The inaugural meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Safeguarding in Faith Settings was on 12th September 2018, its web page was launched on 13 November, and its official public registration has now been published here on page 932. This post summarizes its membership and activities.
The purpose of this group is:
“To focus on safeguarding concerns relevant to any community of faith, belief or religion. To raise awareness and improve policy and practice in relation to safeguarding in faith settings and to encourage both the opportunity and responsibility of those faith groups and communities in creating safer places for all”.
The Group is co-chaired by Sarah Champion (Lab, Rotherham) and Michael Tomlinson (Con, Mid Dorset and North Poole), and the Secretariat is provided by thirtyone:eight (formerly CCPAS, the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service).
The latest news and updates on the group are to be found on the Twitter account @APPG_SafeFaith and on the group’s website.
APPGs and APGs
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs), such as the one on Safeguarding in Faith Settings, are “informal, cross-party interest groups of MPs and Peers interested in a particular issue. They exist to help other MPs from all parties become better informed about a particular policy area. APPGs do not have any power to make laws and are not funded by Parliament”.
An Associate Parliamentary Group (APG) is similar to an all-party parliamentary group except that it is made up of not only members of the House of Commons or Lords but can also include members from outside Parliament.
APPG on Safeguarding in Faith Settings
Details of the launch of the group are here. The APPG will be holding a number of inquiries into topics relating specifically to safeguarding in faith settings. The first inquiry launched by the group is into ‘Child Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief: An Exploration of multi-agency responses to Children in Need’. This will begin with a research project to be undertaken by Dr Lisa Oakley and Sarah Vaughan at the University of Chester. The project will seek to explore the characteristics of those cases that are registered in the children in need census in 2017 and 2018 under the category ‘child abuse linked to faith or belief’. 2017 was the first year that this category has been included in the census and identified 1,461 cases.