The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, has released a suite of new initiatives and stronger child protection policies in response to the Royal Commission’s findings into the way the Archdiocese dealt with a survivor of child sexual abuse in 1999.
In a statement released on Thursday, Archbishop Coleridge has once again apologised to survivors of child sexual abuse and outlined how the Archdiocese has responded since appearing before the Royal Commission in December 2013, as part of the its examination of the Church’s Towards Healing process.
As part of the response to the Commission’s hearing and its findings the Archdiocese has:
- Employed a full time Child Protection Officer to work with parishes and agencies since January 2014. In her first twelve months, she has prepared a Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and conducted workshops and training throughout the Archdiocese for priests and parish staff;
- From early 2014, upgraded the position of Queensland Director of Professional Standards from a part-time to full-time position with the addition of further resources;
- Offered all survivors of child sexual abuse now coming forward unconditional, ongoing counselling with outside therapists;
- Arranged for Dr Monica Applewhite, a world expert on child protection, to conduct workshops and seminars with priests and others in the Archdiocese in July;
- Ensured the Archbishop is now personally involved with all complaints coming forward and the progress of their complaint.
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