Safeguarding in Faith Communities – a joined up approach
Voluntary Action Leeds
Faith based organisations play an important role in the lives of many children and young people. People working or volunteering in faith-based organisations and places of worship have a vital role to play in keeping people safe.
VAL in partnership with Leeds Children’s Safeguarding Partnership has recently launched its Safeguarding in Faith Communities project. Following on from research undertaken by VAL and in response to its findings and recommendations the project aims to work with several faith groups to support them to improve their safeguarding practice by bringing together faith leaders from across the city and upskilling them to deliver safeguarding training within their communities.
Farzana Jabar has recently joined us here at VAL to work on this project, having worked across inter-faith projects and in advocacy services previously. Farzana says:
“Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. For many faith-based organisations getting this right can be challenging and with many barriers. Many faith-based organisations have limited resources to devote to safeguarding and lack a culture of safe recruitment, accountability and transparency. They may also be reliant on volunteers who will have varying degrees of knowledge and confidence to deal with safeguarding matters consequently, often Safeguarding issues can be overlooked”.
The project is not just a tick box exercise to become legally complaint, it’s about supporting faith-based organisations to embed a culture of safeguarding at the heart of their organisation and develop behaviours to keep all children safe.”
The project meets the needs of faith-based organisations by working together with designated safeguarding leads to improve their safeguarding practices. The project offers:
- working with faith-based leads to co-design safeguarding training
- delivering ‘Train the Trainer’ sessions to Safeguarding Faith Leads, enabling them to deliver the safeguarding training to trusted community figures and local organisations,
- establishing a safeguarding steering group with safeguarding leads to share good practice.
- offer one to one information, support and guidance to safeguarding leads.
If you are a faith leader or involved with a faith-based organisation and want to be involved, please contact:
T: 0113 2977928