As the Church of England’s public commitment to developing a redress scheme has been cemented through a vote at General Synod (February 2020), the Church has decided to develop and implement a national Church of England redress scheme for survivors of Church of England related abuse.
The Church of England currently makes some provision for redress for survivors of Church abuse as part of the civil litigation process with such payments usually made by insurers, but in some circumstances the Church Commissioners. Alongside financial compensation, where requested, insurers, the Church Commissioners and, dioceses in some cases have provided other forms of compensatory response to victims and survivors of abuse such as funding for therapy and counselling and offers of apology. Redress schemes for victims and survivors of abuse in institutional settings usually contain three primary elements: financial compensation, apology and ongoing support. A redress scheme within the Church of England would be located within the Church’s broader
pastoral and safeguarding responses to victims and survivors of abuse. Within this context, a redress scheme should aim to provide not just financial compensation but “a form of solace designed to provide some degree of comfort to the victim for his or her injury and to make some attempt to put right the wrong he or she has suffered”. The postholder will be responsible for formulating recommendations in connection with a national redress scheme and then for developing and implementing such a scheme. The postholder may also be asked to set up an interim scheme (identifying financial hardship) pending the development of a long-term scheme. This would be based on existing needs of victims and survivors and may include those who have previously received civil claims settlements. A successful redress scheme will enable individualised responses tailored to needs, not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
As a key member of the National Safeguarding Team (NST) Senior Leadership team, the postholder will need to be capable of acting as a senior leader and supporting the National Director to promote active engagement in the Church’s safeguarding work. The postholder needs to be a sound team player and a skilled communicator. The post is also likely to require significant stakeholder engagement and management, and liaison and management of media. The postholder will also bring technical expertise in project delivery, financial modelling and management, and experience of the consistent and fair application of policy or guidance to an assessment of individual need, preferably in the statutory or third sector.
The main responsibilities are;
Taking a Christian approach to a redress scheme, such that the scheme can exist and be articulated from within a theologically-informed approach to victims and survivors of abuse.
Involving victims and survivors of abuse in both the design and the ongoing governance of the redress scheme.
In liaison with stakeholders, formulating a recommendation whether a redress scheme should be run ‘from within’ the NCIs or run by an independent body, such a recommendation to include proposals in connection with an appropriate legal framework.
In liaison with stakeholders, formulating a recommendation about the scope of a redress scheme, including whether such a scheme should be organised nationally, and, if so, what the interface should be with other institutions of the Church of England, including parishes, cathedrals, dioceses, and religious communities.
Liaison with appropriate stakeholders, including NCIs, dioceses, and insurers, regarding potential funding for financial redress and formulate a recommendation for approval.
Developing the eligibility criteria for redress, along with determining the standard of proof that should be applied and an appropriate process for application and assessment.
Formulating a recommendation in connection with a proportionate appeal/review process to the redress scheme.
Implementation of a scheme following decision by the relevant decision-making body.
Modelling the level of funding required over time.
Formulate and implement a transparent, fair, and equitable process for the assessment of financial compensation.
Determining how any offer of redress should take account of compensation already paid from any source
Determining how the redress scheme should interface with existing sources of compensatory funding, such as insurance, CICA, civil claims for compensation, non-insured claims currently funded by the Church Commissioners, etc.
Apology / Acknowledgement of Failure:
Developing guidance on how, when, and by whom apologies should be delivered and framed.
Determining how the provision of pastoral and therapeutic support should be organised within the redress scheme.
Determining the interface with existing offers of support via criminal processes (e.g. ISVA, IDVA, Victim Support), civil claims (e.g. support offered via EIG and by the Church Commissioners where claims are uninsured), current diocesan provision, current pastoral care arrangements, etc.
As part of NST Senior Leadership Team
Contribute to the NST Senior Leadership team, act as an ambassador for culture change. Play an active and committed role in embedding the national approach to safeguarding and redress, and strengthening the consistency and quality of the Church’s response to victims and survivors.
Work with the Director to provide strategic leadership and management of the NST, working closely with the National Safeguarding Steering Group to ensure clear strategic direction and vision.
Work with the Director to deliver the NST strategic business plan. A core part of which is the implementation of a national redress scheme.
