March 20, 2018
By Hattie Williams
THE National Safeguarding Adviser of the Church of England, Graham Tilby, has said that the language of safeguarding policies and regulations could be clarified to support the call from survivors for mandatory reporting in the Church.
Giving evidence on Monday and Tuesday to the public hearing being conducted by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) into safeguarding failures of the Anglican Church, Mr Tilby said: “I would agree that if a matter is reported to whoever, whether it is a member of [the] clergy or a layperson, that clearly is a safeguarding allegation or an admission, then that must be reported. . .
“Our guidance — as I say, I’m happy to look at it in terms of whether there are ways of strengthening that, but I think the position is clear: it must be reported. I would have to have those conversations with lawyers to work out whether that was something that needed to be enshrined in legislation.”
Asked on behalf of the lawyers representing survivors how the Church could ensure that the number of reports of abuse went up, unless there was mandatory reporting, he said: “It is equipping people with the skills and confidence to recognise abuse, so fundamentally training has to be key to support that.
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