The Church of England issued the press release below yesterday.
We reported on the review a week ago here. This included a link to the report, which was then only available on the House of Survivors website. It has now been published on the Independent Safeguarding Board‘s website. There is also a statement from the Board, which for convenience I have copied below the fold. It is well worth reading.
The Church Times has published this news item this morning: Church’s National Safeguarding Team failed to offer survivor emergency support, says ISB.
Response to ISB case study review
“We must not forget that at the heart of this report and its recommendations is a survivor and his welfare and well-being remain at the forefront of all we do.
“The National Safeguarding Team had already started working on some of the recommendations before the report was commissioned and published.
“On the Interim Support Scheme – this was set up as a pilot in 2020 as part of the Church’s recognition of the harm that has been caused not only by abuse itself, but by the Church’s responses to survivors. We have kept it under constant review with a view to improving the service that we provide. There are already plans to increase staffing, in order to shorten waiting times, improve accessibility and stream line the process of applying. On recommendation 7, we have been making every effort to set up a case management group meeting.
“I have been working with colleagues across the Church, including ongoing communication with Mr X and his advocate, to try to resolve this and will continue with these efforts.”
Case Review – Mr X
The Independent Safeguarding Board has detailed terms of reference  which include a responsibility to receive complaints about the National Safeguarding Team’s handling of cases. The abridged version of the Independent Safeguarding Board’s report in response to complaints raised by Mr X is being published today.
The full version of this report has been provided to Mr X and has been issued to the Church of England  for action. The abridged report is redacted in accordance with independent legal advice, with minor amendments to facilitate understanding. Mr X has approved publication.
Church of England – Implementation Progress
The Church of England has not yet provided a formal response to the recommendations. The ISB has been advised that the response to these recommendations needs to be approved by the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG). This has been legally challenging as data relating to Mr X could not be shared with the NSSG. Consent has been received for the report to be shared with senior members of Church leadership.
• Recommendation 7 – Implementation Overdue
The Church of England has failed to implement recommendation 7 within the expected timescale. This action is now significantly overdue. This recommendation addresses Mr X’s personal situation.
It was recommended that a meeting was convened within four weeks of this report, with the active participation of Mr X and/or his representatives to address his support needs.
In recognition of the urgency of recommendation 7 and concern that the accuracy checking process may delay a response to Mr X’s needs, the ISB took the exceptional step of writing to the National Safeguarding Team with advanced notice of the formal recommendation on 30th March 2023.
The Church of England’s approach to implementing this recommendation needs to be consistent with the urgency of the case and the need for a trauma-informed approach.
The ISB is aware of ongoing communication between the Church of England and Mr X/his advocate, and we will continue to monitor progress and seek a satisfactory outcome.
6th June 2023
2 The Church of England is not a single body or legal entity but comprises many office holders and legal entities which are separately governed. We refer to Church of England as a shorthand for these office holders and legal entities.