The Safeguarding Project was initiated in April 2014 by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. The Archbishop is committed to righting the wrongs of the past and providing a safe and secure environment for all Catholics. In doing so he has appointed Andrea Musulin an expert in child protection, as the Safeguarding Project Coordinator for the Perth Catholic Archdiocese. Andrea comes with a wealth of knowledge and expertise on how we ensure the Catholic Church is a Child Safe Organisation.
The Archdiocese of Perth is the first of the Australian Catholic Dioceses to begin to establish Safeguarding Officers across its network of parishes. The project is responsible for ensuring, as best we can, the safety of children, young people and the vulnerable within the confines of the Catholic Church across the Archdiocese of Perth. It is also responsible for educating the Catholic community on child protection and protective behaviours, and establishing Safeguarding Officers within Perth’s metropolitan and rural parishes.
The Safeguarding Project is child-focused and informed by a fundamental belief that children have the right to physical and psychological safety at all times and that we, the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth, must play our part in protecting all children and vulnerable individuals.
The Safeguarding Project will also provide services, if and when needed, to the broader parish community.
The Safeguarding Project is designed to raise awareness of our collective responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable individuals. The project, whilst working towards providing all forms of safety for children, will be focused on the prevention of abuse and harm to children and vulnerable individuals within parishes, and the response to same using a framework considered to be best practice.
Recognising that there is no fool-proof system for the complete prevention of all forms of abuse, the project will be informed by the 12 National Standards. These standards incorporate elements of public health interventions to prevent the abuse of children, minimise the risk of abuse by heightening the likelihood that abuse will be detected, and to reduce the long-term impacts of abuse on children.
The role of your parish Safeguarding Officers is to work in partnership with the Parish Priest(s) to ensure that our Parish meets the Archdiocese of Perth’s Safeguarding responsibilities in all aspects of service.
The Safeguard Officers will:
- be the first point of contact for children, vulnerable adults and other members of the parish community regarding suspicions of abuse and other safeguarding concerns
- respond to all safeguarding concerns in line with the Archdiocese’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedures manual, report these concerns to the Safeguarding Project Coordinator and/or other authorities, as needed
- keep the Parish Priest informed of all concerns, responses and activities relating to safeguarding children and other members of the parish community
- raise the profile of safeguarding in the parish, ensuring that it remains a high priority, and report on any issues or concerns with the implementation of the safeguarding policy and procedures
- Coordinate and promote proactive training workshops such as Protective Behaviours for parents and the parish community
- assist with proactive measures within parishes to safeguard children
- ensure that all statutory requirements are met within parishes in respect to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
If you or anyone you know have any concerns in relation to the safety of child or vulnerable adult please do not hesitate in contacting Rina Cercarelli (0413 835 852) or Isabel Brewer (0459 537 045) to discuss those concerns.