Steve Reeves has been appointed as the third member of the Church of England’s Independent Safeguarding Board, ISB. His background is in the voluntary sector at prominent national levels in safeguarding, work for social justice and equality, and in advice, complaints handling and reviews which lead to improvement to services and advice to the wider public. Steve’s most recent role was in strategic leadership of child safeguarding in UK-funded programmes globally for Save the Children UK. He joins the Chair, Professor Maggie Atkinson, whose career has been spent in education, and in safeguarding and promoting the rights and voices of children, young people and latterly adults and Survivor Advocate Jasvinder Sanghera CBE, who has lived experience and a high profile as a survivor and also works in safeguarding partnerships. Both these members were announced in September.
Welcoming the appointment Maggie Atkinson said: “I am delighted that Steve will join Jasvinder and me on the work we have to do as the ISB. He will bring invaluable strength and experience to the Board and now we have all three seats occupied, we will do all we can to ensure that what we do together independently, and with the church’s existing safeguarding groups and structures, bears weight and helps to improve both the wider safeguarding culture in the C of E, and the impact of that work.”
Steve Reeves said: I’m very pleased to be joining Professor Maggie Atkinson and Jasvinder Sanghera CBE on the Independent Safeguarding Board. The Church is a special part of so many people's lives and needs to be a safe place for everyone. There is a lot for the church to do to instil trust in its safeguarding work. Effective safeguarding is non-negotiable and robust - independent - scrutiny has a critical role to play.
Members work two to three days per week for the ISB. All three also have other commitments in the wider safeguarding world and bring experience and expertise from this work into the ISB’s remit.
The purpose of introducing an independent structure for the Church’s safeguarding work is twofold: to ensure good safeguarding and to challenge the internal cultures of the Church of England which too often have resulted in preventing best practice. The Archbishops’ Council and House of Bishops had committed to support the development of an independent structure to deliver professional supervision and quality assurance across its safeguarding activities before the IICSA Report in October 2020 which gave further momentum to this decision.