Safeguarding Audit published
An independent audit of safeguarding arrangements in the Church of England Diocese of St Albans strikes a positive note about safeguarding in the Diocese. It has affirmed the commitment shown to safeguarding by the Bishop and his senior staff in the diocese.
The independent review was carried out by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) which has been commissioned to audit the safeguarding arrangements in every Church of England Diocese. These audits seek to understand how safeguarding is working and support continuing improvement. To that end, the audits comment both on what is working well and set out considerations for Dioceses to take into account as they develop their safeguarding.
The twenty-four page audit report, published today, (31 January) also notes that a firm line is taken when difficult decisions are to be made, that there is a “positive culture around safeguarding,” and that “the Diocese is not defensive about its practice.”
The audit praises the Diocese’s cohesive approach, in particular the work of the Diocesan Secretary to ensure this. It also remarks on the lack of complacency and willingness to think about safeguarding, wrestle with any challenges and consider how they should be tackled.
The Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser’s experience, efficiency and effectiveness are highlighted. The Diocese’s website is commended for making policies and procedures very accessible. The Diocese’s Safeguarding Management Group is described as “well-established, clear about its role and effective.”
Receiving the audit, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, said: “I am pleased that the audit recognised the very strong commitment to safeguarding shared between me and my colleagues. I am determined that we will continue to uphold the high standard of safeguarding expected from the church, improving safeguarding wherever possible.”
The audit can be read here.
The Diocese is committed to following up the report with action to implement its recommendations, and a plan based on the considerations and areas for development set out in the report is available here.