St Vincent de Paul Society’s National Council has signed up to the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, ensuring a nationally consistent approach to the safety of children and vulnerable people across the Society.
National Council President, Claire Victory said the safety of companions, members, volunteers, staff and the general public has always been central to state, territory and national council governance practices with rigorous standards and practices in place.
The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards now provide a comprehensive set of principles, some of which are specific to the Catholic Church, to ensure a nationally consistent approach to the protection of children and other vulnerable people. The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards set out 10 standards providing the framework for Catholic Church entities to build child-safe cultures and to advance the safety of children across the Catholic Church in Australia.
The Standards take into account the guidance of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the National Principles of Child Safe Organisations adopted by the Council of Australian Governments early last year. ‘Serving some of the most vulnerable people in our communities through relationships of trust and respect is at the heart of the Vincentian mission,’ Ms Victory said.
‘We welcome this new resource and look forward to working with Catholic Professional Standards Ltd as they commence their auditing and reporting processes. ‘We will be inviting the states and territories to establish a national working group in order for us to progress this initiative and to learn how to work towards a harmonised approach from practices presently in place. We now need to embark on some significant work together to ensure the Society is a safe organisation for vulnerable people,” Ms Victory said.
♦ Judith Tokley is National Communications Director, St Vincent de Paul Society National Council.