The Church of England has had, over many decades, a very poor track record in respect of the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. It has made some important improvements over recent years. But there is still much to do on the change journey to become a safer Church. Some of the key issues and challenges concerning the Church’s relationship with safeguarding were highlighted in the investigation report published by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in October 2020. The Church has accepted the recommendations of that report.
Making change happen in the Church of England is not straightforward. It is not a single organisation with traditional lines of management. Rather, it is a collection of many different and separate Church bodies, many of which are registered charities in their own right.
There is, however, a series of developments underway across the Church which, if delivered, will make a difference to the quality and effectiveness of safeguarding work. They will help to both prevent abuse from taking place, but also enable the Church to respond better to victims and survivors of abuse when it does happen.
Above all, the aim is for safeguarding to be part of the DNA of the Church; “safeguarding” becomes what the Church does, at the heart of its mission, rather than a bolted-on requirement
This role is providing a maternity cover to carry on development, management and implementation of a multi-workstream project on a two-phase basis. The workstreams in this project comprise the implementation of two of the recommendations in the IICSA Report and other related developments which the Church has been planning.
In Phase One (which the project is currently in), this project will be introduced with a group of “pathfinder” dioceses and cathedrals. Following evaluation and adjustment, the programme will in Phase Two be rolled out across the Church.
The five workstreams which make up this programme are:
The implementation of ICCSA Recommendation 1
This is a major structural change in which the role of “Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser” changes to a new one of “Diocesan Safeguarding Officer” with greater autonomy. Supervision arrangements also change from being arranged locally to being directly supervised and quality assured by the National Safeguarding Team.
The introduction on a pilot basis of a “regionalised” model of support for dioceses and cathedrals in respect of safeguarding.
This is the second major, and related, structural change. In this pilot Regional Safeguarding Leads (RSLs) will be appointed to work with small groups of dioceses and cathedrals. The RSLs will supervise the dioceses’ / cathedrals’ safeguarding advisers but will also lead cross-diocese developments such as survivor engagement, sharing of expertise and good practice, joint commissioning of resources, peer review.
The implementation of IICSA Recommendation 8.
This involves the design and implementation of independent external auditing of the Church’s safeguarding practices.
The introduction of the Church’s quality assurance framework and national safeguarding standards.
The Church has a draft quality assurance framework. This now needs to be introduced into use in the pathfinder dioceses and cathedrals so that it can be further developed in readiness for implementation across the Church.
The development of a consistent methodology to enable dioceses and cathedrals to assess local safeguarding need and determine the resources needed to deliver good safeguarding practice.
The 42 dioceses and 42 cathedrals are responsible for the funding of their safeguarding arrangements (which include, for example, investigation of allegations, responding to survivors, training, quality assurance). The level of funding varies considerably between dioceses / cathedrals. One reason for this is the lack of a consistent methodology to assess both local need and the resources needed to achieve a good standard of safeguarding.
The role is based in the National Safeguarding Team but also links with the Church’s Project Management Office.
The main responsibilities for this role are:
The ideal candidate should have:
Skills and Aptitudes
Knowledge / Experience
Education / Professional qualifications
This role will require some travel to different dioceses involved in the project.
In the National Church Institutions (NCIs), we support the mission and ministries of the Church of England. We work with parishes, dioceses, schools, chaplaincies and other ministries, and with national and international partners including mission agencies, and other denominations and faith groups.-.
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We welcome everyone and we accept and value people for who they are and what they contribute, treating others in the way we would wish to be treated ourselves. We actively listen to and include others, encouraging and enabling everyone’s voice to be heard in discussions and decisions. When we disagree, we aim to disagree well with respect and kindness.
We want to encourage applications from a diverse group of people. Even if you have never thought about working for us before, if you have the skills and experience we’re looking for then we would like to hear from you. If there is anything we can do to support you in your application please get in touch via email to email@example.com.