Understanding spiritual abuse
What does our new research tell us?
How safe are our children online?
Eight tips for keeping children safer
Charity begins at home:
Safeguarding audits: Whatâ€™s involved?
Spiritual abuse: How should we respond?
How safe are our children online?
Charity begins at home: Safeguarding audits ;
Case study: The Diocese of Sheffield
Understanding spiritual abuse: Research focus
Member spotlight: Kerith Community Church
Meet the CCPAS team: Susan Stephen
Cover photo by Jaren Wicklund
Inform, influence and inspire.
T: 0303 003 1111 E: firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 133, Swanley, Kent, BR8 7UQ Disclosure (DBS): T: 0303 003 1111 (option 1) Helpline: T: 0303 003 1111 (option 2) Training and Consultancy: T: 0303 003 1111 (option 3) Finance: T: 0303 003 1111 (option 4) E: email@example.com PO Box 54, Blackburn, BB2 1LD Membership: T: 0303 003 1111 (option 5)
Editorial Team: Justin Humphreys
Executive Director (Safeguarding)
Executive Director (Operations)
Head of Communications
Content & Communications Officer
Trustees: Paul Dicken Jane Dowdell James Foy (Chair) David Pearson (Comp Sec) Ferzanna Riley
CCPAS is a charity registered in England and Wales (1004490), in Scotland (SCO40578), and a company registered in England (2646487) ©2018 CCPAS
Welcome to your Spring edition of Caring, the magazine of the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS).
increase and so here we explore the issues and share some tips on how we might help children stay safer.
At the start of the year we released the summary findings from our groundbreaking research into understanding spiritual abuse in Christian communities. This research is the latest in an on-going series of specially commissioned studies into areas associated with safeguarding in Christian faith contexts. Widely welcomed by many, the findings also sparked much public debate. In this edition of Caring, we share the full results from the research and also unpack the term, and address some of the key issues associated with it.
Aid charities have been hitting our headlines recently because of examples of where safeguarding issues have occurred and been badly mismanaged. We speak with Karen Eakins, Head of Consultancy, to find out what charities can be doing and how a safeguarding audit can help organisations review the effectiveness of their policies and procedures.
In February, we marked Global Safer Internet Day. Concerns over the dangers of the internet in relation to the safeguarding of children continue to
Thank you again for your continued commitment to creating safer places for all. As always we’d love to hear your what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also share some examples of organisations that are working hard to get things right, and here they share their experiences with us.
CCPAS News Summary research findings released on spiritual abuse
New suite of training courses This year we launched our new training programme including three brand new modules on Pastoral Care and Supporting Survivors, Spiritual Abuse, and training for Safeguarding leads, plus three new core course options. Find out more here: ccpas.co.uk/training
January saw the launch of the summary findings from our recent ground-breaking research exploring understandings of spiritual abuse within Christian communities. The findings call for more work to be done to develop understanding of this experience. ccpas.co.uk/info/research
MP pledges support We recently met with Tim Loughton MP (Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Children) to discuss our call for changes to the legislation on ‘Positions of Trust’ to better safeguard young people. Tim pledged his support to bring this amendment through parliament.
