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Church News

Faith hub launched to prevent child abuse

It features advice from community centres around the UK, representing the six major world religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

The aim is to help people who work with children in a faith context to understand their responsibilities, to develop best-practice and be the 'eyes and ears' within their community.

The initiative is the first of its kind and was developed by Safe Network, a charity partnership between the NSPCC and Children England.

It admits that while faith-based activities in the community can be hugely beneficial for children, it also recognises that in some cases it can also be an environment where abuse can take place.

Simon Massey is head of Safer Network and explains that having the right procedures in place could stop a potential child abuser from gaining access to young people in the first place:

"What it will do is make sure that groups put all the steps in place to stop those sorts of people engaging in their group, maybe preventing people from volunteering with their group because they've used proper robust safer recruitment processes, for example.

"That in itself may well stop somebody who is trying to seek out a position that would give them access to children.

"By increasing the knowledge and awareness among the different faith sectors, they can put some very simple safeguards in place - and also if they have any concerns that they understand what to do with those concerns so that action can be taken very quickly."

"Child abuse cannot be accepted in any form. We need to make sure that people who work with children understand that it is their responsibility to ensure they are happy and safe."

Find out more at www.safenetwork.org.uk/resources

Listen to the full interview with Premier's Holly Powell-Jones and Simon Massey:  

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