Archdiocese Involvement in IICSA The Archdiocese of Birmingham will be participating in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) at a hearing set to take place from 12 – 16 November, in London. IICSA was set up some years ago by the government following a number of high profile and serious cases of historic child abuse. Through its investigations, IICSA is seeking to understand “what went wrong, and why”. It is looking at a broad range of institutions and organisations from all walks of life as part of its inquiry, including schools, local authorities, sports clubs and religious bodies. The Archdiocese has been asked to participate in IICSA’s investigations along with other organisations within the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese believes that the work being done by IICSA is of great significance and supports the aim of strengthening and improving safeguarding practices and cultures within the Church. Archbishop Bernard Longley will personally be addressing this matter in an open pastoral letter which will be read out in all churches within the Archdiocese during the weekend of 3/4 November. The welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults is a fundamental priority for the Archdiocese. Fostering a culture which has safeguarding at its very heart remains a key part of our work. The Archdiocese has commissioned two important reviews by independent experts into safeguarding, looking at both historic abuse and safeguarding practices and culture. The lessons and recommendations from these expert reviews will be a vital part of the continuing efforts to ensure that safeguarding lies at the very heart of the Archdiocese. The IICSA hearings will provide further valuable lessons for us to learn, and they will inform our constant commitment to do more and better in what is such a fundamental part of the Church’s life and work. If you would like to speak to someone about safeguarding and the Church’s work, please call 0121 230 6240. Please pray with us for all victims of abuse, and for all those involved in the work of this important Inquiry. The Truth Project IICSA's truth project offers the opportunity for Victims and Survivors to share their experience and be respectfully heard and acknowledged. By doing so, they will help us to better understand the long term impact of abuse. Their contribution will help us make recommendations about support needs, as well as challenging our assumptions of child sexual abuse.