The final investigation to be undertaken by IICSA has been announced. This is a thematic investigation which will consider Effective Leadership of Child Protection.
This investigation is intended to cover the following:
- Ensuring organisations are safe, and effective at being safe
- Achieving openness, transparency and good communication
- Ensuring good communication, escalation of issues and concerns with clear lines of accountability, and good leadership in scenarios where there is no direct line management structure
- Using management and audit information to understand the institution, its systems and its performance, so that systemic warning signs can be identified early
- Responding appropriately to internal and external pressure, for example from politicians, community leaders, parents, funders and other key stakeholders so that child welfare and protection is prioritised
- Responding to the evidence of “whistleblowers” and recommendations from inspectorates, Serious Case Reviews and similar reports
- Learning from past institutional failures, including adverse events, including embedding a ‘learning’ not a ‘blaming’ culture
As can be seen from the matters noted above it is wide ranging and likely to be seeking contributions from a wide range of organisations which are involved in safeguarding practices now. However the Inquiry is also seeking contributions on these topics from organisations which do not have responsibility for children but can evidence good leadership practices.
Any organisation or individual seeking to contribute to this investigation as a Core Participant must by 13 December 2019 submit an application to be granted Core Participant status.
As noted above this is described as being the final investigation. It is not surprising that IICSA is seeking to draw its work to a conclusion with the aim of providing its final report in a timely manner. Hearings are expected to conclude by the end of 2020 suggesting a final report in 2021, slightly later than initially planned. However for an Inquiry with such a wide remit to include all state and non-state organisations it is a little surprising that there has been no investigation focused on youth organisations nor anything in the health sector. Victims and survivors of abuse in those settings may feel that there has not been proper regard to the abuse they suffered.
Written by Paula Jefferson, partner and head of abuse and neglect at BLM