In November 2023, our diocese was the focus of a Safeguarding audit undertaken by the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency

The key findings of this audit are that the Diocese of Northampton is at the overall grading of Comprehensive Assurance at this time. Exemplary practice was seen in respect of the compassionate and innovative ways in which the Diocese seeks to engage with, and support, victim-survivors.

This was a planned audit in line with recommendations presented in the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, ICCSA published in 2022.

Receiving the report Bishop David Oakley said:

“Safeguarding in the diocese of Northampton is not a departmental responsibility but a culture which relies on every member of our parish and diocesan communities playing their part. This report highlights the good practice across all eight national standards and the positivity of the report is a reflection of the culture created by each member of our diocesan family”

The report highlighted the good work undertaken by the diocesan healing and reconciliation group, who seek to proactively reach out to victims and survivors of abuse to increase our understanding of the impact of abuse and help individual journeys towards healing. The report says:

The Diocese has adopted a truly victim-led approach to safeguarding, and this is promoted and modelled by the leadership. Leaders spoke of seeing situations through the eyes of victim-survivors, and numerous clergy spoke passionately and movingly of their encounters with victim-survivors, and discussed how these had affected them personally and led to developments in their ministry.

Bishop David has thanked all those involved in safeguarding across our diocese, especially Danielle Dixon and Laura Lester in our safeguarding office and all the volunteers who work hard to uphold the dignity of every human being.

Recognising the need to remain vigilant and not become complacent the Bishop said in a letter to clergy of the diocese:

“The work of safeguarding is never complete, however the results of this audit are encouraging”.

 

Executive Summary