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Diocese of Parramatta Statement of Commitment to Safeguarding

13 September 2020

 

Diocese of Parramatta Statement of Commitment to Safeguarding

Delivered by Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta

13 September 2020

 

Dear Friends,

The Diocese of Parramatta is committed to being a community of safeguarding that actively promote the dignity and rights of children and of all persons, particularly those who may be vulnerable.

We have a zero tolerance to abuse of any form. We are committed to ensuring that all children and vulnerable adults under our care are safe, protected and enabled to flourish.

The Diocese of Parramatta offers its unreserved and deepest apologies to survivors of abuse and their families for the hurt and suffering this abuse has caused throughout their lives. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that no child entrusted to our care is ever harmed again.

The Diocese acknowledges that our past failings have led to irreversible harm being inflicted upon children. Whilst we seek to repair this fundamental breach of trust that was placed in us, we understand that trust is for some people perhaps broken forever.

Our past failings cannot be undone. However, we remain steadfast in our future commitments to ensure our current child protection processes and procedures offer a safeguard from predatory behaviour.

In all of our works, ministries and activities, we respond to the call of the Gospel to protect those who are vulnerable by fostering culture, education, systems, processes and environments where the safety and wellbeing of children and vulnerable people is paramount.

  • We commit to a culture of safeguarding where leaders at all levels put safeguarding first and where the best interests of children are always paramount.
  • We commit to engaging and listening to the voices and experiences of survivors.
  • We commit to ensuring all people engaged by the diocese are suitable, supported and skilled for their role, including robust screening processes, supervision, support and ongoing education and training.
  • We commit to hearing the voices of our community, to making spaces to listen to children’s voices, and to seeking input and feedback from families, the broader community and the rich diversity of the Diocese of Parramatta including those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and those with a disability.
  • We commit to having regularly updated policies and procedures which document our safeguarding practices and are publicly available for transparency and accountability.
  • We commit to a complaints management process and policy which is effective and accessible, with a focus on ensuring the complainant is supported through the process.
  • We commit to ensuring that all matters requiring a statutory report are reported in a timely manner and that our volunteers and staff are trained to recognise and respond appropriately to disclosures and potential signs of abuse.
  • We commit to creating safe spaces, to ensuring our physical and online environments are safe and that seek ongoing input from children and communities about what makes them feel safe.

In 2020, the Diocese of Parramatta continues to adapt our service for survivors. In October, we are expanding our ‘Healing and Support’ service with the launch of Guarire House. Guarire House is a trauma-informed support and referral place of comfort for survivors of abuse.

Look for the information about Guirare House and our other safeguarding information at www.safeguarding.org.au.

Thank you, take care and God bless.

 

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