Independent Safeguarding Audit


July 2, 2024

The Diocese of Truro and Truro Cathedral

An independent Safeguarding Audit of the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) and Truro Cathedral has found that strong and effective leadership by both the Bishop of St Germans and the Dean of Truro has resulted in a clear and effective focus on safeguarding across the whole of the Diocese of Truro.

It also highlighted that there was substantial confidence in the diocesan safeguarding team calling them ‘an asset’ and pointing out the ‘high levels of confidence in their competence’.

The independent audit was carried out in late 2023 and early 2024 by INEQE Safeguarding Group, which was commissioned by the Archbishop’s Council to audit all dioceses and cathedrals. Truro is the fourth diocese to be audited.

The report, which was published today, noted a continued commitment to embedding a safeguarding culture in all contexts and praised the work of all involved in safeguarding from victims, survivors, and thrivers, to the parishes, diocesan and cathedral staff, the bishop, and senior leaders.

The report’s authors said: “Strengths in Truro’s current safeguarding arrangements are evident at both a strategic and operational level. These have been built upon the foundations of focused leadership, the expertise and commitment of the DSO / DST and the maintenance of strong links with statutory partners. The contributions made by the many volunteers in parishes and those who support the Cathedral have also been highly significant.

“Good practice was seen by the Audit through the collective focus on the voice of survivors, care for choristers, innovative and engaging outreach at the cathedral and the working with us approach to safer recruitment. Training, awareness raising, communication strategies (not least online), the intelligent use of thresholds and the triaging, allocation, and overall management of cases, are also helping to make people safer.”

Welcoming the report, the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, Acting Bishop of Truro, and Bishop of St Germans, said: “Safeguarding is at the heart of everything we do. I am delighted both that such a thorough audit has taken place and that it tells us we can be confident in the work we are all doing, and in the people doing it. There is more to do now, and we are already working to implement the report recommendations.”

The Very Revd Simon Robinson, Dean of Truro, said: “Safeguarding is about the very heart of God who wants everyone to flourish and grow. I welcome this audit process and this report. Public scrutiny of this type will support us in our work and our ambition to ensure that everyone feels as safe as possible in our cathedrals and churches. Truro Cathedral in partnership with the Diocese of Truro is working on implementing the report recommendations as thoroughly as possible.”

Justine Hosking, Independent Chair of the Truro Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel, said: “This great result shows what a dedicated safeguarding team can achieve when they listen and work together with their church community.”

The report found that the organisation had ‘worked consistently … to build an engaged and safeguarding focused culture’.

This was reflected in the responses from the worshipping community with the majority stating they feel safe in their parishes describing them as ‘inclusive’, ‘happy’ and ‘nurturing’.

The work being undertaken with victims, survivors and thrivers was also noted by the auditors, who said: “The DBF Leadership is absolutely focused on collaborating with victims and survivors and learning from their experiences.”

While overwhelmingly positive, the report noted challenges but noted: “..there are areas that could be strengthened, and some stubborn challenges remain. Critically, the most senior leaders recognise this and are committed to pushing ahead with the improvement journey they now lead.”

Bishop Hugh added: “While the report speaks positively about much that is happening in the diocese; we know there is a long way to go and that there is no place for complacency with safeguarding. We will work hard to implement the audit recommendations.”

The audit reviewed 382 documents and included 30 interviews with staff and volunteers, external partners, victims and survivors and other stakeholders, 497 anonymous survey responses submitted by victims and survivors, children and young people as well as those worshipping or working within the parishes, cathedral and diocese. Six focus groups took place, two engaged with 32 children and young people, one was conducted with five chorister parents, one focus group drew input from eight Parish Safeguarding Officers (PSOs), one with 11 Cathedral Volunteers, and one with nine clergy within the diocese, and 43 separate engagement sessions reaching 592 people.

Read the full Audit Report here

Read the Safeguarding Audit Booklet here

Post expires on September 3rd, 2024

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