Sandhurst committed to a culture of Safeguarding

 

ACSL Audit Report 350.jpgThe overall audit findings showed 96% compliance, with the Diocese demonstrating that it has fully implemented or substantially progressed in implementing 97 of the 103 indicators that are relevant to its operations. The remaining four indicators are in the initial stages of implementation and the Diocese has accepted twelve recommendations from ACSL, all of which were assessed as medium or low priority.

‘The audit report is an encouraging endorsement of the safeguarding efforts undertaken over many years across the Diocese by its parishes, led with great dedication by Safeguarding Coordinator, Ms Anne McIntosh and the Diocesan Safeguarding Committee.

‘I particularly want to acknowledge the guidance and resources provided by Ms Anne McIntosh, the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator and by the Diocesan Safeguarding Committee’ said Bishop Shane. Bishop Shane also commended the work of the Child Safety Officers, Child Safety Teams and all those involved in Child Safety in parishes across the Diocese.

 

Bishop Mackinlay expressed his appreciation for the work of the ACSL audit team and the confidence that its report would give to those involved in or visiting the Diocese’s parishes and agencies: ‘Safeguarding is a critical part of the response to what we have learned about the Catholic Church’s failures to protect, believe and respond justly to children and vulnerable adults, and the consequent breaches of community trust. I acknowledge the lifelong trauma of abuse victims, survivors and their families. We must do all in our power to prevent this, and a commitment to safeguarding will therefore remain an essential part of the Diocese’s mission.’

The Diocese recognises that ensuring the safety and care of children, and adults at risk, requires that safeguarding be an ongoing priority. The audit report provides valuable insights and recommendations on how the Diocese can improve its practices and policies relating to safeguarding issues in areas including risk management, support for parish safeguarding officers, and online safety. The Diocese is committed to continuous improvement in these and other nominated areas and will work to implement the recommendations of the audit report.

ACSL is committed to fostering a nationally consistent culture of safety and care throughout the Catholic Church in Australia. The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards (NCSS) provide a framework to protect and care for children and adults at risk. The Diocese of Sandhurst, due to the scope of its operations, is to comply with 103 of these standards.

The NCSS seek to build a culture of shared responsibility for safeguarding and to ensure that policies, practices and codes of behaviour work in unison to prevent, detect and respond appropriately to potential or actual incidents of child abuse. In this context, the audit processes we have undertaken are intended to provide reasonable assurance that safeguarding controls have been designed appropriately and are operating effectively. Accordingly, this report provides a point-in-time assessment of the safeguarding practices implemented by the Diocese and the extent of its compliance with the requirements of the NCSS. The focus of this audit was on ministries or activities conducted in parishes and the parish volunteer network, which are not subject to external assurance processes.

 

The full report is available on the ACSL website, along with further information about the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and ACSL itself.

 

Download the national Catholic Safegaurding Standards audit reprot for the Diocese of Sandhurst.