About the Safeguarding Service

Safeguarding is about preventing harm and abuse. And making a timely and appropriate response if it occurs.

Harm or abuse of children and adults at risk can happen anywhere – even in church communities. We have a duty to Ensure a Safe Church for All. This means protecting children and 'adults at risk'.

The Church aims to minimise the risk of harm occurring. If harm or abuse does occur, with appropriate support and training, it will be recognised and reported. If it occurs we will work with the Police and Social Work services if appropriate.

We provide a service for Church Councils, congregations and 70 CrossReach services.

What we aim to do and how

The Safeguarding Service aims to:

  • Ensure best practice in preventing harm or abuse
  • Ensure that the Church makes a timely and appropriate response when harm or abuse is witnessed, suspected or reported

What we do

Safeguarding, protecting children and adults at risk from harm, is a permanent and necessary part of Church life. The needs of the child, adult at risk or survivor come first. This is also called the paramountcy principle.

Our key safeguarding message is a simple one for current and historical abuse:

'If harm or abuse is suspected or witnessed, or is reported to you, you must immediately report it your Safeguarding Coordinator or line manager'.

And then, if appropriate, information is shared with Police Scotland or local authority social work departments. This ensures multiagency working.

The Safeguarding Service supports the whole Church in the UK and abroad. This includes the Church's 70 CrossReach adults' and children's social care services.

Who we are

The Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service employs 10 permanent staff. The team has expertise in:

  • Responding to suspected or reported abuse
  • Safeguarding policy and procedure enquires
  • Safe recruitment (PVG Scheme and Disclosure and Barring checks)
  • Child protection
  • Adult protection
  • Supporting survivors of historical abuse
  • Work with convicted sex offenders
  • The provision of tailored safeguarding training programmes

Collectively we have 61 years work experience in the police and 52 years in local authority social work practice. We contribute to the national Public Protection agenda. Our work is overseen and scrutinised by the Church's Safeguarding Committee.

How to contact us

By email, the website or telephone. The service is available 9.00am–4.45pm, Monday to Friday. You can leave a message on the answering machine outwith these times.

The Church of Scotland Safeguarding Service
The Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4YN

Telephone: 0131 240 2256
Email:safeguarding@churchofscotland.org.uk

Reporting current or historical abuse

If you are a member of the Church, a volunteer or a paid member of staff, contact your Safeguarding Coordinator or line manager. Otherwise contact the Safeguarding Service directly.