light of the new arrangements provided by the DBS, then unfortunately the PTO will need to lapse until the DBS can be renewed. Clear records of any clergy to whom this applies should be kept. Once the individual is no longer self-isolating, the DBS may be applied for and the PTO renewed, subject to all other criteria being met.


Pastoral Support

Many organisations are looking at practical ways to support those within their community, in particular, by obtaining shopping on their behalf. If your workers are offering to get shopping for those who need help because of age, illness or disability and, therefore, taking money from them, then the role will be eligible for an Enhanced check with a check of the barred lists (i.e. Regulated Activity).

In the same way, if your organisation was supporting an adult before self-isolation because of their vulnerability (e.g. age, illness, disability, etc.) then this would qualify them for a DBS if that same level of support continues albeit in a slightly different format.

If a person is receiving support because of self-isolation (or forced if the government chooses to restrict movement) then they are not, as defined by the DBS, an adult at risk or an adult with care and support needs (Care Act 2014) and eligibility would therefore be unlikely.

Do call the Disclosure Helpline if you need more specific advice (0303 003 1111 option 1).

Safeguarding and DBS Factsheet: FAQs


Zoom Meetings

You may be aware in the news of Zoom meetings being hijacked by an anonymous person(s) and then being able to share inappropriate content to the audience. We have reviewed the recommended changes to be made to our Zoom environment which we’ve applied with immediate effect. These are listed and highlighted in bold below. There are also some guidelines on what best practices to follow.

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests. This has been switched on now and should come into effect immediately.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join. The latest app is being installed and reported by Zoom.
  • Lastly, ensure that your organisation’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

SECURE ONLINE ACTS OF WORSHIP AND CHURCH MEETINGS

Information Policy Guidance

It is important to consider the security of your parish’s acts of worship and church meetings when delivering them online. Just as you would ensure your church buildings and halls are safe and secure for the purposes for which they are being used, the same is true online; that said we should also ensure that they are places of welcome to newcomers. Generally speaking, online acts of worship and church meetings will be performed via either a streaming service (e.g. Facebook Live, YouTube) or a video conferencing service (e.g. Zoom, GoToMeeting).

Download the full guidance.


Safeguarding training during the pandemic

All face-to-face training has been cancelled as a result of the pandemic. C1 Safeguarding Training is now available online. This should be completed after completing C0 online training. C1 training is for all clergy and those with safeguarding responsibilities with children and young people within our church communities and can be accessed via the following link: https://safeguardingtraining.cofeportal.org/

When you register for online learning modules you will be required to use your own email address. If you only have access to a shared email address please contact the help desk for assistance.

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The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400