The Diocese of Blackburn is approaching its 100th anniversary, having been founded on the 12th of December 1926. It serves almost the whole of the county of Lancashire, covering an area of 878 square miles, with a population of 1.3 million. It is divided into 14 Deaneries and two Archdeaconries (Blackburn and Lancaster).
The Diocese covers an area of extraordinary variety, from the stunning countryside of the Trough of Bowland to the former mill towns of East Lancashire; from the University cities of Preston and Lancaster to the seaside towns of Blackpool and Morecambe; from elegant villages to inner city multi-cultural parishes.
The Diocesan Vision 2026 is an agenda for growth and change. It challenges our parishes to be healthy churches which can transform the communities in which they are set.
It also lays out four ways in which this over-arching goal can be achieved: Making Disciples, Being Witnesses, Growing Leaders and Inspiring Children and Young People for Jesus Christ.
Since the launch of the Vision in 2016, a culture of faith, hope and growth has taken root across our diocese. We are so thankful to God for what we have already witnessed. It has been exciting to see a remarkable increase in the number of people exploring lay and ordained vocations.
The new local congregations that have been started across the diocese have been inspirational in number and creativity. Funding from the Church Commissioners has enabled us to strategically invest in pioneering church in our urban estates and in raising up new urban leaders, as well as planting new Resourcing Churches into Preston, Blackpool and Blackburn with ambitions to plant out across the diocese. And even in pandemic, the agility and Gospel passion of so many of our leaders and congregations has been demonstrated.
As the senior strategic lead for safeguarding the post holder will:
Offer substantial safeguarding experience and in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation, policy, procedures and good practice relating to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
Act as a contact point (along with the Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser) for those in the Parishes, the Cathedral and the Diocesan Offices to assist them in discharging their responsibilities for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults who may be at risk of abuse of neglect.; providing advice to the Bishop, Archdeacons, clergy and laity as appropriate on the procedures to be followed when safeguarding concerns arise.
Advise on the implementation of the diocesan safeguarding policy and safeguarding initiatives; remaining up to date with the development of Church of England National Safeguarding policy and any legislative changes to enable the provision of information and advice which ensures the Diocese maintains the highest standards of protection for children and vulnerable adults.
Demonstrate a willingness to work collaboratively with key partners, including the National Safeguarding Team; and as a key member of the bishops’ senior leadership team to ensure the diocese continues to build a positive safeguarding culture and that all worshipping communities, church-based activities, and diocesan offices within the diocese are safe spaces.
Lead the safeguarding team in delivering an effective and efficient safeguarding service across the diocese, whilst implementing quality assurance and safeguarding practice improvement across the diocese to ensure safeguarding in the Blackburn Diocese continues to improve.
MAIN DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Strategy, Policy and Good Practice Guidance
Working closely with the Safeguarding Management Group, the Risk Assessment groups, the Safeguarding Team and the Bishop’s Senior Leadership Team to develop and implement a comprehensive, proactive safeguarding strategy for the Diocese of Blackburn.
To work with the team to regularly review and update all Diocesan Safeguarding Policies and related guidance notes, manuals and processes for church and its related activities, ensuring they are up to date with current legislation, House of Bishop’s Guidance/Ofsted Requirements, and best practice.
To advise the Diocesan Bishop and members of his Staff Team on safeguarding policy, legislation and practice, ensuring all members of the senior leadership team remain current in their knowledge and training.
Give advice, information and support to PCCs and parish safeguarding officers on the implementation of that guidance and, where appropriate, challenging PCCs and parish safeguarding officers on what they have done to implement that guidance
To lead and manage the safeguarding team of the diocese ensuring effective working practices
Provide annual Diocesan statistical information to the National Safeguarding Team
Support the Archdeacons to ensure each parish has adopted and implemented the Diocesan policy and procedures
Forge links and work collaboratively with National and Regional Safeguarding Advisers, attending the annual Conference of the Church of England Diocesan and Methodist District Advisers and participate in Ecumenical and regional support group meetings
Ensure that safeguarding records are kept that are accessible, accurate and securely held.
Offer the Diocese’s professional safeguarding response to safeguarding concerns or allegations against church officers in line with the House of Bishop safeguarding policy and guidance.
Undertake safeguarding casework on behalf of the Diocese and ensure all work is recorded in line with the House of Bishop safeguarding policy and guidance.
Work co-operatively with the police, local authorities and other bodies in cases in which it is suspected that a child, young person or vulnerable adult has suffered abuse or is at risk of suffering abuse.
Give advice, information and support to victim/survivors of abuse and ensure the diocese responds well to those who have suffered abuse
Undertake and commission risk assessments in all situations where a risk may be posed and ensuring risk assessments are carried out on all “blemished” DBS Disclosures.
To submit to regular and appropriate supervision as agreed with the diocese in order to demonstrate appropriate performance management and quality control of case work undertaken
To work with colleagues to ensure clear protocols are in place for the reporting and sharing of information with statutory agencies, key members of the Diocesan Team and the Communications Director (as required).
Ensure all paperwork, files and correspondence relating to Safeguarding matters are maintained in accordance with best practice and in line with all guidance and requirements from the House of Bishops and the Data Protection Act. This includes maintaining the CMS Database.
Where the advisor thinks that safeguarding matters are not being dealt with properly and it has not proved possible to resolve within the diocese the points at issue, informing the National Safeguarding Team.
