Professor Alexis Jay shares lessons learned with Kirk safeguarders

Professor Alexis Jay delivered a powerful keynote speech to the Church of Scotland safeguarding conference, urging church members to learn from the lessons of the past.

Professor Alexis Jay
Pictured from left at the safeguarding conference are:Church of Scotland safeguarding committee convener Rev Dr Karen Campbell; Jennifer Milligan, assistant head of safeguarding; Professor Alexis Jay; Colin Robson, safeguarding officer; Noelle Maye, safeguarding training officer

The child protection expert, who is currently heading the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse in England, told the conference about her inquiry into child abuse in Rotherham, which found that at least 1,400 children were subjected to horrific sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.

Held in Stirling on 29 October, the conference brought together members of the safeguarding community working across the Church of Scotland and CrossReach to discuss the importance of safeguarding for the Kirk and to look at current national issues.

Professor Jay shared information about national findings on child sexual exploitation sharing lessons learned from her Rotherham child abuse inquiry.

International dementia expert Professor June Andrews spoke at the afternoon session looking at how church members can better protect people with dementia in our congregations and services.

Rev Dr Karen Campbell, convener of the safeguarding committee said:

“Professor Jay and Professor Andrews spoke powerfully about experiences that touched every one of us.

"I think everyone who attended left feeling challenged, inspired and more confident in our abilities to keep the most vulnerable community members safe and also to ensure everyone in the church understands the importance of safeguarding.”