In general, Church activities should not involve one-to-one contact, and should usually be supervised by at least two adults. However, there may be circumstances where this may occur:
1.In a reactive situation, for example, when a child requests a one-to-one meeting without warning, or where a child has had to be removed from a group as part of a code of behaviour (See 1.6 – Breaches of Code of Behaviour);
2.As part of a planned and structured piece of work (for example, one-to-one music tuition).
The points below provide some guidance in relation to these situations.
- If you need to talk to a child alone, try to do so in an open environment, in view of others.
- If this is not possible, try to meet in rooms with visual access, or with the door open, or in a room/area where other people are nearby. You should advise another adult that such a meeting is taking place and the reason for it. A record should be kept of these meetings – including names, dates, times, location, reason for the meeting and outcome – and stored appropriately and securely (See Appendix 3).
- Avoid meetings with individual children where they are on their own in a building.
- One-to-one meetings should take place at an appropriate time, e.g. not late at night, and in an appropriate venue.
Planned and structured pieces of work
- The particular activity should have a clear rationale and aims for involving one-to-one work.
- Parents/guardians must be fully informed as to the nature and purpose of this work, and must give written consent (S4.11).
- A clear code of behaviour must be agreed and adhered to by both parties. This should include limits of confidentiality and safeguarding procedures (See 1.4 Code of behaviour for Church personnel)