Responding to the Findings and Recommendations of the Royal Commission
On the 31st of August, 2018, Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released their response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Please click on this link to see their response.
Three key groups took forward the work from the Royal Commission:
- The Implementation Advisory Group
- Nation Redress Scheme Reference Group
- Catholic Professional Standards Limited
In addition, the ACBC and CRA submitted a joint report to the National Office for Child Safety (NOCS) on the Catholic Church’s implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Click here to find out more.
Implementation Advisory Group
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia established an advisory group that plays a crucial role in influencing and monitoring the Catholic Church’s ongoing response to the child sexual abuse scandal.
The Implementation Advisory Group monitors the response to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse and the recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, which led the Church’s engagement with the Royal Commission.
The program of work the Implementation Advisory Group has includes:
- Relationship with and spiritual support of survivors;
- Governance and Church culture;
- Child-focused standards;
- National Redress Scheme;
- Seal of confessional and mandatory reporting;
- Handling of abuse complaints.
National Redress Scheme
The Catholic Church also established a National Redress Scheme Reference Group to work with the Government in the establishment of this Scheme and was the first non government agency to opt in to the National redress Scheme.
The National Redress Scheme started on 1 July 2018 and is running for 10 years. Information about the Scheme can be found at Nationalredress.gov.au or by calling 1800 737 377 (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm Sydney local time).
Catholic Professional Standards Limited
Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) was established in 2016 as an independent not for profit company limited buy guarantee with a board of directors comprising lay men and women. CPSL worked to create the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards that focused on children, and these were finalised at the end of 2019. Further detail on CPSL can be found by clicking this link.
The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards comprise of 10 Standards, providing the framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures and to advance the safety of children and vulnerable adults across the Catholic Church in Australia.
The first phase of implementation of the Standards focused on safeguarding practices for the protection of children, taking into account the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations from the Australian Human Rights Commission. The second edition of the NCSS refine the indicators and criteria and include considerations of adults at risk. They are to be introduced at the end of 2022.