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Statement on Royal Commission Case Study 33 Findings

12 September 2016

The Salvation Army (Australian Southern Territory) welcomes the release of the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Case Study 33. We will now take the time to study the report and its recommendations and consider the implications for the work of The Salvation Army. We will continue to implement policies and procedures that ensure the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable people in our care.

Leader of The Salvation Army (Australian Southern Territory), Commissioner Floyd Tidd, says: “The Salvation Army acknowledges that we failed to protect some of the children who were entrusted to our care in the past. We are deeply sorry for all those who have suffered from our past actions and inactions and understand that for many people and their families that this pain and trauma has been on-going.”

“Our policies and practices have undergone a comprehensive review to ensure that volunteers, staff and officers who work with children are thoroughly screened and trained. Although we cannot undo the past, our actions now and into the future will hopefully help ease the suffering and aid with the healing of those affected by these criminal acts,” Commissioner Tidd said. “The protection and wellbeing of children and vulnerable people is paramount and one of our greatest priorities as an organisation.”

Prior to the release of this report by the Royal Commission and as outlined at the release of Case Study 33, The Salvation Army has proactively enacted a number of significant changes to ensure policies and procedures remain best-practice. With the assistance of independent, external experts, these changes include:

• Reviewing past sexual abuse claims to identify whether compensation payments made in respect of settled claims were assessed fairly and consistently;

• Executing a deeply detailed review into its child protection policies and procedures in order to bolster the protection of all vulnerable people in our care;

• Increasing the training provided to child protection staff and all Officers to ensure they are equipped with best practice protection policies;

• Working with relevant law enforcement authorities and independent experts to ensure the complaints handling policies are best practice and investigations are carried out in a timely manner

• Thoroughly reviewing record-keeping practice to ensure appropriate archiving of records are in place;

• Reviewing in detail personnel (officers and employees) files and disciplinary procedures;

• Undertaking decisive disciplinary action against all living officers against whom allegations of abuse have been made and reporting all allegations to the police.

• Participating in a round table of independent experts to examine the question of why child abuse occurred; and

• Our international headquarters has issues new regulations that state no officer ever found to have committed criminal sexual activities can be accepted or reinstated into officership.

These measures have been designed to ensure accountability and child protection processes are continuously adhered to so children will never be harmed again.

Additionally, The Salvation Army has also taken proactive steps to contribute to the development of a National Redress Scheme by engaging in on-going discussions with government and other non-governmental organisations.

The Salvation Army is committed to working with survivors throughout their healing process and encourages anyone who is abused in any way to make contact with us.

To report abuse in NSW/QLD & ACT we encourage people to make contact with The Salvation Army (Eastern Territory) Centre for Restoration by calling (02) 9266 9781 or via email at centreforrestoration@aue.salvationarmy.org.

To report abuse in VIC/ SA/ TAS/ WA & NT we encourage people to make contact with The Salvation Army (Southern Territory) Professional Standards Office by calling (03) 8878 4814 or via email at professionalstandards@aus.salvationarmy.org.

 

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