Support Scheme for Survivors of Church Abuse Independent Decision Panel Member
Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.
The Support Scheme for Survivors of Church Abuse (the support scheme) was established in October 2020 as the Interim Pilot Support Scheme to provide help to survivors of Church-related abuse in need of urgent and immediate help. The support scheme is designed to be user-friendly and survivor-centred. As far as practicable, a formal, legalistic approach is avoided. The support scheme is specifically not part of any redress process for past wrongs. The support scheme addresses the urgent and immediate support needs of survivors in crisis both before and after a redress settlement has been achieved.
Although the scheme is funded by the Church of England, funding decisions are made by an independent panel drawn from a variety of backgrounds including survivors of abuse. To date the scheme has helped 10 survivors and a number of other cases are being developed for consideration. Panel decisions are guided by agreed criteria and parameters and regularly reviewed to ensure panel decisions are fair and equitable in all cases. Panels are held as often as needed – generally once or twice a month at most. The panels are conducted remotely by video link; no travel is involved. Each panel lasts between one and two hours.
Persons wishing to apply for this role should submit a CV showing their relevant skills and experience and a covering letter indicating why they wish to be involved in this work. This should be sent to SupportScheme@churchofengland.org
Any potential applicant with questions about the role or the work may use the above email address to request additional information.
Independent Panel Members are engaged on a consultancy basis and paid through invoice by the Church of England. Successful applicants will complete an IR35 compliance process to enable this. Panel members are paid at the rate of £250 per day with each panel generally being considered a half-day session including reading time. Panel members will be part of a small pool of expertise and there is no guarantee of the frequency of work as a panel member. Use of panel members will be managed to maintain skills and to be as fair and equitable as possible.
The Ideal Candidate
The Skills and Abilities needed in Panel members
Independent Panel Members can be drawn from a variety of backgrounds; there is no necessity to have a particular religious faith. The work of the support scheme is sensitive and confidential and panel members are required to respect this at all times.
Panel members are sought with a variety of skills to assist in the decision process. Knowledge of one or more of the following would be useful to the support scheme’s work:
- Legal qualification, preferably including experience of managing cases related to abuse.
- Work as a charity trustee.
- Accountancy experience, preferably including debt management experience.
- Experience working with perpetrators and victims of crime, especially all types of abuse.
- Experience of working with benefits claimants.
- Experience of the insurance industry, particularly related to personal injury.
- Qualifications related to counselling, psychiatry and other therapeutic treatments.
- Knowledge of the impacts of institutional abuse in a Church or other setting.
- Experience of the management and assessment of needs of adults at risk.
Above all, Independent Panel Members are expected to accept and work within the user-friendly, survivor-centred ethos of the support scheme.
*Please note: There is a separate recruiting process for survivor panel members. Survivors of Church-related abuse should apply through that route.
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