The Catholic Church in Scotland has announced the creation of a new safeguarding agency. Speaking this month at the end of a national safeguarding webinar which attracted 450 participants from across Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, announced the establishment of this new body – the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (SCSSA) which will be run as an independent private company.
Speaking to the webinar participants, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said: “The SCSSA will operate entirely independently of the Church and will have its own staff and Board of Management who will work in close collaboration with dioceses and religious communities to ensure that they are able to meet national safeguarding standards. It will also develop a process that will provide an independent review of complaints about safeguarding practice and, crucially, establish a forum in which those who have experienced abuse can contribute their own perspectives to the development of safeguarding.”
Bishop Hugh added: “We will shortly commence the recruitment process for the Chair and members of the Board of Management, followed by the recruitment of a Director and a Head of Safeguarding Training.”
The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry has already issued certain case study findings on the abuse of children at premises run by various Catholic orders in Scotland with further case study findings in respect of another Catholic order, the Marists, due for publication shortly.
Written by Frank Hughes, Partner and Fiona McEwan, Associate at BLM
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As noted in our blogs last week on 12 November and 13 November, this week we are looking in more detail at some of the topics which IICSA has covered in its Anglican and Roman Catholic reports. Although the reports refer to some progress by both the Anglican church and the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Inquiry concludes that there is still significant need for improvement in safeguarding in each. Several common themes arise in the reports which are explored here.
On Thursday 24 September, the Conference of German Catholic Bishops disclosed plans to pay survivors of sexual and physical abuse by Catholic priests in Germany, compensation of up to €50,000 (£45,350). Rather than refer to the payments as compensation, the German Catholic Church insists on referring to them as “payments in recognition of [the survivors’] suffering.”
The president of the Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing said that the figure was arrived at after reviewing relevant court awards in German abuse claims and was at “the higher end” of comparable damages that have been made via the normal court claims process.
On the 19 June the Australian Parliament passed legislation to establish the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse, ensuring the scheme can begin on 1 July 2018. Continue reading
On the 10th May, 2018 the National Redress Scheme (the Scheme) legislation was introduced to the Parliament for Australia. This legislation replaces the Commonwealth legislation previously introduced and this allow for States and territories that join the Scheme to participate under law. Continue reading
Continuing our series of blogs commenting upon the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the RC) this blog considers by reference to numbers and statistics the information obtained about survivors and perpetrators.
At the time of issuing its final report the Royal Commission (RC) had spoken with more than 8,000 survivors in private sessions and received more than 1,000 written accounts.
In compiling its final report, it analysed the experiences of the 6,875 survivors as told to them in private sessions up until 31 May 2017.
The IICSA Research and Analysis Project programme of work continues. In two blogs today we provide an update on the latest report published by the IICSA research team and on the seminar topics being considered by the IICSA, in order to gather information and views which will contribute to the investigations.
In the past three months, as the IICSA has been mired in criticism and controversy, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia has shown how a wide ranging inquiry in connection with child abuse can make progress. It is worth considering its published work from just the last three months, some of which is very specific to organisations and circumstances in Australia but much of which is of wider guidance and relevance outside of that jurisdiction. As so much has happened which is not just of interest but of practical assistance we will consider the work of the Royal Commission in two separate blogs published over the next two days.