The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) has urged Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards (LSCBs) to engage with their local faith communities as an urgent priority.
The request comes as the Department for Education (DfE) publishes the National Action Plan to tackle Child Abuse linked to Faith or Belief. CCPAS has welcomed the actions and said that it was especially pleased that the government’s blueprint for tackling the problem was based, in part, on the work it had pioneered with faith communities over the past few years.
Simon Bass, CEO, CCPAS explains: “This action plan helps raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage people to take practical steps to prevent such abuse. We are pleased that government and all members of the working group have understood the gravity of the problem and recognise that a multi-layered approach is needed if the evil of faith-based abuse is to be combated successfully. We now look forward to working with all parties particularly faith leaders to implement its proposals.
“CCPAS’s particular status within the church community has enabled us to initiate engagement with church communities, which led to us professionally training well over 4,000 leaders and workers in how to prevent abuse from taking place in their churches. We are now well placed to help deliver the other key strand of the Action Plan’s strategy, empowering practitioners, since we act as the natural bridge between churches and the statutory agencies.
“But no matter how good the Plan is nationally, it will only succeed if it is taken on board at local and community levels, too. This is why we are today calling upon LSCBs throughout the UK to engage with their local faith communities. Some have already done so, but many have not. A first step is to know exactly which faith groups they have, and where they worship – and this they must do as an urgent priority”.
Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) website
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