Safeguarding Implementation - Past Cases Review

The Methodist Conference, currently being held inBirmingham, has announced that significant progress has been madeon implementing all the recommendations of the 2015 report intonon-recent abuse.

The 23 recommendations of the Past Cases Review are now allunderway with a change of culture within the church reported asbecoming increasingly apparent. Almost 80% of the 1,885 cases thatcame to light as part of the review have now been completed and itis hoped that those outstanding will be completed later thissummer. 

With its work well underway, the Past Cases ReviewImplementation Group has now handed over responsibility foron-going safeguarding work to the Church's SafeguardingCommittee.
The Independent Past Cases Review considered all safeguardingcases for which there were written records and those recalled frommemory by ministers and members of the Church going back to 1950.The review was described as modelling best practice in its opennessand honesty regarding past failures. An implementation group wasestablished in 2015 to ensure that the recommendations made in thereport were actioned.
Among the recommendations being actioned:
Each Methodist District to have a dedicated Safeguarding Officerto offer support, guidance and investigate concerns.
Training in safeguarding to be mandatory for ministers and allthose whose work involves children and vulnerablepeople.  
Formal, structured supervision be introduced to ensureaccountability and support, this has been piloted and will berolled out with all ministers having supervision by 2020.
Ministers and others undertaking pastoral work are trained in bestpractice when recording their visits.
A code of conduct recommended by the Past Cases Review has beendrafted and further work on this is on-going.
The scope of risk assessments have been widened as the nature ofsafeguarding concerns develops.

The Revd Alison Tomlin, Chair of the Safeguarding Committee,said: "The task of implementing what we have learnt, and are stilllearning, goes on, as we continue to listen to those who live withthe results of abuse. We re-affirm our commitment to best practicein every place, and to the work of making Church a safe space forall."
The Revd Canon Gareth J Powell, the Secretary of the MethodistConference, said: "This must be our commitment because an apologycan never be enough - what we owe as a Church to those who reportedand continue to live with the memory and pain of abuse, is a deep,permanent and faithful commitment to prevent any furtherabuse."

The Safeguarding Committee will now monitor the progress made bysenior leadership within the Church to make the organisation asafer space.
Anyone who wishes to discuss concerns around Safeguarding shouldcontact the Connexional Safeguarding Team by emailing safeguarding@methodistchurch.org.ukor calling 020 7467 5189.