As part of its commitment to Child Protection Week, Catholic Professional Standards Ltd has released feedback on the draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards ahead of the historic release of the Standards by CPSL later this year.

Speaking after the release of the report today, CPSL CEO Sheree Limbrick said that consultation is vital if the standards are to be embraced by Catholic Church organisations.

‘From May to August, we sought the advice and opinion of the people most affected by the Standards and the associated audit process,” she said.  

‘Consultations with around 60 people were held in places where institutional abuse by Catholic clergy, religious and lay people was especially prominent, including Ballarat, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth and Sydney.

‘Feedback included barriers and opportunities for changes in culture, effective complaints handling, and creating safe spaces. The independence and effectiveness of CPSL was questioned multiple times. 

‘In a separate consultation process, around 350 representatives including religious and clergy, and staff from child safeguarding and professional standards offices, Catholic education, social services and health entities met in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. 

‘Feedback on this part of the process focused on the audit approach, training required and the key challenges facing their organisation when implementing the Standards,’ Ms Limbrick said.

A copy of the feedback report is available on CPSL website.  

CPSL also sought feedback via an online survey. Responses to the survey are available on the website.

Catholic Professional Standards Limited was established during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse to set, audit and publicly report on nationally consistent safeguarding standards for all Church activities governed by Australian Catholic Church authorities.

Media contact: Judith Tokley 0408 824 306