During November of 2016, the Diocese was visited by two auditors from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). SCIE has been asked to audit the safeguarding arrangements in every diocese of the Church of England, and our lead auditor has accumulated significant experience of safeguarding in the Church across a number of dioceses.
The report is very positive in terms of leadership commitment from our Bishops and senior clergy, and how we are developing safeguarding. The auditors thought the work of the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) to be sound, and felt that our independently chaired Safeguarding Panel wants to be increasingly effective.
There were inevitably issues we need to address to be even better. These are discussed in the body of the report and reflected in the Issues for Consideration listed by the auditors. Some are about improving processes (for example, how we progress Disclosure & Barring Service – DBS – checks). Some are important for the future of continued good safeguarding in our Diocese (for example better supporting parishes, delivering our Training Plan, and knowing which church communities are on top of safeguarding and which need support).