It is important that we are aware of potential risks with the people we are supporting. However, there is no expectation for you to become an expert risk assessor, just to be risk aware!
Consider these simple guiding principles:
Risk is dynamic, constantly changing.
For example, someone may have expressed suicidal thoughts and feelings many times before, and not gone on to harm themselves, but that doesn’t mean it will be the same this time. Situations, circumstances and behaviour can change very quickly.
Risk can be minimised but not eliminated.
Where there are people, there is risk! We can never become complacent about the harm that people may inflict or experience, even within the church environment.
Identifying risk carries a duty to do something about it.
We aren’t asking you to manage and contain risk – simply escalate it. If you become aware that someone is at risk your duty is to report it, even if you think others may have already done so.
If you believe someone is at risk, or poses a risk you must inform the church office immediately.
Out of office hours you will hear a message giving you the emergency phone number, ring the emergency phone and leave a message explaining you are a pastoral care team member with a safeguarding concern and you will receive a return call asap.