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Bills on Adult Safeguarding Introduced at Synod

A Bill seeking to make the same provision for the implementation of and adherence to the Church’s new Adult Safeguarding policy by parishes, clergy and diocesan bodies, as is already provided for Safeguarding Trust, the Church’s child protection policy was introduced at Synod today (Thursday May 10). The Bill, which has received its first and second readings, is in line with the extension of the concept of safeguarding to include ‘adults at risk of harm’ and adults in need of protection (NI) and ‘vulnerable adults’ (RI).

The Bill, in the names of Canon Gillian Wharton and Geoffrey Perrin at the request of the RCB and Standing Committee, seeks to amend Chapter XVI of the Constitution.

Canon Wharton said we are now duty bound to take care of our adults as we do our children and this Bill deals with that.

In a related Bill, Synod members are being asked to approve a move to provide funding for this safeguarding work and resources relating to adults by extending the levy on parishes. A new Safeguarding Board was established in 2017 by the RCB and Standing Committee and the existing Child Protection Officers, now to be known as Safeguarding Officers, undertook additional work around adult safeguarding.

The RCB will continue to make a contribution to the costs of the Safeguarding Board. If the Bill is enacted it will ensure that each diocese contributes towards the cost of the work of Safeguarding also.

The Bills passed their first and second stages and will receive their final reading on Saturday morning.