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Church apologises to victims

by Michael Ford last modified 20 Nov, 2020 10:40 PM

Following the publication on October 6th of its overarching IICSA report, the National Church’s governing bodies have all endorsed a motion apologising to victims and survivors and committing to urgently implementing IICSA's 6 recommendations, with emphasis on independent safeguarding and redress for survivors and victims.

Project groups will be set up including for independence and redress work streams. The independence workstream is about scoping the best structure for independent oversight of the National Safeguarding Team (NST) in place of the Archbishops’ Council. The House of Bishops also agreed that an interim arrangement is put in place prior to the establishment of this new body.

A further project group will also be set up to implement Recommendation 1, which proposes that Diocesan Safeguarding Officers (DSOs) employed locally would be professionally supervised and quality assured by the National Safeguarding Team.

The Archbishops’ Council committed to finding significant additional financial resource to support the interim support scheme for survivors, which was announced in September, while work begins on a full redress scheme. The NST is in the process of appointing a new staff member to lead on the redress work.

It was agreed that workstreams must be undertaken in consultation with victims, survivors and all relevant Church bodies.

The National Safeguarding Steering Group will establish a coordinating subgroup to oversee the work on all 6 of the IICSA recommendations, and ensure they are implemented swiftly with the particular focus on independence and redress for survivors and victims.

The recommendations also focus on Clergy Discipline Measure reform, information sharing and external audit.

A full background paper on these proposed changes has been published for a presentation and debate at General Synod which meets online from 23rd-25th November [timetable here], with a further detailed response to the recommendations then to be drawn up, published and sent to IICSA.

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