Section 9 - Support
9.1 Support for the Respondent
Nb. The term ‘respondent’ refers to the person about whom a safeguarding concern or allegation has been made.
Support for the respondent is provided by a Link Person. All church officers who are the subject of a concern will be offered a Link Person.
Local child/adult services, where involved, will inform the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) about when and what they can tell the respondent about an allegation that has been made. It may be that local child/adult services themselves inform the respondent as part of their own investigative practices, i.e. where a voluntary interview or arrest is necessary.
Where local child/adult services are not involved, the core group will determine when and what the respondent should be told. In most instances this will be done by a nominated member of the Core Group and/or the DSA, and normally at an arranged meeting with the respondent. At this meeting the respondent will also be offered a Link Person and the support needs of the respondent’s family will be considered.
The role of the Link Person is set out in Section 1.5 of the House of Bishops’ guidance: Responding to, assessing and managing concerns or allegations against Church officers 2017. What the Link Person offers will be agreed with the respondent, but it is likely he/she will:
Keep the person up to date with the progress of their case.
Help with access to advice and additional support.
Make and keep a written record of any meetings or contact with the respondent and share relevant information with the DSA.
9.2. Support to chaplaincies and others affected by safeguarding concerns or allegations
The core group will advise the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA), in close liaison with the archdeacon, who should support those affected by safeguarding concerns or allegations.
During the period of investigation, which may last for many months, the information that can be shared with the chaplaincy and its congregation will be limited. Advice and support are available from the DSA, the archdeacon and the Diocesan Communications Officer.