CCPAS launches new monthly safeguarding blog As part of our commitment to update our members on the latest safeguarding news and legislation we’ve launched a new monthly safeguarding blog on relevant topics. You can read it here: ccpasblog.wordpress.com 2
Job Advert Safeguarding Associate (Self-employed consultant) As the only independent Christian safeguarding charity in the UK, we are valued for our specialist knowledge and understanding of churches, Christian organisations and faith based communities. Due to an increase in demand for our professional consultancy services, we are seeking to expand our team of self-employed associates to meet the growing need. Our services include: • • • • • •
Safeguarding Audits Risk Assessments Past Cases Review Blemished Disclosures Complaints Investigations Crisis/Allegation Management
• • • • • •
Service Agreements Bespoke training Policy Review Listening Service Management Investigations International Child Protection
This role is perfect for someone who has a proven track record of undertaking complex assessments and producing high quality reports. You’ll need a relevant professional qualification and experience in social work, education, probation, police or health. We offer a competitive daily rate and the chance to become part of our dynamic and growing network of professionals. For an informal chat about the role call Karen on 0303 003 1111 or for more information or to apply go to www.ccpas.co.uk/jobs Closing Date: Friday 20th April 2018
Working from home as an Associate works really well for me as it allows me flexibility in planning my diary to allow time for the work I am passionate about as well as space for other commitments and responsibilities. Having quarterly meetings with my line manager allows the opportunity for two-way feedback and reviewing the direction for my own professional development. It is a great privilege to travel around the country, and abroad at times, in order to support a whole range of churches, and charities as they seek to make their organisations safer places for everyone. Helen CCPAS Safeguarding Associate
Spiritual Abuse: How should we respond? In January, we published the summary findings of our ground-breaking new research by Dr Lisa Oakley and Bournemouth University into understanding spiritual abuse in Christian communities. Widely welcomed by many, the findings also sparked much debate. Justin Humphreys Executive Director (Safeguarding) and co-author of the research, unpacks some of the concerns with the term and explores what needs to happen next.
The term â€˜spiritual abuseâ€˜ is currently contentious and the topic of much debate. There is a real need for the church at large to demonstrably make efforts to explore definitions and terminology surrounding it so that we can collectively be better prepared to create cultures and environments that are less likely to facilitate abuse and harm and respond appropriately when it is identified.
denominational safeguarding policies already include mention of spiritual abuse, however there remains the lack of a universally agreed definition of the term which has led to concern. It is important for us to unpack the term, consider how it should be defined, and address some of the key issues associated with it. In doing so it remains of the utmost importance to ensure that the voice of survivors is heard and brought to bear.
The term itself entered literature and discourse about 20 years ago, however issues around coercive control and misuse of power have a long history of discussion within the Christian context. Many
The first concern that should be addressed is whether the term calls for legislative change and the need for criminalisation. Our 4
recent research shows that it would appear to be at least in part, adequately addressed by the range of categories of abuse that already exist. What cannot be addressed through statutory and subsequently law however, is the spiritual element to the abuse suffered. This remains the domain and responsibility of the church or other faith context.
challenging enough and concern is sometimes raised that if we discuss issues of coercion and
“the focus should not be on stopping an exploration of spiritual abuse, but on how to support and nurture leaders to lead in an authentic and healthy way”
What we do know from our experiences of working across the spectrum of abuse over many years, is that legislation on its own is not enough. To bring about cultural change and to create healthy environments that are safer for all, requires the church to demonstrate active commitment from organisational leaders, the development of robust policies, the embedding of safer practices, and sufficient training and support of workers and those responsible for responding when issues arise.
control, that leaders will be unable to exercise appropriate authority and lead effectively. What is evident from work conducted in this area is that the focus should not be on stopping an exploration of spiritual abuse, but on how to support and nurture leaders to lead in an authentic and healthy way, which allows the use of authority and the development of those they are leading. Evidence shows that a significant amount of spiritually abusive behaviour is not intentional, but comes as a result of a failure to self-manage emotions, attitudes and beliefs and their impact upon others in day-to-day interactions and relationships. The ability of leaders to be able to self-reflect and self-regulate is a key
“to create healthy environments that are safer for all, requires the church to demonstrate active commitment” One of the biggest challenges posed to work in this area is the perceived impact on leaders and leadership. Christian leadership is 5
requirement in understanding how power and authority are used in the day-to-day interactions with those around them, such that they do not cause harm
use of the term. However, it is our belief that the term is important to recognise the depth of the experience for the individual and its impact upon their functioning and flourishing.
In addition to this, there are also concerns about spiritual abuse being used to justify a particular theological position or becoming tied to it. It is possible to misuse or abuse all theological positions to assert unhealthy power and abuse of others. Our view is that holding a theological position is not in itself spiritually abusive, however, it is how the position held is shared and practiced that matters. This is an important distinction. Where stances are communicated in dictatorial, controlling and coercive ways, this can be harmful and can result in spiritual abuse.
