Our diocese welcomes independent report into our safeguarding arrangements

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) report finds much that is working well and offers recommendations for us to strengthen and improve

Independent auditors from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) visited our diocese in July to carry out a thorough audit of our safeguarding arrangements as part of a national programme of diocesan inspections. Their report, which we have published here and in our Safeguarding pages, sets out what they found identifying what they think went well and what we can improve.

In their view what is working well is:
  • The Diocese has a Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) and an Adult’s SA both of whom are well known and respected throughout the Diocese and within the parishes, and by partners.
  • The parishes appear to know who to contact and how to make a referral if they have safeguarding concerns about a child or adult.
  • The blue personnel files for clergy that were reviewed are well kept and compliant with safer recruitment.
  • The awareness of adults safeguarding is well developed.
  • There are good links with the Cathedral, who are also represented in the Safeguarding Monitoring Group.
  • A parish safeguarding audit has been developed which is undertaken in tandem with the Archdeacon’s articles of enquiry.
However they consider the following needs to work better:
  • The auditors felt, from their review of case files, that case recording could be much more specific and thorough.
  • There is a lack of dedicated administration support for the DSA.
  • Complaints and whistleblowing procedures, whilst in place, require updating and further development.
  • A lack of professional challenge was observed in some of the casework.
  • The authorised listener service is not well developed and its existence appears to be unknown in the parishes.
  • There is room for significant improvement in the conduct of risk assessments, with a need to follow the correct format, to be written down and to directly inform safeguarding agreements.
While we were pleased with the way our arrangements were received we accept that there is work that we need to do and we will be using the report’s considerations to form an action plan for continued work. We aren’t, and can never be, complacent over safeguarding. We want our churches, schools and worshipping communities to be safe, welcoming places for all. We want those who have concerns to be able report them easily with the confidence that accusations will be thoroughly investigated and survivors properly supported.
This means that we will continue to require clergy and parishes to keep their processes up to date, to keep their training up to date and to make sure that safeguarding remains a priority for us all.

Bishop Paul Bayes, The Bishop of Liverpool said “Our Diocese volunteered for an early audit and I hope that this report shows seriously we take safeguarding. We are grateful to the audit team for their clear scrutiny and positive findings. It is of course an opportunity for learning and we will work through all the considerations and see how we can continue to improve. But the report shows we have an excellent platform to build on as we make sure all our churches and places of worship can be a safe place to welcome and support everyone."

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Download the SCIE Report

About SCIE

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works.
We are a leading improvement support agency and an independent charity working with adults’, families’ and children's care and support services across the UK. We also work closely with related services such as health care and housing.

We improve the quality of care and support services for adults and children by:
  • identifying and sharing knowledge about what works and what’s new
  • supporting people who plan, commission, deliver and use services to put that knowledge into practice
  • informing, influencing and inspiring the direction of future practice and policy.