Thinking Anglicans

The Church of England welcomes the final SCIE overview report

Updated on Friday to include initial media coverage

The Church of England has announced today’s publication of the final SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) overview report,  which details the learning from the 42 independent diocesan safeguarding audits and findings on improving responses to survivors of abuse. There is also a response from the National Safeguarding Steering Group.

Details are in the following press release.

The Church of England welcomes the final SCIE overview report

04/04/2019

The Church of England welcomes the final SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) overview report, published today, which details the learning from the 42 independent diocesan safeguarding audits and findings on improving responses to survivors of abuse.

The report received by the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) acknowledges that the results of the survivor survey makes for very difficult reading and the Church’s failure to respond compassionately has undermined confidence in the its own safeguarding practice.

The report presents an overview of learning from the 42 audits, carried out between 2015-17, and introduces the additional work conducted by a survey to gather the views of people who have first-hand experience of Church responses, including survivors of clergy and Church-related abuse

It notes the audits have taken place in a changing context and the Church has done much to address early systemic issues raised by SCIE. It therefore summarises and appraises all activity (completed, underway and planned) to address issues that have been raised and makes clear areas where work is still required to improve safeguarding practices.

58 people responded to the survivor survey which focused on how the Church should be engaging with people who come forward; the vast majority said they were dissatisfied with the Church’s response.

Bishop Peter Hancock, the Church’s lead safeguarding bishop and chair of the NSSG said:

“It is essential that victims and survivor organisations have confidence that anybody coming forward to disclose abuse to the Church are treated with compassion, offered support and their concerns and allegations are taken seriously. They must have confidence that the Church will act to address instances of abuse and do all it can to prevent future harm.  The Church recognises that significant changes will be required before survivors will have this level of confidence in the Church, and that this undertaking is no simple task.  However, it is one that I and my fellow Bishops and the whole Church are absolutely committed to.”

Media coverage of this:

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Simon Sarmiento
Admin

The following paragraph, in which the uncapitalised words appear to be a comment made to SCIE by a survivor (the layout of the document is a bit confusing) may be of particular interest: 6.3 PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT NEEDS SPECIAL CONSIDERATION – GRIEVANCES AND COMPLAINTS WHERE BISHOPS AND ARCHBISHOPS ARE INVOLVED OPTIMISE OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY By a Bishop’s own admission at IICSA, the Church assumes clergy are right. As the Peter Ball case proved years ago, this is even more true once Bishops and Archbishops are involved. The current two Archbishops and the previous two Archbishops of Canterbury have all failed… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
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I think it worth repeating what Richard Scorer said at the IICSA inquiry: March 5 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Page 129 – Paras. 2-19 – Richard Scorer [Counsel for the complainants, victims and survivors represented by Slater & Gordon]: “…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence too. This is a point which has been made powerfully by Martin Sewell, who is both a lay member of the General Synod and a retired child protection lawyer. He points out that diocesan staff are typically trained in theology and Canon law, not in safeguarding or child protection… Read more »

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

It’s not only that they assume the clergy are right; they assume that the more senior the clergy, the more likely they are to be right. Seniority gets preference over lack of seniority, no matter what the rights and wrongs of the matter.