BY Ryan McDougall | April 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Safeguarding Review Group continues to work during COVID-19

A reviewal group set up to inspect safeguarding in the Church in Scotland is continuing its work throughout the pandemic.

The Independent Review Group (IRG) set up by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, which is chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell, to monitor the implementation of the McLellan Commission on safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, has announced it will continue to work throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

The IRG last met on February 22, joined by Fr Gerry MaGuiness, general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland alongside Fr Michael McGrath.

A statement released by the IRG said it was a ‘very useful meeting following the publication of the first two independent audits, conducted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and the Diocese of Galloway, and we were able to announce that the 2020 Independent audits would be of the Dioceses of Motherwell and Aberdeen.’


It adds: “Prior to the lockdown, we had anticipated that the start of the 2020 audit process would have been on April 21, and we were planning a ‘Lessons Learned’ conference in June. Now we are working with SCIE to determine if some of the preparatory work with the next two Dioceses can be done by working remotely to allow a quick start to the face to face elements of the audits.

“We will keep you informed of how we progress that. Both initial audits have been a valuable learning experience for all of us.”

Digital meetings

The IRG is now arranging possible online meetings due to lockdown restrictions, where they will offer assistance to the dioceses on ways of implementing the the ‘action points for improvement that emerged in the audits’ and said they ‘will have formal follow-up meetings at the end of the six month period since publication to acknowledge the progress which has been made.’

The IRG conclude that they ‘never lose sight of the importance of independence’ and recognise ‘the driving commitment of the many in the Church to ensure that the vulnerable among us are protected and shielded with love and compassion.’

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