The Christian Brothers Oceania Province has implemented key child safeguarding policies, but more can be done to strengthen its practices, according to an audit released today. Source: Catholic Professional Standards Ltd.
The audit, by the Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, found that the Christian Brothers had either implemented or was substantially progressed in the implementation of 91 (89 per cent) out of the 102 indicators relevant to the province under the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards.
CPSL chief executive Sheree Limbrick said that on the back of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, CPSL is auditing Church organisations across Australia to make sure they have sound and robust processes in place to keep children safe.
“There’s no magic wand, but we do know there are key things every organisation needs to do to protect children. In the case of CBOP we found that key policies and procedures relating to safeguarding requirements are in place and operating, however some will need updating based on the results of this audit," Limbrick said.
“For example, our audit has found that CBOP has detailed human resource and risk management frameworks covering its ministries and communities, which ensures that personnel who are working with children are appropriately vetted prior to commencing employment and have comprehensive child safety training and support.
“However, we identified a gap, in that annual performance reviews for employees and key volunteers are not currently documented and do not include reference to safeguarding requirements.
“In addition, we noted that safeguarding training is still in the process of being rolled out – all staff working with children have had appropriate training, but those in non-child-facing roles and all brothers in the province have yet to undertake this training, which includes dissemination of an updated Code of Conduct.
“Creating consistency in safeguarding training and human resource practices will help to shape an environment where systems and procedures effectively support child safety.
“From here, the Christian Brothers have committed to implementing the 15 recommendations we made to continue to improve their safeguarding practices."
CPSL will conduct more than 270 audits across the country in the next 18 months, Ms Limbrick said.
Statement on the CPSL audit (Christian Brothers Oceania Province)