“The Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release to the prisoners.”

Welcome to the website of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission.

An independent review into the safeguarding structures and arrangements in the Catholic Church in England and Wales took place between July 2019 and September 2020. The recommendations in the Elliott Report were accepted by the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) in October 2020. In November 2020, the Bishops’ Plenary accepted the recommendations and established the Catholic Safeguarding Project to implement the report. As a result, the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) has been established to introduce wide-ranging reforms for safeguarding structures and processes in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The NCSC has therefore now concluded its role and passed the responsibility for safeguarding to Catholic Safeguarding Project and CSSA. For more information about the CSSA and the Catholic Safeguarding Project, please go to the website https://www.catholicsafeguardingproject.org/

Launch of Safe Spaces

I am very pleased to announce the launch of a new service dedicated to the support and accompaniment of those who have suffered abuse within the Church, which will complement the existing support services within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Safe Spaces, a joint Catholic/Anglican initiative, is the fruit of an ongoing collaboration between the churches who wish to reach out to and support those who have experienced such abuse. The charity Victim Support (VS) will independently manage the project with the aim of offering help to anyone who may have experienced trauma in the context of church activity. Their experience in offering support to victims of abuse, support which not only puts victims first but which is also informed by their experience, is a great step in helping us to hear and respond in a more concrete way to their needs.

Bishop Paul Mason, Lead Bishop for Safeguarding


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Independent Review of Safeguarding Structures and Arrangements

The Bishops of England and Wales in their ‘Ad Limina’ statement in September 2018, reflected upon their own leadership and on the responsibility to develop a culture of safeguarding in every aspect of the Catholic Church.

It is now 11 years since the Cumberlege Commission undertook a strategic review of safeguarding in England and Wales, and both the landscape of the Church and safeguarding legislation have changed since it issued its report.

The Bishops’ Conference has accordingly asked the NCSC to commission an entirely independent and comprehensive review of safeguarding structures and arrangements that currently operate within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The scope of the review has been developed and agreed by members of the NCSC, in collaboration with CSAS. This strategic review will be a key focus of the work of safeguarding for 2019/2020.

 

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Safe Spaces

This is a collaborative project developed between the Catholic Church and the Church of England to provide a space for the voices of victims and survivors to be heard, so that they can exercise personal choice and control about their support needs. It is intended that Safe Spaces will comprise an independent central hub helpline offering access to a range of online therapeutic/advocacy support services, as well as providing information and advice to survivors about a range of other services. A joint Management Board set up to oversee the project development, and supported by a dedicated Project Manager, has met throughout the past year to progress this work. Members of the Survivors Advisory Panel have played a critical part in the development of the project.

 

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Independent Inquiry

The NCSC welcomes the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the setting up of the Catholic Council for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which is independently chaired by Baroness Nuala O’Loan.

The purpose of the Council is to support the numerous organisations that make up the Catholic Church in England and Wales and it will speak with and for the Church. The Council will also ensure that the evidence required by the Inquiry is collated appropriately.

Further public hearings in relation to the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales took place in October and November 2019. We look forward to the publication of the final report during 2020.

 

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