First national safeguarding director appointed in Church of England


Melissa Caslake, who is currently the executive director of children’s services for Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster boroughs, will take up the role. 

It it the first time the Church of England has appointed a permanent director of safeguarding. She takes over from Sir Roger Singleton, the former chief executive of Barnados, who has been the interim director since the beginning of the year.

Caslake has worked in children’s and adults’ service for 20 years, with experience of leading ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ rated children’s services in local authorities.

She has overseen responses to non-current child sexual abuse cases and lead services for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in London and also overseen support for children affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

She contributed to the City of Westminster’s family services getting an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in 2016 and has also worked in Harrow and Merton.


Caslake said: “I am proud to be taking on the role of National Director of Safeguarding for the Church of England. My career has been dedicated to safeguarding vulnerable children and adults and helping families in need.

“I am determined to ensure that the Church is a safer place for all, and I look forward to applying my professional experience and expertise to this challenge.”

William Nye, Secretary General to the Archbishops’ Council,…

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