National Response Protocol and national support and advice lines
ACSL is now responsible for the previous functions of Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards, including providing oversight of complaints response at a national level by:
- providing an independent process for responding to complaints against Church Authorities;
- providing an independent review mechanism for complaints managed by a Church Authority; and
- assisting Church Authorities to implement Vos Estis Lux Mundi.
For more information on the role of ACSL in complaints response, please visit Transition to ACSL/Professional standards & complaints response.
Catholic Church - National Response Protocol
The implementation and continuous review of the National Response Protocol is now the responsibility of Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd (ACSL).
The National Response Protocol provides a framework for Catholic entities across Australia to respond consistently to people raising concerns or allegations of child sexual abuse. The Protocol outlines principles and procedures to offer a consistent response to children and adults who have been subjected to child abuse by Church personnel.
Adopted by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) in November 2020, the Protocol comes into effect for all dioceses and ACBC member entities from 1 February 2021.
If any person is in immediate danger, contact Police on ‘000’.
If you need to report a concern about a matter pertaining to a Catholic entity, whether it be a diocese or religious institute or other Catholic body, you can contact the entity directly.
If you suspect a child or adult is at risk of harm, call the relevant statutory authority in your state or territory to discuss your concerns.
The implementation of the National Response Protocol from February 1 2021 prompts the phasing out of Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response. Individuals who have matters currently being managed under Towards Healing or The Melbourne Response can continue to use those processes until the matter is resolved. Towards Healing and The Melbourne Response continue to be valid until the end of 2021 while Church authorities implement the National Response Protocol locally.
View the National Response Protocol
If you are a person responsible for implementing the Protocol in your entity and you need support, have a suggestion or query, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 Website
- Lifeline 13 11 14 Website
- Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 Website
- 1800 Respect - sexual assault and family violence support and advice 1800 737 732 Website
Disability Abuse and Neglect
- National Disability Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1800 880 052 Website
- Human Rights Equal Opportunity Commission 1300 656 419 Website
The National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional sexual abuse launched on 1 July 2018. It will run for 10 years and people can apply any time up until 30 June 2027.
1800 737 377 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm (local time), excluding public holidays Website
People can apply online or via a paper application. The online application can be accessed through myGov, if you don’t already have an account you can create one. The paper application can be accessed by:
- downloading it from the website;
- calling 1800 737 377 and getting a form sent in the mail; or
- asking a support service for one (click here for full list of Redress Scheme Support Services).
Bravehearts is a Redress Support Service provider. Bravehearts offers free and confidential support to anyone considering applying to the National Redress Scheme. Bravehearts can provide more information about the Scheme and who can apply. They can also help fill out the form and support you throughout the process 1800 272 831 Website
Sexual assault services
Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line 1800 Respect (1800 737 732) Website
Support lines and services
- Beyond Blue - support for anxiety and depression 1300 224 636 Website
- Blue Knot Foundation - counselling and support for survivors 1300 657 380 Website
- Bravehearts Inc - counselling and support for survivors, child protection advocacy 1800 272 831 Website
- Care Leavers Australasia Network (CLAN) - support and advocacy for Forgotten Australians 1800 008 774 Website
- Child Migrants Trust - social work services for former Child Migrants, including counselling and support for family reunions 1800 040 509 Website
- Child Wise - trauma-informed telephone and online counselling for childhood abuse 1800 991 099 Website
- Children and Young People with Disability Australia 1800 222 660 Website
- Headspace - support for young people experiencing mental health issues 1800 650 890 Website
- Healing Foundation - service to help build up the capacity of Indigenous organisations and support the development of the Link Up network Website
- In Good Faith Foundation - advocacy, casework, referral and support to aid recovery for victims, their families and communities responding to clergy, religious and lay abuse 03 9940 1533 Website
- Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 Website
- On the Line Australia - national telephone and online support, information and referral for men with family and relationship concerns 1300 789 978 Website
- People with Disability Australia - national telephone line to provide information and referrals to people with disabilities 1800 422 015 TTY: 1800 422 016 Website
- Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia - 24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone in Australia who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault 1800 211 028 Website