Lambeth Palace has today published a Safeguarding Action Plan in response to the independent audit published by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in February.
The purpose of the SCIE report was to gain a greater understanding into the safeguarding policies at Lambeth Palace, as well as its culture. Sixty five recommendations were set out in the report.
In response to the SCIE audit, Lambeth Palace and Archbishop Justin Welby committed to creating an Action Plan to continue improving safeguarding at the Palace. In order to be accountable and transparent, that plan is being published today and will be followed by yearly updates.
The Action Plan sets out clear requirements, which include: routine monitoring of the safety of Lambeth Palace staff and residents; ensuring that all roles are safely recruited in accordance with the Safer Recruitment and People Management policy; making sure we respond consistently well to anyone contacting the Palace about safeguarding issues; reviewing the complaints process, and collecting feedback from victims and survivors. This feedback will inform how the Palace appropriately responds to victims and survivors when they make contact with Lambeth Palace.
Sir David Behan CBE has been appointed to provide independent strategic safeguarding advice to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Sir David has 45 years’ experience in health and social care, and started his career in social work. Since then he has held various management and leadership roles, and most recently he has been involved in policy, regulation, education and leadership development.
Lambeth Palace in London is the office and official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop is supported by a team of staff at the Palace, and a religious community of young people called the Community of St Anselm lives on-site.
The Revd Ijeoma Ajibade, Chief of Staff and Strategy at Lambeth Palace, and safeguarding lead for the Palace, said:
“As Chief of Staff it is my responsibility to ensure that safe working practices are adhered to at Lambeth Palace. My role has been set out very clearly in this Action Plan and that is to chair the Palace Safeguarding Reference Group and oversee the work of the full-time Lambeth Palace Safeguarding Manager. Lambeth Palace is a rich and varied place. We have staff, residents, visitors and a religious community of young people here. We have considered very seriously how we strengthen our safeguarding response and we believe this Action Plan is a robust start. But this is only the beginning. We will keep on reflecting and monitoring, and most crucially we will make sure we respond to victims and survivors with warmth, compassion and professionalism.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, said:
“Any kind of abuse in our Church, or within any of our Church structures, will not be tolerated and needs to be prevented. This Action Plan demonstrates my ongoing commitment to good safeguarding. I want victims and survivors to be at the front and centre of any process that involves them, and this plan is designed to do exactly that. I am committed to their continued safety and wellbeing, which is of paramount importance to build up the necessary trust and confidence in the Church that has been lost through past failures. It is right that we listen and act to improve safeguarding here at Lambeth Palace and across the Church.”