Bishop Joseph Toal reports on the major changes that are being planned for how the Catholic Church in Scotland will continue to support and regulate safeguarding in the Church.
I am very pleased to be able to report on the progress that has been made in our efforts to keep the young and the vulnerable safe.
IN GOD’S IMAGE – the document that describes how safeguarding must be provided in all Catholic parishes and religious communities – was first published in 2018. Now, after 10 months of consultation, reflection and discussion, we are preparing to publish version 2. I am sure that
you will find that this offers helpful guidance and direction. IGI v2 will be available online in August 2021.
“The other major development being planned is the re-structuring of the Church’s national safeguarding service. The Bishops have been reviewing the work of all our various offices and agencies to ensure that they are providing the services that are needed to support people today.”
“As part of that review, our thoughts turned to how we can best promote and regulate the safeguarding standards that govern how we protect children and vulnerable adults. We also want to improve our outreach to those who have experienced abuse so that their perspectives can influence the ways we offer support to them.”
“So, we are planning to transform our national office into the SCOTTISH CATHOLIC SAFEGUARDING STANDARDS AGENCY (SCSSA). Its core work will be to promote and regulate the consistent application of our safeguarding standards.”
“A key duty of the new agency will be to establish a forum in which the Church can continue to listen to, and learn from, those who have experienced abuse. The Bishops are indebted to those who have already contributed so much to the steady development of safeguarding in the Church in Scotland and to those who will contribute to these new developments.”