Here are our top safeguarding stories from July 2020. To access or view the full articles click on the link embedded in the title:
The head of the biggest child protection department in the country has said they are facing a crisis when children return to school in September. Matt Dunkley, corporate director for children and young people at Kent County Council, said there could be an increase of 250% in referrals of children that need to be investigated and kept safe as the lockdown is eased further.
Kathy Coe, founder of Pathway Project, talks about how faith groups can play a role supporting those who have suffered from domestic abuse during lockdown. She said: "No-one could have foreseen this lockdown and there was no time to prepare adequately, but we can be ready for the aftereffects and we owe it to those victims who have lived through this to be ready to help now.”
The Clergy Discipline measure (CDM) is part of a “toxic management culture” in the Church of England, and is so flawed that it needs complete replacement. The conclusion came in a paper published in July by Dr Sarah Horsman, Warden of Sheldon and is based on the results of a survey of one third of the C of E clergy, carried out with the University of Aston. The CDM was found to have lost the confidence of clergy as an appropriate means of maintaining professional accountability.
Church of England investigating complaint over how Archbishop of Canterbury dealt with abuse claims at Christian camps
The National Safeguarding Team (NST) is investigating the Archbishop of Canterbury’s handling of allegations against John Smyth, the Evangelical leader accused of savagely beating boys and young men, who died in South Africa in 2018 before he could be returned to Britain for questioning. A survivor, “Graham”, made a formal complaint against Archbishop Welby on 12th June, stating that the Archbishop had been told in 2013 of the abuse by Smyth, who ran the evangelistic Iwerne camps and was at one time a Reader in a C of E parish.
The government will change the DBS rules after Labour MP John Spellar pressed the Prime Minister on the issue in the Commons. It came after claimants had challenged the current rules requiring them to disclose multiple offences, no matter how historic or minor, and to disclose cautions received in childhood. The scheme has faced continued criticism after a Supreme Court ruling last year found that current rules on criminal records checks breach human rights laws.
Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said a "conspiracy of silence" has allowed factories in the city to continue to exploit workers over many years. Leicester City Council estimates there are around 1,500 textile factories across the city. Most are small businesses - workshops housed in crumbling buildings that are in desperate need of repair.
While the risk of coronavirus spread is the major concern for American churches at the moment, Nashville-based LifeWay Christian Resources are urging leaders to use their reopening plans as a chance to also revisit their policies to prevent sexual abuse.
The House of Lords Gambling Committee said video game loot boxes should be classified as "games of chance" - which would bring them under the Gambling Act 2005. Children are spending hundreds of pounds "chasing their losses" on money spent on virtual loot boxes in video games, according to the children's commissioner for England, Anne Longfield.