Britain Yearly Meeting recognises that there is that of God in everyone. All adults and children deserve respect, value and appropriate care. Our care extends both to those who are potentially vulnerable as victims of abuse, and those who are perpetrators.
Quakers are committed to:
- the care, respect and nurture of all vulnerable groups encountered within Quaker activities
- the safeguarding and protection of children and other vulnerable people
- the promotion of a culture of good practice in relation to activities promoted by Quaker meetings and groups
- maintaining and developing procedures and good practice guidelines
Model safeguarding documents for Area Meeting Safeguarding Coordinators
Reviewed and amended in Nov 2021.
- Introduction to the reviewed documents (PDF)
- Model Safeguarding Policy for area meetings (Word)
- Safeguarding Procedures and Toolkit for area meetings (Word)
- Annual Safeguarding Report to BYM 2022 (Word)
- I have a concern about abuse
- I want information on DBS/PVG (criminal records) checks
- I am a safeguarding co-ordinator
- I work with children and young people in a Quaker setting
- I am a trustee of an area meeting
- I have responsibility for oversight
How do Quakers organise safeguarding?
In local and area Quaker meetings, the area meeting trustees are responsible for safeguarding. Each area meeting has its own safeguarding policy and a safeguarding co-ordinator. This person is the main point of contact for concerns about safeguarding. They also encourage good practice at local and area meetings.
Britain Yearly Meeting's safeguarding policy (PDF) covers its centrally-managed work, including its events.
Britain Yearly Meeting's Online safeguarding policy (PDF) covers emails, video meetings and online events.
Quakers are supported by Thirtyone:eight the specialist safeguarding organisation (previously known as CCPAS).
Britain Yearly Meeting's Safeguarding Officer can give support on the Quaker context for safeguarding, support with being a safeguarding coordinator, sample documents, and pastoral support for role-holders.
There are also some separate Quaker organisations. They run their own events and have their own safeguarding arrangements.
Support for individuals
Support for individuals is on the page I have a concern about abuse, with links to Quaker and non-Quaker organisations who can help.
Quaker response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
In September 2021, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its report on child protection in religious organisations and settings (offsite link).
Quakers in Britain welcome the work of IICSA, which is helping protect children from sexual abuse now and in the future.
Quakers believe that each person is unique, precious, and a child of God. Quaker communities must be safe for everyone. We seek to promote the safeguarding and protection of children and other vulnerable people in all Quaker activities.
Quakers in Britain contributed to IICSA's investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings. In response to the investigation report, we have focused on three aspects of safeguarding: policies, training and incident reporting.
Policies and training
Following publication of the IICSA report, we revised the safeguarding guidance provided to our Area Meetings. We re-drafted the model Safeguarding Policy and the detailed guidance designed to help each Area Meeting create effective safeguarding procedures. These model documents are available here. We added specific advice about levels and frequency of training required for specific roles. We encourage all Area Meetings to source safeguarding training from established professional providers such as NSPCC and Thirtyone:eight.
In 2021 prior to the IICSA report Britain Yearly Meeting adopted a new Safeguarding Policy and an additional Online Safeguarding Policy for its staff and centrally managed volunteers. These policies cover BYM's staff and operations and are reviewed regularly. Every member of staff is required to complete safeguarding awareness training.
In late 2020 we adopted a secure central safeguarding database so that we can maintain up-to-date records of safeguarding incidents and concerns. Area Meetings as well as BYM staff are expected to report any concerns to our national Safeguarding Officer. The national database enables us to monitor and review cases, and to support local Quaker communities in dealing with any concerns.