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Safeguarding people in faith communities

Churches and faith-based groups play a vital role in the lives of many children, young people and adults. People who contribute to the life of faith-based communities and places of worship have a role to play in keeping people safe. They also play a vital role in responding effectively and compassionately when someone comes forward to share concerns or disclose abuse.

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.