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Quick Reference Guide

In an emergency respond immediately - call 999
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The four 'R's in good safeguarding

The four 'R's, which are universal in safeguarding shows us what to do if there are concerns about the safety and welfare of someone.

Recognise the concern.

Respond well, acting in an open and transparent way.

Record what has been seen, heard or said.

Refer to the appropriate people.

What to do if you have concerns about possible abuse
  1. Speak to your Church Safeguarding Officer, Circuit Safeguarding Officer or Minister.

  2. Keep a record of what happened, your concerns and your actions.

  3. Only tell those who need to know

Remember, safeguarding is everyone's responsibility.

What happens next
  1. The Safeguarding Team will record the concern

  2. They will contact the District Safeguarding Team if necessary for advice and support

What to do if someone makes a disclosure to you
  1. Listen. Ask the person to explain what has happened or what they are afraid about. Do not ask leading questions and do not ask for lots of detail; this, if necessary, will be for professionals to do later.

  2. Remain calm, reassure the person that they have done the right thing in telling you.

  3. Do not promise to keep it a secret or not to tell anyone. Tell them you need to tell someone about it so that you can help them and explain to them who you are going to talk to.  

  4. As soon as possible, either at the time or immediately after, write down everything you remember about what was disclosed. Do not add to what was said or what was implied, simply write down what happened. Date it and sign it.

  5. Pass the information to your church or circuit safeguarding officer who will make a referral if necessary.

  6. IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY RING 999 or contact either the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH /Devon):    0345 155 1071 or the Multi Agency Referral Unit(MARU/ Cornwall) 0300 123 1116.

Remember good practice
  • Treat everyone with respect, setting a good example.

  • Respect other people's personal space.

  • Ensure your actions cannot be misinterpreted.

  • Challenge unacceptable behaviour in a constructive way.

  • Do not put yourself or other people in vulnerable situations.

  • Do not have inappropriate physical contact with others.

  • Always share safeguarding concerns.

Adapted from Birmingham Methodist Circuit and A Quick Reference Guide for those working within the Methodist Church.

For a hard copy of the reference guide please contact 

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