Consultations in Perth on new Catholic safeguarding standards for children
Thursday, 21 June 2018
Western Australian survivors of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and their advocates will have the opportunity next week to discuss the development of new safeguarding standards for children in church institutions including schools and parishes.
Two consultation forums will be held in Perth on Wednesday 27 June as part of an Australia-wide engagement with survivors of child sexual abuse, advocates, Catholic Church personnel and others to discuss draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
The Standards are being developed by the new Church body, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL), established by the Catholic Church in Australia as part of its response to the child sexual abuse Royal Commission to develop, audit and report on compliance with professional standards across Catholic entities.
Two consultation workshops will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The first consultation, on Wednesday morning, will involve Church personnel including religious leaders and senior staff from Catholic education, health, welfare and other agencies. The second consultation, on Wednesday afternoon, will involve survivors, their advocates and families.
Mr John Watkins, Director of Catholic Professional Standards Limited and former NSW Deputy Premier, said invitations had been sent to survivor groups in Perth but any survivor or advocate who had not seen the invitation and would like to attend the consultation is welcome.
“The consultation with survivors and advocates is specifically designed to hear from people who have been abused in Catholic institutions or have been directly impacted by it,” he said.
“We need to know, from the perspective of survivors, if the new standards we are developing will achieve what we are hoping for; a safer Church for children and young people and a more inclusive and responsive environment.”
The 10 draft standards set out a framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures and to advance the safety of children across the Catholic Church in Australia.
They build on the guidance of the Royal Commission and the draft National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations from the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The draft standards range across areas such as leadership, governance and culture; human resource and complaints management; education and training; communication with children and working with families, carers and communities.
Any survivors, advocates or family members wishing to register for the consultation should contact CPSL on 1300 603 411.
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