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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Child protection in religious organisations and settings Investigation Report


D.1: Introduction

1. A child protection policy is the foundation on which an organisation working with children should build its practices and processes to keep children safe. In addition to having clear policies, those working with children should implement safer recruitment processes to ensure that staff and volunteers do not pose a risk to children. Organisations also need to have in place arrangements to ensure that those working with children receive regular child protection training.

2. At present, despite an abundance of available guidance, there is significant variation in levels of compliance among religious organisations and settings. Some settings, despite serving large congregations, do not even have basic child protection procedures in place. Even where such policies are in place, some victim and survivor organisations have referred to ‘disguised compliance’ whereby organisations are primarily concerned to give the impression of having in place effective child protection procedures whilst the reality is one of half-hearted or non-existent implementation.[1]

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