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At the end of this month’s gathering of Triratna’s European Chairs, there was a show of hands to establish how many centres now had Safeguarding officers and policies for the protection of children and “vulnerable adults”.
Of Triratna’s 35 urban centres and retreat centres in Britain, Ireland and the rest of Europe, 30 had Safeguarding officers and had adopted safeguarding policies, or were in process of doing so.
This is an extremely good rate of progress. We began talking about safeguarding in 2013; model policies were published in 2015, updated in summer 2016, and 30 UK safeguarding officers attended a training day at Birmingham Buddhist Centre on 7th November 2016. Our trainer, from the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, said she was impressed with how much we had done.
“Safeguarding” as understood here is a largely British convention, and most of Triratna’s European centres are in Britain. Those European Triratna centres so far without safeguarding policies are in countries where there is so far no concept of “safeguarding”. All centres being legally independent, it is not possible to make such provision compulsory.
Triratna’s European model policies have been shared with centres all over the world and have been adopted by some beyond Europe.
Safeguarding officer, Europe