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Safe people for jobs at home and away

It’s Christian Aid week and the DVD that has been produced for showing in churches this year features Haiti, which has experienced both a devastating earthquake and a destructive hurricane in recent years. The film shows, amongst other examples, how Christian Aid funds have been used in one place to build resilient homes that were literally lifesavers to groups of people who had no other shelter when the hurricane struck in 2016.

Earlier this year this blog referenced the safeguarding problems that some relief agencies have encountered relating to the reported shameful behaviour of small groups of their staff, some of whom were actually working in Haiti. The responsibilities of trustees to effect safe recruitment to posts that serve overseas is therefore again underlined, as we raise and entrust our money to these organisations so that they can ‘do all they can’.

The new Advanced Safeguarding Course, launched in London District this week, has a more prominent section on safe recruitment than the previous Leadership Module course, and features a chilling account of the steps that some people will take to infiltrate organisations for the purpose of abusing children. Whether it’s at home or abroad, the key message must be that we should make it extremely difficult for potential abusers to obtain positions of trust in our churches, and by so doing we send out a powerful message about our culture that will discourage such people from applying in the first place.

Stop press – at the BAFTAs on Sunday night Three Girls – the BBC drama mini-series based on true stories of sexual abuse and child grooming in Rochdale between the years 2008 and 2012 - won the top award in their category and Molly Windsor, who played one of the lead characters, won the best actress award. A remarkable achievement and so a film well worth watching – if harrowing – if you’ve not seen it already.

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