The report of a culture review of The Titus Trust has been published today. The review was commissioned by the Trust and undertaken by Thirtyone:eight.
A couple of extracts from the Executive Summary, together with the recommendations are copied below.
From the Executive summary:
Over recent years, two volunteer leaders on Iwerne camps have faced separate allegations of harmful behaviour. The Titus Trust itself has come under criticism for some aspects of the culture of different camps it runs for young people, and for the way it has handled these allegations and its response to survivors.
Taking into account other reviews that are currently being undertaken into specific and related cases and having already done some work to make changes to its culture and practice, the Trust has commissioned this independent review into its wider culture, including how it relates to safeguarding. This review will help to identify any aspects that may have contributed to recent concerns or prevented appropriate action from being taken so that the charity may continue to improve its culture and safeguarding practice moving forwards.
Although not an investigation into specific allegations or individuals, this review has aimed to establish a clearer understanding of how the events and practices of the past may continue to influence the present culture of the charity, as well as to identify any areas where positive changes have been made and measures taken to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.
As a result of its findings, the review has made 14 recommendations. These relate to issues of governance; the Trust’s mission, model, and values; the implementation of policy; safer recruitment processes; practice developments; training of staff and volunteers; and how the trust deals with and learns from its past.
During this review, we have seen the impact that not dealing with safeguarding issues or abuse at the time of their discovery has had and what the repercussions for victims and survivors have been and continues to be. The Trust continues to face criticism about why it did not report past abuse sooner and how it has responded to survivors since which it needs to address.
While the Trust has made some significant changes to the culture of its camps and has indicated its willingness to change in commissioning this report, some of the recommendations made by this review will be challenging to implement as they go beyond surface changes, and are more about its core mission, values, and model of working. Whilst recognising this challenge, the review believes that this could be an exciting time and opportunity for the Titus Trust, in exploring new models of working and providing fresh vision for its future work with children and young people within a safer, healthier environment.
We have set out the recommendations from the findings of the review below. In doing so, we recognise some as being more straight forward to implement and some as being more challenging.
Trustees and governance
1. The trustees should review recruitment of trustees to include those with varied expertise, particularly in legal and financial spheres, who are from outside the Trust network and who are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.
2. Trustees should fully review the governance relationships between the trustees and the operational side of the charity; to ensure a proper division between oversight and executive functions, and the level of direction they are providing to, the camp groups; and to recruit a CEO or similar role to ensure clear lines of accountability within the charity.
Mission, model and values
3. The trust should review its mission, model and values to consider:
- The Trust should review its mission, including the consideration of wider outreach.
- Ensure the mission statement is consistent across the trust and camps and is publically accessible.
- Consider if the mission is purely evangelistic or involves discipleship as well.
- The Trust should review ways of creating opportunities for increased inclusion and diversity at all levels of their work.
- The Trust should review its model of work in relation to its focus on evangelism and/or discipleship.
- The trustees should review the model of work used by Titus Trust and to explore other possible ways of working.
- Trustees should deliberate and clarify the Trust’s values and promote these throughout the Trust. These values should embody how the Trust would like to see itself, its staff and volunteers.
- Trustees to publicise the mission and values of the Trust accordingly.
4. The trust should review or introduce and promote the following policies in line with
the main body of the report:
- Supervision and appraisal policy
- Data protection
- 1–2–1 Ministry
- Women and leadership
- Valuing Diversity
- Pastoral care policy for camps
5. The Trust should review its recruitment practice to include:
- All volunteering roles and job positions should be openly advertised.
- Recruitment for volunteers should include a clear process including interview and feedback.
- All job and role descriptions to include a statement about the Trust’s commitment to safeguarding and the expectation of the worker to safeguard others.
- Application forms should have a full employment history and explanations of any gaps in employment.
- All interviews to include safeguarding questions.
- Volunteers should not be allowed on camps where they do not have a clear and up–to–date DBS check. In exceptional circumstances a full risk assessment should be carried out.
Dealing with the past
6. For the Trust to apologise for the way in which it has distanced itself over recent
years from the historical legacy of the Iwerne camps:
- Make every effort to ensure all of Smyth’s survivors have been contacted.
- Respond to each survivor, according to their views and wishes.
7. Staff and trustees should undertake relevant training including:
- Allegations and complaints training for senior staff.
- Safer recruitment training for trustees.
8. The Operations Director to keep a central training matrix for staff training, including core training.
Learning and change
9. To support learning and change across the charity, the Trust should establish:
- Quality assurance and monitoring processes.
- Young people’s advisory groups
- A greater range of partnerships or relationships, both Christian and secular, in order to inform the charity of legal, policy and other issues, and to develop learning in those areas.
- A Trust–wide Innovation group.
10. The Trust should review practice on camps to include:
- To consider having a pastoral support leader on camp.
- To make it an expectation that leaders have some allocated time during a week of leading on camp.
- The Trust to review the issue of parents on camp from both a policy, and practice perspective, allowing for different views to be expressed and accommodated.
- For all feedback on talks to be done on an individual basis.
11. If leaders find it difficult to raise issues or concerns, they should be able to discuss this with their pastoral care lead (see previous recommendation).
12. All complaints raised should be logged and feedback given. Every effort should be made for the issues to be resolved and for the complaints process to be followed.
13. That 1–2–1 ministry outside of camp with students and teachers should only occur with the express knowledge andpermission of the local church.
14. For the Trust to review their data processes and delete non–needed information.