We believe that continuing to use the term â€˜abuseâ€™ is the most appropriate to describe the experiences we have identified and the impact they have emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. A recognition of the term and definition should allow for the focus of work to move to providing effective responses through policy and procedural guidance. Importantly, it should also help in the consideration of what healthy and safe Church culture looks like in addition to healthy and authentic leadership.
As with all other forms of abuse, there is initial concern about the A full statement on our position in relation to the use of the term spiritual abuse can be found on our website.
Spiritual abuse training Many church denominations already include spiritual abuse in their safeguarding policies As awareness about this term increases how can we properly equip our organisations to respond well? Drawing on the latest information and research, this brand new training course is specifically designed to help you develop your own understanding of spiritual abuse and support your organisations to respond effectively.
Book online www.ccpas.co.uk
What the training covers: • What do we mean by the term
• What impact can this abuse
have on peoples lives
• How can we respond well and
create healthy cultures
Wednesday 28 March Monday 2 July Tuesday 27 November Venue: CCPAS Swanley, Kent This course will be lead by Dr Lisa Oakley, a recognised expert in the field of spiritual abuse in the UK. .
How safe are our children online?
Nearly every week an article can be found in the news regarding problems caused for children and parents by the internet or social media. This February, we joined organisations around the globe to mark Safer Internet Day to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. In this article CCPAS’s Matt Cooper looks into some of the key issues and asks what churches can be doing. Safer Internet Day is marked globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
around online safety and the amount of problems and dangers caused by the internet when used by children. However, with heightened awareness of the issues, there are an increasing number of helpful guides and websites providing useful and practical ways to keep children safe online.
This year the theme for the day was: “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you” #SID2018. Writing in the Times last December, James McConnachie wrote that “the new parental front line is digital” and while the internet can be used for a lot of good, there are many issues
At CCPAS we have a model e-safety flowchart and policy which can be found under ‘downloads’ in our members area 8
One other good source of information and advice is: www.internetmatters.org.
“From knowing how to turn on strict filtering on an iPhone,
Lee Carmichael, one of our Helpline Practitioners, who many of you will have spoken to if you’ve rung our helpline says: “For youth workers it’s mostly down to best practice in setting up social media groups and how to communicate with young people safely. We have our model online safety policy which covers both service users and workers.”
“it’s about growing up with an agreed culture of openness with kids and not waiting till something goes wrong before putting in good safety measures.”
“Beyond that I think there’s a lack of parental input from churches and youth workers. In a 2015 Ofcom survey they found that ‘One in eight parents of 12-15s feel they don’t know enough to help their child manage online risks.’
to using a paid app subscription for a number of apps which help monitor children’s online activity and positively challenge them when facing risks. “In my view it’s about growing up with an agreed culture of openness with kids and not waiting till something goes wrong before putting in good safety measures.
“Youth workers can be family workers and help engage parents, who spend more time than anyone else with their children to
“Children can really benefit from being online and by working together with them, rather than just policing them, they can be safe.”
“One in eight parents of 12-15 year olds feel they don’t know enough to help their child manage online risks.”
We’ve put together eight hints and tips for keeping children safe when using social media which are taken from our Help guide on online safety which is available to downloadable for free from our website.
be able to consider what online risks are present in their home and how to help their children stay safe and get the best out of their online experience.
Eight tips for keeping children safe online • Be involved in your child setting up and using social media
accounts. This includes chat rooms available through children’s toys such as Moshi Monsters etc. • Ensure privacy settings are correct. These can include photo
permissions, location tags, who can see their comments. Every device and app has options for privacy. • Tell children not to add people they do not know. Online
identities can be created by anyone. • Tell them not to share any personal data whether voluntarily or
at someone’s request. This includes where they live, school, age etc. • Explain that anything they put online is permanent. They won’t
be able to take something back if they post it by mistake, even if they delete the post off their own profile. • Set boundaries for limited use. Use parental controls to set
appropriate boundaries on time and access. • Agree access to their device or computer to be able to see their
Charity begins at home: Safeguarding audits Aid charities have been hitting our headlines recently because of examples of where safeguarding issues have occurred and been badly mismanaged. As a result the Charity commission has announced a UK-focused safeguarding summit and the creation of a special taskforce. We spoke with Karen Eakins, Head of Consultancy, to find out how organisations can best respond to the call to develop stronger internal safeguarding mechanisms .
