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Safeguarding with Confidence
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 Nolan Review
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Response to the Review

 The Review Process

Lord Nolan’s report ‘A Programme for Action’ (2001) set out 83 recommendations designed to make the Catholic Church in England and Wales an example of best practice in the prevention of child abuse and in responding to it.

The report also commended the Church to consider the need for policies and arrangements to cover vulnerable adults and noted that many of the systems it recommended may be capable of extension to vulnerable adults.

In its executive summary Lord Nolan concluded:

“Our hope is that this report will help bring about a culture of vigilance where every single adult member of the Church consciously and pro-actively takes responsibility for creating a safe environment for children and young people. Our recommendations are not a substitute for this but we hope they will be an impetus towards such an achievement.”


1. Do you think the implementation of Lord Nolan’s report, ‘A Programme for Action’, has worked ?

If not, why not?
What more needs to be done?
Where are the gaps
What are the barriers to it working well?

2. Do you think that the processes introduced nationally and locally have struck the right balance between creating a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults and being fair and just to those who serve the Church community?

If not, can you say what could be done differently to achieve this balance?

3. Lord Nolan recommended that a national child protection unit be established primarily to:

  • provide advice and consultation to the Conferences of Bishops and Religious on the protection of children and vulnerable adults
  • co-ordinate the development of national policies and procedures
  • collect and disseminate good practice
  • facilitate child protection training and awareness raising
  • monitor the effectiveness of arrangements locally and secure improvements where necessary
  • establish and maintain the central confidential database of information
  • liaise with the statutory agencies (including the Criminal Records Bureau)

Do you think that the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) has fulfilled these functions?
Does it have a role to play in the future?
If so, say what role that should be?
Are there any changes you think should be made to deliver that role?

4. How well do you think the new organisational structures (introduced in the dioceses and religious orders) are working?

Are they efficient and effective?
What, if any, improvements might be made?

We want to hear from you…

…your views and comments based on your experiences within the Catholic Church community or your work with the Church in either the statutory or voluntary sectors, we welcome what you have to tell us.

We are working to our terms of reference so anything you do share with us will need to relate to them.

Your replies will be treated in the strictest confidence* and you can contact us by:

  • emailing us here.
  • writing to Cumberlege Commission, PO Box 54866 London SW1V 1WL

We would welcome hearing from you by 15th December 2006.

PLEASE NOTE: The remit of both Lord Nolan’s original review and the Cumberlege Commission covers the protection of children and young people and vulnerable adults in the dioceses and parishes of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and also in the religious orders and the institutions which these orders run. IT DOES NOT EXTEND TO CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, which have different arrangements.

To add your input to the review process please click here to send us a message.

Gathering Information

The Commission has formally invited the following organizations to give evidence:

All of the Bishops of England and Wales
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
The Bishops’ Conference of Ireland
Conference of Religious
All Religious Leaders of England and Wales
The Chairs of all Diocesan Protection Commissions in England and Wales
National Council of Priests
National Board of Catholic Women
National Council of Lay Associations
Conference of Diocesan Financial Secretaries
Canon Law society of Great Britain and Ireland
Catholic Union of Great Britain
Catholic Education Service
Catholic Youth Services
Catholic Association for Racial Justice
Caritas Social Action
Catholic Church Insurance Association
The Church of England
The Methodist Church
The United Reformed Church
The Baptist Union
Churches Agency for Safeguarding
COPCA Chair of the Management Board
COPCA Director
The Minister of State for Children and Families, DfES
Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Care Services, DoH
Under Secretary of State for Police and Security, Home Office
Minister for Health and Social Security, Dept for Health and Social Services (Wales)
The Official Solicitor
Association of Directors of Social Services
Association of Chief Police Officers
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service
Chief Executive, Ofsted
Commission for Social Care Inspection
Chief Inspector, Social Services Inspectorate (Wales)
Chief Executive,Care Standards for Wales
Children’s Commissioner for England
Children’s Commissioner for Wales
National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Action on Elder Abuse
Criminal Records Bureau

* The Cumberlege Commission is committed to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults. Although the Commission has given an undertaking to treat all personal information received as evidence in the strictest of confidence. where such confidential information indicates abuse, or risk of abuse, to a child, young person or vulnerable adult the Commission will pass on the necessary information to the statutory authorities.

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