There are many different types of churches and denominations; some more mainstream than others. Although churches fall within the third sector as a voluntary organisation, they are largely unregulated places despite the level of contact they have with children and young people. CCPAS (the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service) has created 10 Safe and Secure standards for places of worship to adopt. These standards are widely recognised and adopted by many churches and they form a basis for churches to demonstrate a commitment to making their place of worship a safer place for children. CCPAS operate a membership for churches across the UK. If you are in doubt about a particular church you can always contact the CCPAS helpline for advice on 0845 120 4550. We will begin by checking our records to see if the church is in membership with us. If they are, it is a good sign that they take safeguarding seriously. However, if you still have doubts you could ask the church if they have a safeguarding policy and request to see a copy or arrange to speak or meet with the church safeguarding coordinators.
In most cases yes, but it would be best to check with the family who you are assessing first and explain your reasons for wanting to do so.