There seems to have been an increase in the number of organisations or individuals who are reported to have taken advantage of those in their care or failed to respond well?
We are increasingly seeing accounts in the media where those in senior management positions have neglected to see the indicators of abuse occurring within their organisation, or to respond with due care and concern for wider public protection. This in turn, is bringing charities and their safeguarding practice under greater scrutiny from the Charity Commission and the public.
What are some of the consequences to organisations responding badly?
We know, and survivors often tell us, how the response they get when they tell those in leadership, can sometimes be equally or more damaging than the abuse they experienced. These are powerful messages to those in organisational leadership. We have both a moral responsibility, as well as a designated responsibility (for those in leadership) to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all individuals 11
we serve. When we respond well, it helps create a culture of safety and security, however, when we seek to protect the organisation or the perpetrator(s), as opposed to the individual(s) harmed, we compound the issue, and at times this has devastating effects. We have seen examples of individuals being further abused, where the offence was not reported to the appropriate authorities. We have also seen a significant loss of trust in organisations which can be especially damaging for charities.
What can organisations do to raise confidence in how they manage and respond to these issues?
Sadly, too often we hear of organisations needing to review and reflect on their safeguarding practice after a crisis. Our desire is to see organisations not only ensure they have robust policies and procedures, but also that they have the means to evidence and demonstrate that what is directed within policy, is delivered in practice. Our vision is to see churches and organisations pioneering the way in best practice, modelling this, and being looked to as champions of safer practice.
What would that look like in practice for churches and Christian organisations?
For many organisations a Safeguarding audit can be a helpful way for them to review what policies are in place and explore how they are being embedded into everyday practice. An audit can be undertaken internally, by those within an organisation (we have a useful self-audit tool to support with this). However, similar to education and Childrenâ€™s services where OFSTED is used as a reviewing body, we believe extra value can be gained as well as increasing levels of public trust by having an external independent audit. When conducting audits we look to highlight the areas of strength and good practice within safeguarding, but also seek to identify the gaps and areas of need to strengthen safeguarding and raise confidence in safeguarding practice. This is detailed in a comprehensive report, with clear recommendations and an action plan. Ensuring this process is transparent is really important here, so that everyone is clear on the changes that need to be made and so that organisations can be accountable and clearly demonstrate the steps they are taking to improve and measures they have in place.
What does an independent safeguarding audit involve?
A safeguarding audit always starts with an initial conversation to discuss the needs of your organisation, and scope what the audit will cover. At this stage we explore how the audit can best be tailored to the organisation and the work that will be involved. Every audit will involve a review of all an organisationâ€™s relevant policies and procedures, to gain a good understanding of recommended practice, and identify good existing practice, as well as areas of risk. As part of an audit we will Interview key people and help assess whether this guidance transfers into practice. Weâ€™ll also explore how well the guidance is embedded into the practice, values and culture of the organisation. All our audits are based on our unique ten standards model, and draw on our significant expertise and understanding of working with churches, charities, and organisations. Could your organisation benefit from an independent safeguarding audit? Our team is on hand to speak with you about how we can help your organisation ensure and demonstrate that you are working towards best practice with regards to safeguarding. Find out more at www.cccpas.co.uk/consultancy or email us at email@example.com To speak to someone call Karen on 0303 003 1111 (option 3).
