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Thirtyone:eight has today welcomed the final overview report from The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and its significant opinions about the state of safeguarding across the Church of England.

The report, published by SCIE on Tuesday, followed four years of research involving Church of England dioceses and dozens of abuse survivors.

The report presents an overview of learning from the 42 audits, carried out between 2015-17, and introduces the additional work conducted by a survey to gather the views of people who have first-hand experience of Church responses, including survivors of clergy and Church-related abuse.

It notes the audits have taken place in a changing context and the Church has done much to address early systemic issues raised by SCIE. It therefore summarises and appraises all activity (completed, underway and planned) to address issues that have been raised and makes clear areas where work is still required to improve safeguarding practices.

58 people responded to the survivor survey which focused on how the Church should be engaging with people who come forward; the vast majority said they were dissatisfied with the Church’s response.

Justin Humphreys, CEO at Thirtyone:eight, said: "I welcome the final overview report of SCIE as it makes some important points about the state of safeguarding across the Church of England."

“What it shows is that a significant amount of progress has been made in recent times, but that the work is far from finished."

“Despite the best efforts of the National Safeguarding Team at Church House, there remain huge problems in achieving consistent understanding and application of good safeguarding arrangements across dioceses, religious communities, cathedrals and other institutions."

“The opportunity to lead by example is still not something that has been fully embraced or explored and a greater degree of transparency and humility is not affecting changes at all levels in the way the public, and particularly survivors of abuse would rightly expect."

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