Church takes 'significant step' in accountability

Sheree Limbrick (CPSL)

The Church’s new safeguarding body will today release draft standards that will support the Church's work in providing safe places for children and vulnerable adults. Source: CPSL.

The draft National Catholic Safeguarding Standards can be found on the new Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL) website which will also be launched this afternoon at www.cpsltd.org.au.

CPSL chief Sheree Limbrick said the release of the draft safeguards is an important development in strengthening child and vulnerable adult protections in the Church in Australia.

“It is also a significant step in implementing one of the royal commission’s key recommendations,” Ms Limbrick said.

“This is the first time, anywhere in Australia and among just a handful of countries around the world, where the Catholic Church will be accountable for their adherence to consistent and measurable national standards for the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

“This is a major development for CPSL and an important plank in our work to do all we can to ensure children are safe in Catholic parishes, churches, ministries, outreach, schools, hospitals and other places.

“These standards incorporate statutory requirements that Church organisations which deal with children already need to adhere to.”

The standards build on the guidance of the royal commission into child sexual abuse and the draft National Statement of Principles for Child Safe Organisations from the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The 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.

Ms Limbrick said consultations with dioceses, religious orders and other Catholic organisations over the past six months showed that levels of protections for children and vulnerable adults varied widely.

“That is unsustainable and dangerous,” Ms Limbrick said.

“Every child and every vulnerable adult must be protected by the same standards regardless of where they live or what part of the Catholic Church they come in contact with.”

CPSL is calling on anyone interested in the development of the standards to provide feedback. Written submissions can be made through the CPSL website.

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Catholic Church professional standards body releases draft Safeguarding Standards (CPSL)

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