Case study: The Diocese of Sheffield
“Safeguarding is a challenging agenda, but’s one we in the Sheffield Diocese are continuing to prioritise . Sheffield has been working successfully in partnership with CCPAS for several years. Initially, CCPAS provided our Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) checks for recruitment. Later we extended the arrangement to offer our parishes online access to DBS checks alongside the service for the Diocesan Office. CCPAS have also provided a 24/7 helpline to all of our parishes to provide safeguarding cover and advice when our Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser is not available. They understand our needs well and can assist us where our work requires external perspective e.g. to undertake independent consultancy style support work with a parish. Following a positive Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) independent review of our service offer in the Sheffield Diocese, we reflected further on best practice. Sheffield Diocese extended our relationship with CCPAS to include two additional elements: independent review of complaints and a confidential listening service. We felt these dual aspects were important developments to enhance our service offer, and we have increased our level of investment in them. We have worked hard to get the new arrangements in place should the need arise.
CCPAS offer a completely independent listening service. We know how important it is to have a safe place where difficult and confidential issues can be explored openly. It is also important to us to be able to direct people, including those who could be victims of historic abuse, to professional, knowledgeable, qualified experts, with wide experience. We have trialled the listening service and already recognise the value. It is offered face to face or by telephone in a flexible way to meet client needs.” 14
Understanding Spiritual Abuse in Christian Communities Research focus
Although there is growing awareness within Christian communities about spiritual abuse, to date there has been very little work done into understanding and defining what is already proving to be a very contentious and hotly debated topic. Here we share the summary findings of our research, which we published in January, and offer some thoughts about what this could means for the church.
There is growing awareness and interest in spiritual abuse in faith communities as a subject. Existing work around this experience (which is characterised by a systematic pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour in a religious context), is still in its infancy, to the extent that there is not currently universal agreement about this as a term. There is some discussion about it being categorised as a form of emotional and/or psychological abuse, however, to date spiritual abuse is the most commonly used term and therefore the one that is used here.
What is clear, is that there is a distinct lack of research available on this subject in the UK, which is why our new research has been undertaken to respond to that need. With it, we seek to investigate current levels of knowledge and awareness of spiritual abuse in the Christian faith in the UK, to provide evidence to inform our understanding, and to develop effective responses, policy and practice. On the following pages we highlight the key findings from the research :
Summary findings Key characteristics of spiritual abuse identified were coercion and control, manipulation and pressuring of individuals, control through the misuse of religious texts and scripture and providing a â€˜divineâ€™ rationale for behaviour.
74% of respondents were confident they knew what the term spiritual abuse meant.
The results show that there is a need for a clear definition of spiritual abuse and that defining this term is complex.
A key message was that leaders can and do experience spiritual abuse from those they are leading, and this experience needs to be recognised and responded to.
Respondents noted the important role culture can play in coercive and controlling experiences and the need to consider the hallmarks of healthy cultures.
64% of participants were confident that they could respond well to a disclosure of spiritual abuse.
Features of responding well to a disclosure include: active listening, understanding and empathy, taking the disclosure seriously, not minimising the story or blaming the individual.
33% of respondents stated their Church or Christian organisation had a policy that included spiritual abuse.
Only 24% of respondents had received training on spiritual abuse.
Respondents stated the importance of developing clear policy and procedure in this area.
60% of respondents suggested they knew
where to go for help or support with this experience.
Respondents suggested that church leaders, CCPAS, family and friends and statutory agencies could provide effective support.
Respondents requested training which included: definition and identification of Spiritual Abuse, effective responses and support, and a consideration of culture.
the Christian faith, attend Church or be part of a Christian organisation, and to have heard of the term â€˜spiritual abuseâ€™.
About the research Our research adheres to a strict and rigorous ethical approval process and ensures that any methods and associated findings are both credible and robust, underpinned by oversight from senior academics at each centre.
69% of the total sample were female and 31% male There was representation from across the age range (with the majority aged between 30-69 years) and from a spectrum of denominational backgrounds.
This research gained ethical approval from the Bournemouth University Social Sciences Ethic Committee in December 2016, and the survey was live for eight weeks from 30/1/17.
Results and conclusions In total 1,591 people completed the on-line survey, with 1,002 identified as having experienced spiritual abuse themselves.
This external scrutiny and validation was backed-up by our internal Research Committee that review each project at Board level.
