Church streamlines child protection efforts

Archbishop Mark Coleridge (ACBC)

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge says a new national office for safeguarding will streamline and coordinate the Church’s work to protect children and vulnerable adults. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

“The Catholic Church in Australia is bringing into a single entity several national agencies working in the area of child protection and safeguarding,” he said.

“This has been intended since 2016, when Catholic Professional Standards Limited was established.”

The work of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) has been pivotal to the Church’s progress in the past four years, in the final stages of and beyond the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop Coleridge said.

“For all its excellent work in developing the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, beginning the audits of dioceses and religious institutes, and training Catholic leaders, CPSL has not become the single national office envisaged,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

“That the Church is looking to achieve its goal of a single national entity does not and cannot diminish the work currently being done.”

The various national agencies that now exist alongside CPSL include the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards (formerly the National Committee for Professional Standards), the Implementation Advisory Group and Australian Catholic Redress Limited, which facilitates diocesan engagement with the National Redress Scheme.

Archbishop Coleridge said it is “seriously mistaken” to see the decision to bring various national organisations into a single entity as a diminishment in the Church’s commitment to child protection and safeguarding.

“For more than 18 months, guided by some of the leading authorities in child safety in the Church and elsewhere, we’ve been moving towards the single national office that’s long been intended,” he said.

FULL STORY

New national office will streamline, coordinate safeguarding efforts (ACBC Media Blog)

RELATED COVERAGE

Nothing lost, everything gained (Catholic Voice)

Catholic Church moves to axe sex-abuse watchdog (The Australian)

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