To advise the National Safeguarding Adviser on all cases which go to court, tribunal or become public through the media
Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel (DSAP)
Working closely with the chair of the Safeguarding panel to draft agenda’s and reports for the panel and its sub committees
To produce an annual business cycle for the safeguarding panel, ensuring regular updates on key data, indicators and national trends are shared and analysed
To communicate to the Diocesan Bishop any recommendations from panel in relation to particular cases or issues
Take a lead role in the group to advise in terms of policy, strategy and practice recommendations
To support and attend the safeguarding training group (sub-committee of the panel), produce regular reports for the Safeguarding Training Group on attendance on training courses, highlighting any post holders whose training is overdue to the Bishop’s Chaplain for chasing up.
To facilitate and manage the safeguarding team to organise a calendar of training events throughout the year for church personnel, delivering National Church’s comprehensive training package
To regularly review and assess the quality and value for money of the training provided, ensuring it is relevant, up to date and delivered well
To seek regular feedback from key stakeholders on the quality and content of all training, for consideration and review by the Safeguarding Training Group
To promote, support and encourage the network of Parish Safeguarding Officers, ensuring all volunteers are up to date on their training and development
Engage in professional supervision and continual professional development
DBS and Safer Recruitment
Supported by the Safeguarding Administrator, to be responsible for the processing and operations of the Diocesan DBS function
Working closely with Bishop’s House administration to ensure clear polices are in place to ensure the principles of safer recruitment are adhered to for all clergy, ministers, volunteers and employees of the DBF
Supported by the Safeguarding Administrator to ensure all parishes have access to necessary support and advice to be able to successfully complete and return DBS applications
This list is not exhaustive and is intended to reflect the main tasks and areas of work. Changes may occur over time and the DSA will be expected to agree any reasonable changes to this job description that are in line with the general nature of the post.
Essential Education & Qualifications:
• Degree level or above.
• Relevant professional qualification or equivalent (for example, social care or criminal justice), with current professional registration where applicable.
• The equivalent of level 3 or above training accreditation in child or adult protection with ability to demonstrate transferrable knowledge across the client groups.
Extensive experience of safeguarding of children and adults.
Experience of undertaking work at a strategic level of contributing to policy and practice development and implementation.
Experience of working on and managing cases involving the statutory response to the protection of children/adults.
Experience of applying policies, procedures and good practice in relation to the safeguarding and protection of children/adults.
Experience of undertaking statutory case and /or management reviews.
Experience of undertaking statutory risk assessments.
Management experience in providing supervision to staff in managing and coordinating safeguarding of children and/or adults.
Ability to produce clear written reports, records and risk assessments.
Detailed knowledge of and experience of applying safeguarding legislation, guidance and best practice.
In-depth knowledge of the statutory framework in relation to safeguarding children and adults.
Practitioner/manager experience of working with victims or survivors of abuse, including adults with mental health issues.
Experience of working with a range of statutory and non-statutory organisations in managing or contributing to safeguarding, including managing allegations against people in positions of trust and the management of those who may pose a risk.
Experience of communications and external stakeholder management on safeguarding issues with policymakers, media and other external stakeholders at local and/or national level in a context of public scrutiny.
Experience of overseeing and developing training in response to need and in line with best practice
Experience of managing a team including workload and developing the team.
Knowledge of General Data Protection Regulations and data sharing in the safeguarding environment, demonstrating an ability to handle confidential data sensitively, ensuring compliance with procedure; and
Experience of designing, leading and/or contributing to case review processes and identifying and disseminating lessons to be learnt e.g. Serious Case Reviews, Domestic Homicide Reviews, Serious Untoward Incident Reviews or Significant Incident Learning Processes, MAPPA reviews etc.
Understanding of the broader safeguarding field including its social and political context.
Strong verbal communications skills and ability to produce clear written records and reports.
Ability to work sensitively with survivors, those who are subject to allegations and/or those that may pose a risk.
Ability to manage and analyse complex and sensitive information and assess risk.
Ability to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders to influence improvements to practice.
Exceptional leadership skills providing a supportive and collaborative environment for the wider safeguarding team across the DBF and diocese.
Demonstrable ability to be part of and contribute to a wider team as part of a large national institution and to work collegially with specialist and non-specialist colleagues.
Ability to deliver or contribute directly to the delivery of safeguarding training to safeguarding professionals as well as other stakeholders.
Confidence to work with senior people at a national level, including senior church leaders, external safeguarding experts and other stakeholders.
High levels of enthusiasm and self-motivation and be willing to challenge stereotyping, prejudice and bias.
A proven ability to develop and sustain relationships at all levels both inside and outside the Church.
Working knowledge of using IT and Microsoft Office Suite e.g., Planner, SharePoint.
A proven ability to maintain the highest standards of confidentiality and work sensitively with those affected by safeguarding issues.
The Diocese of Blackburn
The Diocese of Blackburn represents the Church of England in most of Lancashire and part of Wigan Metropolitan Borough, covering an area of 878 square miles with a population of 1.3 million.
The Diocese is made up of two archdeaconries, Blackburn and Lancaster, with a total of fourteen Deaneries.
There are 281 Churches, comprising around 226 parishes, with around 250 clergy (c. 200 stipendiary) and 230 licensed Readers.
Diversity - The Board of Finance believes that diversity enables us to thrive and develop and is committed to race equality, welcoming applications from UK Minority Ethnic backgrounds
The Board of Finance is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All post holders and volunteers are expected to share this commitment.
For further information about the Diocese please visit Diocese of Blackburn (anglican.org)
Applications must be received by: Sunday 18 December 2022
Interviews will take place on either 4 January (late afternoon/early evening) or 5 January. All interviews will be in person.
All applications must include a covering letter of no more than 3 pages of why you are applying for the post and what skills and experience you would bring to the role.
For an in formal chat about the role please contact Stephen Whittaker, Interim Diocesan Secretary at email@example.com
Hybrid - remote working and London
Skerry Hill, Mansfield
Hybrid- remote working and London