The findings highlight a need to develop work in this area, specifically to develop understanding of this experience, how to respond effectively and how to develop healthy cultures.
A mixed methods approach was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data via a survey of closed and open questions. Respondents needed to be from
The summary findings document can be downloaded from our website along with our position paper on the subject. When using this information please reference this document as follows: Oakley & Humphreys (2018) Understanding Spiritual Abuse in Christian Communities. For more information on this publication contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ccpas.co.uk/info/research 19
Member Spotlight: Kerith Community Church What does good safeguarding look like in practice? How do safeguarding workers respond to some of the challenges they face in implementing the policies and procedures on the ground? We continue our regular Member spotlight where we hear form one of our member organisations on what safeguarding means to them, and how they make it a priority. lot happening on a Sunday and during the week. On Sunday mornings they meet in Bracknell and Sandhurst, as well as having an evening meeting at Bracknell. They have also started meeting in Windsor every second Sunday of the month.
We are in Berkshire for this instalment to speak with Hilary Hulme, who leads the safeguarding team at Kerith Community Church in Bracknell. Bracknell has just had one of the biggest town centre regenerations in the UK. It is located 10 miles southwest of Windsor and about 30 miles west of central London.
On Friday nights Kerith hosts its youth event called LIFE that gathers around 150 young people together
Hilary became safeguarding officer four years ago and was on the safeguarding team for two years before that. Kerith is a multisite church with a 20
and is mostly run by a young team.
“On Tuesday morning we have our parents and toddlers group called Sparklers. Because the kids have their carers with them, the team get to know the carers well and have to be on the alert for disclosures or concerns about issues such as domestic abuse.”
Hilary said: “We have the 16 to 18-year-old’s leadership team who are DBS checked and recruited safely. They have to be approved by Dan, our youth pastor. Then we have the young adult leaders, who are 18-25. Then the older adults or the ‘LIFE parents’ as we call them. They are not running it but are the eyes and ears for safeguarding. I attend the monthly Bracknell Forest SEMRAC (Sexual Exploitation and Missing Risk Assessment Conference) because of the risks faced by some of the children who come to the youth event.”
Kerith has a long history of partnership with churches in Europe and across the world. Several young people from these churches have been a part of Kerith’s year-long Academy training programme. ”This programme also has safeguarding requirements,” Hilary says.
Another area for safeguarding is the Foodbank. “There are a lot of vulnerable people coming through there,” Hilary said. “Sometimes we have to refer clients. For example, if we have a mum who can’t feed her child, we have to think: do we make a referral? “We also have a job club and life skills course partnered with Christians Against Poverty, the national charity we partner with in our debt advice. On Monday we have a release group to help people break free from dependencies. Some of the people who come to these groups are vulnerable.
Hilary Hulme 19 21
â€œThere are a number of students who come from overseas and their understanding of safeguarding might be different from ours. It is quite interesting for them to navigate. If any are doing work with vulnerable groups we put them through safeguarding training as soon as possible.â€? The procedures of safeguarding can be burdensome on church volunteers and staff when they are living busy lives and taking time out to volunteer for free. Looking after children at a church, even once a month, can also be tiring and stressful.
On average Kerith gathers 160 under 11s over their two morning meetings at Bracknell and one morning meeting at Sandhurst, meaning they require a minimum of 35 helpers every week.
“We’ve made a number of calls in the past year to CCPAS about things we’re uncertain about. They have always been great, and given sound advice and showed concern. I have spoken to different advisers and each time the real concern the different advisers have shown has impressed me.”
“everyone on the staff recognises the importance of safeguarding in underpinning all we do.”
“We have attended CCPAS training courses and their policy workshop which was useful in helping update our policy. I was able to send a draft policy to for advice before finalising.”
“The volunteers understand why safeguarding is important and those on staff do too. In order to ensure safe adult to child ratios they will turn kids away on a Sunday morning, even though that can be really hard. They will invite the parent to stay and be responsible for the child, but if the parent doesn’t want to stay in the kids’ work, then they will turn them away. Unfortunately it is a hard, constant issue for Sundays.”
