Safeguarding office to be independent

The Catholic Weekly

June 30, 2020

By Marilyn Rodrigues

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has hit back at claims that a new national safeguarding office may be a step backwards from the work of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd over the past three years.

CPSL was established by the ACBC in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse to conduct audits of church entities’ compliance with child safe standards and to deliver safeguarding training.

It was set up as a not-for-profit company operating independently of the church hierarchy and runs at a cost of around $1.8 million a year. It is expected to be replaced early in 2021 by a national approach to streamline and coordinate the Church’s work to protect children and vulnerable adults.

Some Catholics are worried that the new approach being considered by the bishops may lack the independence and transparency of CPSL, with The Australian reporting that there is “concern that old habits of secrecy and non-transparency are creeping back into the church”.

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