Dioceses employ specialists to help prevent abuse

Proactive policies

The dioceses of Toowoomba in Queensland and Ballarat in Victoria have employed specialist staff to help prevent repeats of past clerical sexual abuse.

The Toowoomba Chronicle reports that an expert in student protection has been engaged by the Toowoomba Catholic Education Office in the wake of February's inquiry into child sexual abuse at a Toowoomba school.

An open letter to parents, signed by Bishop Robert McGuckin and Toowoomba CEO director John Borserio, sought to reassure them the inquiry's recommendations had been implemented. 'Most recently, we engaged Dr Monica Applewhite (whose work in policy development for the prevention of abuse, including sexual abuse, and maintaining safe environments for children is well respected internationally) to deliver professional development training to principals and student protection contacts in the area of child sexual abuse,' it stated.

The Courier reports that the diocese of Ballarat has set up a paid position to help prevent a repeat of its clergy sexual abuse past. A part-time diocesan co-ordinator for professional standards will establish strict conduct policies for not only the ministry but also lay workers and volunteers.


Catholic Education Office employs child safety expert (Chronicle)

Diocese co-ordinator to restore church's integrity (Courier)