Simon Benham, Senior Pastor at Kerith, said: “The safety of the children in our Kerith community is one of our highest priorities.
“The safety of the children in our Kerith community is one of our highest priorities.”
“Once a month we give out chocolate to someone as a safeguarding award at our safeguarding meeting. We can’t identify the specifics, but it is usually someone who has noted a concern, or taken a disclosure, or been on a course.”
As part of keeping them safe while they are with us, we run a comprehensive safeguarding policy which is constantly being updated. Hilary does untold amounts of work, so much of it unseen, to make sure the environment we provide for children and vulnerable adults is as safe as it possibly can be.”
“It has helped raise the profile of safeguarding within the staff. It has come a long way in three to four years and everyone on the staff recognises the importance of safeguarding in underpinning all we do.” 20 23
Meet the team: Susan Stephen Safeguarding Advisor In this edition we introduce you to Susan, who is one of our Safeguarding Advisors. Originally from India, Susan brings significant experience from her previous roles working with two London Local Authorities. She loves dogs, reading and music, and says working at CCPAS is like a ‘dream come true’.
What does your role of Safeguarding Advisor involve?
Where are you based and what area do you cover?
Being a Safeguarding Advisor involves offering advice and support on our 24/7 Helpline service, as well as delivering training which includes our core Safeguarding course, and Level 2 Safeguarding training.
I’m based at CCPAS’ head office in Swanley, Kent, and given the close proximity to London, I deliver most of my training in and around London, with a few exceptions. I enjoy travelling so it can be refreshing to visit new places, especially outside of London.
Part of my role involves regularly reviewing CCPAS online resources to ensure they are always up-todate with the most recent information available on each topic. I am responsible for handling direct enquiries from select member organisations, that have a service agreement arrangement with us, and I provide bespoke advice on safeguarding and good practice.
What motivates you to work in safeguarding? I have been a qualified social worker since 2010, but my passion for all things social work started when I was a teenager. Growing up watching my parents involved in mentoring and 24
protection, initial assessments, court work, working with looked after children and young people, care pack planning and support, transitions to adult services etc. This experience has been of great value as a trainer and advisor, and informed the advice and support we can offer our callers on issues around disability.
counselling young people within church and as part of a youth organisation, had a significant impact on my ambitions of what I wanted to do. Having been born and raised in India one grows up seeing so much need around, so in some ways I easily gravitated to the helping professions and therefore social work seemed like a natural progression.
What is a typical working day like for you?
“Keeping children safe has always been an issue very close to my heart.”
If I’m on Helpline duty, It’s always busy; answering calls and responding to safeguarding and policy queries.
How do you spend your spare time?
Keeping children safe has always been an issue very close to my heart. Being part of CCPAS now is almost like a dream come true, it’s a wonderful combination of my two passions: safeguarding and faith.
I am currently in the middle of completing a teaching award which is immensely useful in developing my skills as a trainer. I’m involved with various activities at my church and enjoy long walks, reading and listening to music. I’m also a big dog-lover and enjoy dog-sitting my best friend’s Goldendoodle.
What did you do before joining CCPAS? I moved to the UK after being offered a social work post with a West London Local Authority after completing my Masters in Social Work. Prior to my role at CCPAS, I worked with another Local Authority in London, in their Disabled Children’s Team, as a senior social worker for over five and a half years. My roles included a range of duties: child
“it’s a wonderful combination of my two passions: safeguarding and faith.”
Safeguarding training you can trust.
Training courses: • NEW Safeguarding adults • NEW Safeguarding children • Safeguarding combined (adults and children) • DBS and eligibility • Domestic abuse • NEW Pastoral care and supporting survivors • Safer recruitment • NEW Safeguarding Co-ordinator training • NEW Spiritual abuse • Working with those who may pose a risk
Independent and trusted for 40 years. “As a teacher I thought I’d heard every aspect of safeguarding. I was totally wrong!”
Welcome to your spring edition of Caring, the magazine of CCPAS