Reshet head calls for better safeguarding and child protection


More needs to be done to improve safeguarding and child protection within the community, according to educational group Reshet.

The organisation, which connects more than 2,000 people working in informal Jewish education in the UK, has launched an initiative to "take our community's safeguarding provisions from good to great".

Shelley Marsh, executive director of Reshet, said that, while wider society viewed Jewish organisations' safeguarding training as commendable, more was needed.

Ms Marsh is now working to bring together shuls, youth movements and informal educators to discuss the issue and ensure they are not working in isolation, before offering child protection training next month, with input from the NSPCC.

"The Jewish community is affected by the same issues that affect wider society," Ms Marsh said.

"We are not immune, for example, to things like neglect and abuse. There has been a shift in the way we respond to these things - and the Chief Rabbi's efforts in raising awareness of these issues have been tremendous. We are doing well, but I want to make our provisions excellent."

Echoing the government's stance that safeguarding is a shared responsibility, Ms Marsh said it was a "community-wide issue that affects everyone".

"We need to raise the bar when it comes to safeguarding our children," she said. "The UK Jewish community is unique in the many ways it works and interacts with young people. Because of this we need to make sure that these young people are safe and secure."

Ms Marsh said she was working with educational group Pajes, which oversees Jewish schools, to ensure that Reshet's training was in line with the statutory guidelines on safeguarding followed by all.

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