The Church in Wales have commissioned a major major review to ensure welfare of children during which child protection workers will trawl files to see if any children are presently at risk.
An independent review designed to ensure the safety and welfare of children and young people is being undertaken by the Church in Wales.
Any past allegations or suspicions of child abuse – cases which predate the Church’s Child Protection Policy – will be examined in the review which is expected to take a year to complete. It has been commissioned by the Bishops to ensure the church is doing all it can to protect children.
The review will be conducted by an independent specialist social worker seconded from the office of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, who will examine the files of serving and retired priests, as well as lay office holders, for any unresolved allegations of abuse.
It will cover cases where information exists, either in paper files or in living memory, of any occasion where a child may have been at risk or where someone may continue to pose a risk to children.
Each of the six dioceses of Wales will be reviewed individually. The Church has also worked with the children’s charity, the NSPCC, to set up a confidential telephone helpline for anyone who feels they may be affected or who wants to share information.
Any cases found will be considered by an internal safeguarding panel and action taken in conjunction with the statutory agencies in Wales, in line with the Church in Wales Child Protection Policy and the All Wales Child Protection Procedures.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “We want to make sure the Church in Wales is a safe place for our children to grow up in and to be nourished in the Christian faith.