Children & Youth Policy Statement
We the children of St Mary's Parish Church ask:
- With the assistance of our parents and family to be supported in making choices for and to be involved in the planning of how we worship
- With the assistance of our parents and family to have our voices listened to and considered
- To be recognized as a full part of the Community of the Church
- Not to be shut out or separated from any part of the life of the Church To feel safe and welcome around the Church
- To have the significance of our organizations and activities recognized
We the congregation of the St Mary's Parish Church commit ourselves:
- To find ways of ensuring that children are actively involved in worship both in planning and participation
- To bring alive the significance of the sacraments of baptism and holy communion to all children of the Church
- To create opportunities to hear and act upon the voices of the children in our parish
- To enable children to develop a sense of belonging and community in their Church
- To recognize that children of all ages can possess a strong faith and have ministries to offer the Church
- To be appropriately supportive to these groups which children feel are central to their lives
- To respect and care for all the children of our communities
The Protection of Children & Young People in the Church
At St Mary's Parish Church we are concerned for the welfare and wellbeing of all who take part in our worship, groups and organizations, especially children. In light of this parents should be aware that we abide fully by the Church of Scotland policy on the Protection of Children & Young People.
This means that all leaders of children's groups and organizations have:
- Received appropriate training
- Agreed to abide by the Church of Scotland Policy on the Protection of Children & Young People
- Have provided suitable references
- New leaders and volunteers undergo police back ground checks
- For more information please contact the Child Protection Coordinator, Mr. Charles Hay, tel. 01417751166
Church of Scotland policy on the Protection of Children & Young People.
"The Church of Scotland has a deep concern for the wholeness and wellbeing of each individual. It seeks to safeguard the welfare of all people, regardless of age, who come into contact with the Church and its organizations. It is the responsibility of each individual within the fellowship of the church to prevent the physical, sexual or emotional abuse of children and young people."
Treat all children
and young people with respect.
Provide an example of
good conduct you wish others to follow.
Ensure that, wherever
possible, there is more than one adult present during your organization's
activities with children or young people, or at least that you are within sight
or hearing of others.
Respect a young
person's right to personal privacy.
people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes
or behavior they do not like.
Remember that someone
else might misinterpret your actions, no matter how well intentioned.
Be aware that even
caring physical contact with a child or young person may be misinterpreted.
special caution is required in moments when you are discussing sensitive issues
with children or young people.
Operate within the
Church’s Code of Good Practice and the procedures of the organization or club.
YOU MUST NOT
physical or verbal contact with children or young people.
Allow yourself to be
drawn into inappropriate attention-seeking behavior.
suggestive/derogatory remarks or gestures in front of children or young people.
Jump to conclusions
about others without checking facts.
trivialize child abuse issues.
Show favoritism to
Rely on your good
name or that of the Church to protect you.
Believe ‘it could
never happen to me.’
Take a chance when
common sense, policy and practice suggest another more prudent approach.
Ignore the Child
Protection Guidelines and Procedures operating within the organization.
WHAT TO DO
If a child or young person discloses to you abuse by someone else:
Allow him or her to
speak without interruption, accepting what is said, but do nor investigate.
Alleviate feelings of
guilt and isolation, while passing no judgment.
Let them know you are
glad they have shared this information with you.
Advise the child or
young person that you must pass on the information.
If you suspect a child or young person is being abused,
emotionally, physically or sexually:
Report the matter to
the head of your group, the minister or the Child Protection Co-coordinator.
If you receive an allegation about any adult or about yourself:
Immediately tell the
head of the group, the Minister and/or the Child Protection Co-coordinator.
Try to ensure that no
one is placed in a position which could cause further compromise.
In all cases:
Record the facts and
report these to the Minister and/or Child Protection Co-coordinator for the
- You must refer; you
must not investigate.
For more information please see the Church of Scotland website.