Audits show safeguarding policies being followed

The Brisbane Archdiocese logo and the coat of arms of Darwin Bishop Charles Gauci (Supplied)

Safeguarding audits of Brisbane Archdiocese and Darwin Diocese have revealed high levels of compliance with the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, according to reports published by Catholic Professional Standards Limited today.

The CPSL audit of the Brisbane Archdiocese found that it had either implemented or was substantially progressed in the implementation of 87 (84 per cent) out of the 104 indicators relevant to archdiocese under the NCSS.

A total of 18 recommendations have been accepted by the Brisbane Archdiocese to strengthen their safeguarding practices. Audit recommendations are classified according to priority and urgency for remediation. There are no Priority 1 (high rated) recommendations for the Archdiocese.

CPSL CEO Sheree Limbrick said that the audit showed that the Archdiocese has comprehensive child safeguarding policies and procedures, with only one NCSS Indicator (relating to the implementation of cultural safety training) yet to be addressed.

“Many of the recommendations we have given to the Archdiocese of Brisbane relate to streamlining processes, consolidating documentation and ensuring that the Archdiocese maintains good oversight of the large number of parishes and ministries under its governance to ensure consistent safeguarding practices across the Archdiocese,” Ms Limbrick said.

The Darwin Diocese audit found that the diocese had implemented (or was substantially progressed in the implementation) of 92 (89 per cent) of the 103 indicators relevant to their operations under the NCSS.

Thirteen recommendations to improve safeguarding policies and practices have been accepted by the Diocese of Darwin. There are no Priority 1 (high rated) recommendations for the Diocese.

Ms Limbrick said the Darwin Diocese audit demonstrated that there is committed leadership at the highest levels of the diocese to make child safeguarding a priority, evident through a dedicated “safeguarding children” webpage on the diocesan website, the formation of a Bishop’s Advisory Council and efforts from the Diocese to make families and communities aware of safeguarding matters in the Church.

“Moving forward, the Diocese of Darwin will need to address cultural safety training, which so far has not been addressed. This is very important given the multicultural nature of the Diocese. The Diocese will also need to work to ensure that annual performance appraisals of personnel factor in safeguarding, and that volunteers undergo appraisals too,” Ms Limbrick said.


Audit Reports for Archdiocese of Brisbane and Diocese of Darwin released (CPSL)

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