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The Safeguarding Office (Chancery & Parishes) assists to develop a culture and practice of safeguarding amongst chancery staff, the clergy and parishes to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults.
General Enquiries: P 02 8379 1605 E email@example.com
Visiting Clergy and Religious (Screening Practices): E firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Safeguarding dedication
The Diocese of Broken Bay recognises and apologises for the failings of the Catholic Church in the past. The Chancery & Parishes of the Diocese wishes to ensure survivors are welcomed to engage with us and tell their story, and that our response will provide the survivor with a sense of safe engagement and that we will take all concerns seriously.
We dedicate our work to all victims and survivors of all forms of child abuse.
We recognize their strength and courage.
We recognize their pain and suffering.
We recognize the people who help them carry the burden of their experience.
We recognize the tragedy of those who have lost their lives.
Our work is our commitment to ongoing and meaningful changes to safeguard children and young people now and into the future and help those affected by abuse.
We want to make communities of the Diocese of Broken Bay safer for all children and young people.
We all have a collective responsibility to care for everyone in our Diocese.
If you are worried about someone or if you, or someone close to you, has suffered abuse by someone from the Catholic Church, we encourage you to contact us. We will listen to you and discuss your options with you.
REPORTING TO NSW POLICE
If you are a victim of crime, a witness to a crime or know about a crime, there are different ways you can report a crime to the NSW Police Force.
If you would prefer to report online, you can make a report through the online sexual assault reporting option.
If you are considering, or wish to commence, a claim for compensation in court and you are a person who has suffered child sexual abuse by Church personnel and are considering making a claim against the Diocese in relation to a claim of sexual abuse, we recommend obtaining legal advice about your options for compensation. Subject to the advice you receive, your lawyer may initiate contact with us directly in relation to the nature of your claim.
Knowmore is a free service offering legal advice and information to help you consider your options about compensation, redress and other legal issues related to abuse. https://knowmore.org.au/
NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME
The National Redress Scheme allows eligible survivors of institutional child sexual abuse to apply for redress in the form of monetary payments, counselling and support and direct personal responses from the responsible institution. You can find out about eligibility hereand visit here if you are thinking about applying.
The final option available is through the Church process of contacting the Church directly, and you will have an opportunity to be heard and will be asked to provide a formal Statement of Complaint.
The National Response Protocol is a framework for Catholic entities across Australia to respond consistently to people raising concerns or allegations of child sexual abuse.
The Royal Commission have listed support services.
The Diocesan community endeavours to provide a safe environment where children and young people’s rights, needs and interests are met.
The Royal Commission recommended 10 child safe standards, drawing on findings and extensive research and consultation about what makes institutions child safe. These standards have been adopted at a National level as the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The Australian Catholic Church has also articulated a framework that promotes the safety of children, developed upon the 10 child safe standards. This framework provides the 10 National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS). The NCSS are designed to drive cultural and behavioural change and promote accountability and transparency of Catholic Church leaders and their ministries and services. (CPSL, 2018). The NSW Government has endorsed the child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission. The OCG have produced a guide to the Child Safe Standards (PDF 7.5MB) to support organisations working with children to create, maintain and improve their child safe practices.
The Reportable Conduct Scheme (The Scheme)
Under the Children's Guardian Act 2019 the Scheme covers religious bodies. Anyone who has Working With Children Check for their engagement with the Parish and Chancery falls within the Scheme. The Scheme is in place to monitor the behaviour of those that work with children.
The Scheme monitors how organisations investigate and report on certain conduct (known as 'reportable allegations' and 'reportable convictions') made against their employees, volunteers or certain contractors who provide services to children. The Scheme is administered by the Office of the Children’s Guardian. To report an incident of Reportable Conduct, immediately contact the Parish Priest or the Office for Safeguarding.
Persons in religious ministry or persons providing religion-based activities are included as Mandatory Reporters (The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998). Mandatory Reporters have a legal obligation to make a report to the Department of Communities and Justice if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at Risk of Significant Harm.
Working With Children Check
“The working with children check is only one way our Diocese ensures those that access children act appropriately.”
Diocesan policies, procedures and practices seek to highlight the importance of protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults by detailing best practice and the procedures that must be taken by the relevant agencies.
The Chancery & Parishes comply with Working With Children Check legislation.
Creating a culture of safety and care is about creating a culture where all personnel share the responsibility for promoting and ensuring the safety of the vulnerable and feel empowered to do so. Preventing abuse should be seen as the ordinary responsibility of all adults (CPSL, 2019).
The Code of Conduct of the Diocese sets out expected conduct about the behavior, relationships, attitudes and responsibilities expected of all personnel.
Induction and training
Staff and Volunteers (Chancery & Parishes) of the Diocese are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and vulnerable adults safe by attending an initial induction program and ongoing education and training opportunities. All education and awareness programs developed are in line with the learnings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and consistent with the National Principles of a Child Safe Organisation, the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and the NSW Child Safe Standards. The education programs place emphasis on learners developing skills that can assist in addressing the needs of the child through understanding child development, safety and wellbeing. Further, staff and volunteers are able to identify indicators of child harm, respond effectively and support appropriately.
The Chancery & Parishes of the Diocese takes seriously the behaviour of staff towards children. There are processes and systems in place to ensure those engaged to work with children are suitable. Once they are engaged, those that work with children are monitored and concerns addressed.
Workers of the Chancery & Parishes fall under legislation that exists to ensure greater protection of children and contribute to our commitment of ensuring safe communities in Broken Bay. Responsibilities include:
1.The general obligation to report serious crimes to NSW Police. Department of Community and Justice and Reporting to Police Fact sheet
2.Reportable Conduct Scheme of the Office of the Children’s Guardian oversights behaviour of those engaged by the Diocese that are Working With Children Check Holders . Office of the Children’s Guardian and Responding to Reportable Conduct Fact Sheet
3. Vos Estis Lux Mundi - The Bishops Conference has and created a web page to support the Church in Australia in meeting its requirements under Pope Francis’ apostolic letter motu proprio Vos Estis Lux Mundi. It is designed especially to facilitate reports from clerics and religious regarding crimes of sexual abuse committed by clerics and religious, and the concealing of crimes of sexual abuse by Bishops and their equivalents.
Ongoing Performance Monitoring
Support, mentoring, oversight and supervision of those in child related work focuses on child safeguarding. Leaders within the workplace are encouraged to provide clear expectations about the worker/volunteers role and responsibilities and giving the worker/volunteer access to support and training that can equip them to perform their roles as professionally as possible and children are safe from harm. [Reference: National Catholic Safeguarding Standard 5.4]
Working With Children Check
The Working with Children Check is only one way our Chancery & Parishes ensure those that access children act appropriately.