SCIE is working with a number of faith groups to enable them to improve their safeguarding practice. This is a summary of the SCIE Inter faith breakfast that brought together senior UK faith leaders to talk about safeguarding adults and children.
Whilst abuse in faith-based communities remains relatively rare, we have seen from recent high-profile inquiries the immense and long-lasting damage caused when abuse is perpetrated by someone in a faith-related role. We have also seen how ineffective, unprofessional or defensive responses are experienced by victims as re-abusive, sometimes worse than the original abuse itself.
The SCIE breakfast brought together senior faith leaders from across the country to identify what is helping and what is hindering safeguarding work, lessons learnt on individual journeys of improvement, and what more is needed to be done to remove the barriers to delivering the highest quality safeguarding to keep all children and adults safe.
Safeguarding is everyone’s business. For faith-based organisations and communities, getting this right can be challenging but it must be at the heart of everything they do. Recognising the risks and understanding that abusers can hide in plain sight is more than a tick-box exercise, it’s about culture and behaviour.
Paul Burstow, Chair, SCIE
The SCIE Inter‑faith breakfast was the first of a series of reflective learning events to create a platform for dialogue and share best practice in safeguarding. There were representatives from the Methodist Church, the Church in Wales, the United Reformed Church, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Service, Soka Gakkai International UK – Buddhism in Action for Peace, the Church of England, Quakers in Britain, Baptists Together, and the Jewish community (Reshet).
Participants on the day agreed:
- How much they shared in terms of the challenges they all faced in progressing safeguarding practice, despite the differences between faith groups
- How useful it was to discuss these challenges with people of faith, regardless of which faith
Setting the scene – key note speakers