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Over the last few years there have sometimes been calls for Triratna’s Safeguarding to be overseen by a body outside Triratna. This report from the UK’s Church Times offers more insight into why this is nearly impossible for any UK organisation, so far at least.
In response to investigation of failures to prevent child sexual abuse over many decades the Church of England is seeking to ensure its Safeguarding services are provided by a body which cannot be ‘frustrated’ by the authority of bishops and clergy. However, it is taking some time for the Church to work out how this can be provided or even permitted.
Even the new body envisaged will have to be funded by the Church, which in itself compromises the body’s independence to some degree. Also, there is a conflict between the wish for independent Safeguarding and the requirement that charity trustees be accountable for failures in Safeguarding in the activities of their charities, and that they oversee the provision of Safeguarding in their charities. This effectively means they are at least at present not allowed to delegate their Safeguarding provision to an independent body.
We are left with the principle that Safeguarding be internally managed but externally accountable; ie that any organisation’s Safeguarding should be conducted in such a way that it is completely ready and able to account for its actions where required to by the law or a public regulatory body such as the Charity Commission.
Read also ‘Why is Triratna’s Safeguarding internal?’