Contribute to the leadership of the NST staff and promote cooperative, constructive working ensuring that staff are well supported in their work- lead on opportunities to promote and enhance a more collaborative, efficient and integrated working environment.
Serve as a role model of the NST and NCIs values and behaviour– being an agent for driving a service driven and learning culture. Ensure the learning from redress and in particular victims and survivors’ experiences of the existing claims schemes informs the development and implementation of the redress scheme.
Represent the Church of England in external forums and in meetings with decision makers about redress. Be an advocate on behalf of the Church‘s approach to victims and survivors and redress, leading on national presentations and board meetings.
Work closely with and have oversight of other project roles required to set up and deliver redress, including partnerships work and officers (working with victims and survivors), colleagues in finance, legal and other departments within and beyond the Archbishops’ Council.
Network with senior professionals from the full range of environments, ensuring that the Church draws on best practice on redress from a range of contexts and that benchmarking is completed against similar organisations.
The ideal candidate should have;
Understanding of the redress field including its social and political context.
Ability to deliver national change and / or implement complex and highly sensitive projects.
Ability to manage budgets and undertake, in conjunction with finance colleagues. Modelling projections for the overall required funding of a redress scheme.
Ability to work with legal colleagues to develop and implement clear, considered and legally robust criteria for the delivery of financial compensation, apology and well-being support to victims and survivors through redress.
Strong verbal communications skills and ability to produce clear written records and reports.
Ability to work sensitively with victims and survivors, including those who are subject to allegations and/or those that may pose a risk.
An understanding of the impact on faith of abuse in a Church context and the associated abuse of faith.
Ability to manage and analyse complex and sensitive information and assess risk.
Ability to influence and work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders to deliver the scheme.
Demonstrable ability to be part of and contribute to a wider team as part of a large national institution and to work collaboratively with specialist and non-specialist colleagues.
Leading by example, demonstrating enthusiastic commitment to the ministry, mission and priorities of the Church of England, and the common purpose of the NCIs.
Possessing a high level of personal integrity, credibility and a natural authority, a person who engages and commands the confidence and respect of others quickly.
Ability to speak publicly, with confidence and authority, on all matters relating to redress
Extensive senior level experience of delivering change / projects on a national scale in a high profile highly sensitive role.
Experience of undertaking work with victims and survivors / user engagement in high level complex change projects.
Proven experience of managing and leading a team of people to deliver effective change, including proven ability to manage and lead a team, manage budgets and ensure effective collaboration with peers.
Technical ability to produce guidance / criteria that will satisfy public scrutiny and challenge, in partnership with legal and finance colleagues.
Experience in the application of policy and guidance to an assessment of individual need, preferably in the statutory or third sector
Experience of significant national policy development in sensitive and scrutinised areas of work.
Personal credibility through experience / authority of making careful and difficult determinations or judgements subject to public scrutiny and challenge. Ability to persuade and influence others at senior level, and manage significant levels of disagreement between stakeholder groups.
Experience of communications and external stakeholder management on sensitive issues with policy-makers, media and other external stakeholders at local and/or national level in a context of public scrutiny.
Confidence to work with senior people at a national level, including senior church leaders, external safeguarding and redress experts and other stakeholders.
A proven ability to develop and sustain relationships at all levels both inside and outside the Church.
A proven ability to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality and work sensitively with those affected by safeguarding issues.
In sympathy with the aims of the Church of England.
Personal resilience to be able to work effectively in a highly pressurised environment under considerable scrutiny.
Strong personal commitment to equalities and diversity in employment and service delivery, with a caring and respectful attitude to staff.
A positive team member who contributes, supports and leads as the situation requires, in order to maximise the effectiveness of the team’s work.
Relevant professional qualifications and / or equivalent degree level qualification. This may be in law, finance, public policy, law enforcement, social work, health etc but suitable applicants from a range of backgrounds will be considered.
Extensive experience in leadership or management and / or a qualification in leadership / management is highly desirable.
The post-holder is based in central London and requires frequent presence in Church House, Westminster. However, the postholder must be willing to be away from home occasionally overnight, including some weekends.
Previous experience of working on redress issues at national as well as local/regional level.
Some understanding of Church of England structures and safeguarding policies and practice guidance.
In-depth knowledge of the existing redress provisions elsewhere.
Some understanding of the dynamics of a faith setting and preferably of abuse in such a setting.
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