We are pleased to welcome Adrienne Plunkett as the new Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Oversight Group with effect from 1 January 2023, replacing David Cooper. Adrienne Plunkett is a qualified social worker with a background in local authority Children’s Social Care as a practitioner and senior manager, having held responsibility for the effective operation of the Local Safeguarding Children Board, child protection conferences and reviews of children looked after, as well as the management of the Local Authority Designated Officers (LADOs) and the Advisor for Safeguarding in Education.
More recently Adrienne has undertaken Serious Case Reviews/Local Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews with Safeguarding Partnerships across the country. She had also provided professional safeguarding supervision for a Church of England Diocese and been the Independent Reviewer for the Church’s national Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) for a Diocese and the National Church Institutions.
I am very pleased to be taking on the role of Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Oversight Group (DSOG), at such an important time for safeguarding in the Church of England nationally, as well as locally in the Diocese of Leicester. The Diocese’s PCR2 report provides evidence that there are good foundations that can be built on. These include the commitment of the Bishops and the senior leadership team, strength of its Safeguarding Team, engagement with survivors and partnership working.
The Diocese already has a Safeguarding Strategy and an action plan for implementing the recommendations of the Diocese’s PCR2 report in place. These will need to be reviewed in the light of the learning and recommendations from the reports of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the national PCR2. We will be looking at how to strengthen the voice of survivors in the Diocese and to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults to make the church a safer place.
I have received a very warm welcome and look forward to working with Diocesan staff and volunteers across the Diocese of Leicester and collaborating with external partners to provide independent scrutiny and strengthen safeguarding practice.