SFI at the Forefront of Implementing Child Protection Policies

In light of the recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report on the failures of faiths community in protecting children from sexual abuse, SFI is visiting individual centres across England to run vital safeguarding training, consultancy and support.

On Sunday 5th September, SFI’s Birmingham Coordinator, Dr. Shakil Ahmed, ran the first training session at Madir Baba Balak Nath, a Hindu Temple in Walsall, on protecting children within the centre:

“It is important to understand that even if no abuse has been reported in your faith centre, this does not mean that nothing could happen there. Think the unthinkable, and be prepared with the attitude that it could happen here.”

Commenting on the challenges of bringing together volunteers and overcoming language barriers, Shakil said: “Some of the trustees and volunteers struggle with understanding the complex concepts in English. So to make it easier for them, I translate and explain things in Urdu or Punjabi as required.”

The first session was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. “Very informative and helpful in creating a safer environment for children and young people. It gave the right point of call and how to report any concerns.”, said one of the attendees.

Moving forwards, Dr. Ahmed will continue to offer his help with support from SFI:

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to provide safeguarding training to people who are really keen to up their game in making sure children who attend their centre are safe from any abuse and any child abuse concerns are properly addressed and reported to the right agencies at the right time. It is also great to meet people from different faiths face-to-face after about two years of delivering online courses.”