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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Roman Catholic Church Case Study: Archdiocese of Birmingham Investigation Report

D.1: Introduction

1. In 2018, the Archdiocese of Birmingham commissioned three separate reviews in respect of safeguarding within the Archdiocese:

  1. 1.1. an examination of past cases for the Archdiocese of Birmingham,[1] conducted by Jan Pickles OBE;
  2. 1.2. an independent audit of the safeguarding arrangements within the Archdiocese, undertaken by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and published in October 2018;[2] and
  3. 1.3. the parish review[3] conducted by Jan Pickles OBE, regarding the attitudes and ability of clerical and lay members of parishes to contribute to the wider diocesan safeguarding agenda.

2. Each report highlighted aspects of safeguarding which were considered to work well. In summary:

  • training was well regarded both in terms of training to those involved in safeguarding roles and training given to seminarians;
  • the Archdiocese now conducts DBS checks online;
  • people with the appropriate qualifications and backgrounds were acting in the role of parish safeguarding representatives (PSRs); and
  • PSRs spoke highly of the support they received from the safeguarding team, acknowledging the fact that the team worked long hours often over and above their contracted hours.

3. However, in general terms, the reviews found more weaknesses than strengths and the SCIE report in particular identified significant problems within the safeguarding team and with oversight of it.

References

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