Recent CPO Training
As an offering to Srila Prabhupada for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, Bhaktivedanta Manor, the Global Headquarters for ISKCON Child Protection, hosted a child protection training seminar for more than 20 leaders, GBC members, temple presidents and ISKCON charity trustees from across the UK. The training was delivered by Paul and Derek from RWA Child Protection Services and the Manor Child Protection Team. Ray Wyre Child Protection Services are an independent child protection specialist organization that, for the last eight years, have been assisting the UK Regional Director, Daksina devi dasi, in an advisory capacity.
This intensive one-day training was the first of its kind in the UK, where leaders gathered to learn about all aspects of child protection, including what child abuse is, the mindset of offenders, how to prevent child abuse and how child abuse is dealt with within ISKCON.
The GBC Chairman for the UK, Praghosa das commented:
“It is always most interesting and engaging listening to experts, not least because they know their brief inside out. When the subject is of such crucial importance for the well-being and safety of our children, that listening becomes quite magnetic.
Hearing from Derek Green and Paul Roffey was a mixture of riveting, inspiring yet shocking. The information, detail & statistics they gave us were eye opening.
Putting what I learned from the morning spent with them into sutra form I would say: Paedophiles will always be with us, indeed going forward it is very likely they will be an increasing phenomena. So we need to fully understand the ever-constant threat to our children. That being the case we must ensure that we make our ISKCON centers as uninviting as we possibly can for paedophiles. We can do this by putting as many safeguards, systems and screenings in place and thus create a very strong deterrent that will make ISKCON a most unattractive environment for them to operate in.
As a father of two children I can only imagine the devastation if anyone would have interfered with them, that is a driving force for me in trying to ensure it does not happen to any other parent.”
This training was one of many such training sessions that the Manor Child Protection Team have carried out this year, with many more planned. Each will be tailored towards different groups of devotees such as teachers, parents, community members and ashram devotees. Earlier this year, in addition to the annual Good Touch, Bad Touch, Secret Touch training program the gurukula children receive, all the temple ashram devotees also attended a child protection training course. They were given background information on ISKCON child protection and how the Child Protection Team at the Manor functions as well as what is appropriate behaviour for them when interacting with children.
“The training sessions were practical, informative and very much needed. It was vitally important for us all to be updated on the standards and protocols in this regard.”
– Sutapa das brahmachari
A few weeks ago the Manor CPO Team also hosted an open Questions & Answers session for community devotees. This was attended by many residential and community devotees who asked questions about how the CPO operates in the UK. There have since been a lot of requests for more of these Q&A sessions that will be booked in the upcoming weeks.
Additionally, this year, as usual, over 1,400 volunteers were also given basic child protection training where they were advised what the CPT policies are, the importance of always reporting any child protection concerns they have and who to report to.
Each and every adult makes a difference in the lives of our children. We all have a responsibility to create a safe environment for the most vulnerable among us, the future of Srila Prabhuada’s movement – the children. Learn how you can be a trusted adult for those around you; find out if your temple has an active Child Protection Team; be part of progress. What a gift that is to the future of ISKCON.