Diocesan Governance – Safeguarding Management and Strategic Oversight
Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan
The Diocese has formulated a Safeguarding Strategy and a Safeguarding Action Plan. These are two in depth documents setting out exactly what the Diocese needs to do to ensure all activities connected with the church are safe for both children and adults. The Hereford Diocese Safeguarding Strategy explains the strategic objectives. It is reviewed and refreshed and presented to Diocesan Synod on a yearly basis. The Hereford Diocese Safeguarding Action Plan details every element of safeguarding delivery and serves as the blue print for all future activity and is updated every other month. It also provides an effective means by which to record our progress. A copy of the Safeguarding Strategy is here.
Diocesan Safeguarding Working Group
The Diocese has formed a Safeguarding Working Group. This group’s membership consists of key personnel from within the Diocese and Cathedral; and both lay and clergy parish representatives (including Parish Safeguarding Officers). We are currently seeking to gain wider representation from all the key Statutory Partnership Agencies and other relevant charities. The working group meets quarterly and is led by an Independent Chair who has a background in safeguarding at a senior level. The working group’s role is to oversee all work streams detailed within the Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan.
In May 2017, the Diocese underwent an Independent Safeguarding Audit. The Audit was commissioned by the Archbishop’s Council and was part of a national programme of diocesan audits. The Audit involved an inspection of safeguarding case files, clergy files and diocesan staff files, detailed interviews with key diocesan staff and a focus group drawn from parish representatives. The Diocese received a detailed Audit Report containing a series of findings and corresponding recommendations. The Diocese welcomed the feedback it received and has incorporated its response to all its findings and recommendations in its ongoing activities detailed in the Diocesan Safeguarding Strategy and Action Plan.
Safeguarding Complaints Procedure
The Diocese has a procedure for people to use, if they wish to make a complaint about how a safeguarding issue has been handled.
The Bishop wants to support people who feel genuinely aggrieved to make a complaint and will ensure that all complaints are taken seriously and are handled fairly and promptly. All information about a complaint will be treated in the strictest confidence. Complaints should relate to the process followed, not to the original incident which gave rise to the allegation.