The Office for Safeguarding at the Diocese of Parramatta is encouraging parishioners to give feedback on the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards through a new consultation survey. The survey, being run by the Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL), is an important opportunity for anyone in the Diocese to have a say on the standards that will guide how we safeguard both children and adults in the future.
This second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS) expands the established framework for the safeguarding of children to include safeguarding requirements and practices for the protection of adults at risk.
CPSL’s Director of Safeguarding, Daniele Donnini, said that the consultation process to review the draft Standards has been designed to be accessible and allow a wide range of voices to be heard.
“We have created a consultation survey to seek feedback on the draft Standards. This is a great tool because anyone can contribute. All feedback will be given consideration, so we want to ensure we capture as many different voices as possible.”
Mr Donnini said that last week CPSL had written to key stakeholder groups to organise facilitated online consultation sessions. They include representatives from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), Catholic ministries and organisations working with adults, adults with a lived experience of vulnerability, and government regulators at state and federal levels.
“While the broadest possible range of voices is being sought through the consultation survey, it’s also vital that those who will be impacted by the new Standards at an operational and personal level get to have their say in a forum of their own”.
Mr Donnini said that those who have not received a formal invitation to join a facilitated consultation but wish to do so are encouraged to let CPSL know in writing by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The survey and the facilitated group consultations will conclude on August 28, 2020. Once all the feedback has been reviewed and amendments incorporated, the second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards will then be presented to ACBC and CRA (CPSL’s members) for their assent in October 2020, with CPSL aiming to publish the second edition of the National Catholic Safeguarding prior to the end of 2020.
Edition One of the Standards (May 2019) takes into account guidance from 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 (formally adopted by COAG in February 2019).
The draft second edition builds on this guidance and includes learnings from an extensive review of literature from within the Catholic Church, Commonwealth and state/territory governments, international regulatory and legislative frameworks and research.
Since the release of the NCSS Edition One, CPSL has trained over 1,000 Church leaders and personnel to understand and implement the Standards and has created an audit framework to measure compliance. To date, nine audits of Church entities including an archdiocese, dioceses and religious institutes, have been published.
The consultation survey can be accessed here.
More information on the consultation process can be found on the Have Your Say page of CPSL’s website.
With thanks to Catholic Professional Standards Ltd.