The role of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) is to ensure that the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) receives appropriate and timely information and advice from a survivor perspective. This informs the work of the Commission regarding safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.
The SAP will provide the NCSC with:
- Advice and recommendations on matters relevant to victims/survivors
- Knowledge and insight into experience of abuse
- A positive contribution to improve responses regarding victim
disclosures and church support
- Expertise to inform and influence work by highlighting previously unidentified areas/topics for attention
- Input on NCSC media and communications strategy
Whilst accepting that victims and survivors perspectives cover a wide spectrum, it is hoped that the varied professional and/or personal backgrounds of the current members will enable SAP to provide valuable contributions to the work of the NCSC. Without exception, every panel member has a real passion for the perspective of the victim/survivor to be understood and represented.
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Terms of Reference
1. Purpose: to ensure the NCSC receive appropriate and timely information and advice from the survivor perspective that will help inform the work of the NCSC and subsequently the safeguarding policies and practices within the Catholic Church of England and Wales.
2. Remit of the Survivor Advisory Panel:
The Panel will:
2.1 provide the NCSC with advice and recommendations on matters relevant to victims and survivors;
2.2 offer knowledge and insight into the experience of those who have been hurt by abuse;
2.3 make a positive contribution to the current agenda of the NCSC to improve responses to victim disclosures and the Church’s support for those hurt by abuse;
2.4 inform / influence the work of the NCSC by forwarding/receiving issues for discussion or ideas for pieces of work and as per the work plan of the Panel;
2.5 provide input on the NCSC media and communications strategy (where appropriate) for example, the annual report, literature and co presenting with the NCSC.
3. Group Membership:
3.1 It is important that the Panel provide a survivor perspective; to this end those who have been hurt by abuse should make up the majority membership;
3.2 Membership of the Panel will be made up of individuals who have experience of abuse, this could include:
- direct personal experience of abuse by Catholic clergy or religious;
- direct experience;
- a parent of a child who has been abused;
- a carer of a vulnerable adult who has been abused;
- a person with extensive experience of working with survivors (including a representative from a national survivor group);
- a health/social care professional with relevant knowledge and experience;
3.3 The Panel will have a maximum of twelve members.
4. Recruitment of members, including the Chairperson:
4.1 The NCSC will identify a suitable Chairperson for an initial 2 year appointment. Thereafter the post will be a three year appointment, although this will be subject to a decision to extend the duration of the Panel beyond the initial 3 year pilot phase;
4.2 All members will be appointed to a term of three years and will serve no more than two terms (and subject to the possible extension of the pilot phase). After initial members are appointed (up to a maximum of eight), further appointments will be staggered to ensure group continuity after the initial 3 year period;
4.3 In order to be open and transparent members will be recruited through advertisement via local and national networks;
4.4 Consideration should be given to gender balance when recruiting members;
4.5 Verbal feedback will be provided, on request, by the Chair of NCSC to any applicant not appointed. This will be in addition to a standard letter.
5. Method of working: Two way communication
5.1 The NCSC will identify work tasks to be undertaken by the Panel and the Panel will identify topics they feel the NCSC needs to consider;
5.2 The Chair of NCSC and the Chair of the Panel will agree a work plan, to be reviewed on a quarterly basis. A standard tool will be used that will aid evaluation and review;
5.3 This may result in briefing papers being presented to the NCSC.
6.1 The Chair of the Panel will report directly to the NCSC and will attend an NCSC meeting at least once a year, at the invitation of the NCSC;
6.2 Agenda items for the Panel meeting will be the responsibility of the Chair;
6.3 Minutes should be taken in line with agenda;
6.4 The link person from the NCSC will attend a Panel meeting periodically as agreed by NCSC and the Panel Chair and report back to the Commission;
6.5 Members will be required to sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement;
6.6 All contact with the media will be via the NCSC and with the agreement of the Chair of the NCSC.
7.1 The Chair will liaise with the NCSC secretary regarding booking meeting rooms; circulation of agenda/briefing papers; payment of travel expenses.
8.1 The following will be funded by the NCSC: meeting venue; meeting refreshments; travel expenses;
8.2 The Chairperson will receive a small honorarium.
9.1 Outcomes of the Panel will be assessed using the work plan tool;
9.2 The NCSC will review the relevance and value of these terms of reference of the Panel at least every three years;
9.3 A formal evaluation of the Survivor Advisory Panel will be undertaken to deliver its results at the end of the 3 year pilot phase. The results of this evaluation will be used to determine the value of continuing with the Panel.
Approved by the NCSC June 2015