2014-10-13

Short Minute of Meeting 9

Apologies

Kathleen Marshall
Danny Sullivan

Minutes of the last meeting

The short minute of the last meeting was approved.

Update on participation

Roisin provided an update on numbers responding to the Commission, via the website, email and hard copy. A number of people making submissions have requested no further contact, and those who have requested a meeting have either met with Andrew and Roisin or a meeting was planned. Submissions have been received from a range of individuals, both lay people and priests. A couple of submissions were in response to the recent bulletin in parish newsletters.

A number of themes continue to be developed.

David informed members that participation on the secure website had been extended to 30 September, and that he would start the process of closing this down. It will be closed by the time of the next meeting, although people will still be able to contact the Commission by email.

It was agreed that we had sought views through as wide a range of communication methods as possible.

Progress with work-streams

Liaison and Joint Working

Sheena and Malcolm provided an update. They are now midway through the process of gathering evidence. To date the main responses have come from charities. Meetings with a sample of organisations have been arranged.

A report will be tabled at the December meeting.

Evaluation and Review

Nancy and Lindsay provided an update on audits, monitoring effectiveness and identifying good practice – particularly in relation to registered care services.

They also provided feedback on visits to parishes and some issues arising there. Almost all visits had been characterised by enthusiasm for the work of the Commission.

Nancy and Lindsay will table a report at a future meeting.

General

Nancy and Donald attended the Conference for Parish Safeguarding Co-ordinators. 120 Co-ordinators had met – a very high number. The remit of the Commission was clarified to ensure everyone understood that it was not involved in the historic review of abuse. The day was constructive and attendees displayed a very good level of knowledge, awareness and interest in the subject matter.

Ranald noted that we need to continue to focus on vulnerable adults as well as child protection. We also need to continue to focus on abuse perpetrated by non-clergy members of the church as well as by clergy. Malcolm stressed that in reality the nature of the concerns are mainly directed towards children.

A discussion also followed about the use of the terms “safeguarding” and “vulnerable”. Nancy stressed that we might all be vulnerable at some point of our lives.

Meeting representatives of Religious Orders

David has been in contact with Tina Campbell about identifying representatives and will arrange a meeting. It was decided to meet the representatives as a group rather than individually.

Update on Meetings with the Bishops and Advisers

Seven meetings have taken place to date.

Meeting with Priests

Andrew, Roisin, Nancy and Ranald have met with Priests in Paisley, Argyll and the Isles and St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Andrew highlighted a number of issues arising.

Meeting with others

Andrew, Ranald and Lindsay will be meeting with Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. Safeguarding issues from the perspective of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales will be discussed.

Evidence from Social Work

Evidence was taken at the meeting from:

Mr Alan Baird, Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government.

Mr Alistair Gaw, Head of Support Services for Children and Young People, Edinburgh City Council.

Dr Donald Macaskill, former Church of Scotland Minister. He is also a theologian, and is currently Associate Consultant with Scottish Care.

The evidence was not given on behalf of the organisations, rather it was provided on an individual basis.

Moving Forward

Andrew outlined his thoughts about the next stages of the work of the Commission.

He will start to write about some of the key issues identified so far and will aim to produce three pages or so for the next meeting.

The various work-streams should send their contributions to Andrew, copied to David and Ranald.

We should be in a position to start discussing the final report in more detail at the December meeting.

It was agreed not to meet in January and February to allow members to concentrate on the write up of their various strands of work.

Next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 10 November 2014.

October 2014