The first week of Catholic Professional Standard’s nation-wide consultation on new church child safeguarding standards has finished with 80 people attending sessions in Hobart, Ballarat and Melbourne.
The first of the consultation forums were held last week and where attended by survivors of child sexual abuse, advocates, Catholic church personnel and others to discuss new safeguarding standards for children in church institutions including schools and parishes.
The new safeguarding standards are being developed by Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, established by the Catholic Church in November 2016, to develop, audit and report on compliance with professional standards across Catholic entities.
Ms Kate Eversteyn, CPSL Director of Safeguarding, said that while the number of survivors attending had been low, the feedback has been informative and encouraging.
“These consultations are the first of many as we work towards building strong and lasting relationships with all involved in ensuring the Catholic Church is as safe as it can be for children.
“The focus of this round of consultations is on the standards, the auditing approach and building capacity within Church authorities and training.
“Across the three locations we were in last week we had 28 survivors or their advocates attend the survivor consultations and some 52 representatives from church organisations attend separate church focused groups.
“This is the start of what will be a long process of building relationships and is only the first of many opportunities to engage with survivors and others,” Ms Eversteyn said.
The draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards set out 10 standards which provide the framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures and to advance the safety of children across the Catholic Church in Australia.
The draft Standards 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.
Further consultations sessions will be held over the coming three weeks.
For further information or to register for consultation sessions visit the CPSL website
With thanks to CPSL.