Resources and information

Working with Children Check Policy

The Diocese of Wollongong (DoW) Working with Children Check (WWCC) Policy is a resource for persons who are responsible for implementing the WWCC legislation in parishes and ministries in the DoW. The Policy has an accompanying DoW WWCC Practice Note (see below for more information and to download).

This policy has been particularly developed to assist parishes and ministries within DoW to ensure that any volunteers and employees engaging in child-related work have verified WWCC Clearances prior to their commencement work with parish or diocesan ministries.

The policy provides details around:

  • what is child-related work
  • who is deemed to require a WWCC per legislative requirements

The policy also outlines the basic requirements under the WWCC Scheme, which include:

  • Registration
  • Verification
  • Removing barred workers
  • Renewals
  • Record keeping
  • Reporting responsibilities; and
  • Reportable conduct

Download WWCC Policy

WWCC Practice Note

The Diocese of Wollongong (DoW) Working with Children Check (WWCC) Practice Note is an accompanying document to the DoW Working with Children Check Policy. This Practice Note is a resource to provide practical assistance to persons who are responsible for implementing the WWCC legislation in parishes and ministries in the DoW. It provides details around the following internal DoW processes and procedures that are followed in regards to the administration of the WWCC:

  • Child-related work
  • Verification
  • Removing barred workers
  • Renewals
  • Record Keeping
  • Reporting Responsibilities; and
  • Reportable conduct

Download WWCC Practice Note

Creating a safe Church from within

Over Friday 31 August and Saturday 1 September 2018, approximately 600 people from the Dioceses of Parramatta and Wollongong, together with many members of religious congregations and several other dioceses, attended one of two forums regarding Creating a safe Church from within.

The forums, with Fr Hans Zollner SJ as key note speaker, aimed to foster discussion and engagement amongst participants about the response of the Catholic Church to child sexual abuse, and more broadly to consider issues relating to the operation of power within the Catholic Church. The discussions particularly focused on responses to survivors and measures that could be taken to ensure child safety. The forums were facilitated by Ms Susan Pascoe AM.

This report written by Kate Temby summarises the key presentations made on each day, and provides an outline of what participants identified as the key theoretical and practical changes necessary to make Catholic organisations child-safe. As well as drawing on the key note presentations, this report draws on the question and answer sessions following each presentation, the presentation of the results of table discussions, the posters created by each table and the feedback forms.

This report has also been provided to the Implementation Advisory Group which has been established to monitor the response to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; and to Catholic Professional Standards Limited.

Download summary report

Royal Commission final report

In December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse published its final report, following separate reports on Working with Children Checks (August 2015), Redress and Civil Litigation (September 2015), and Criminal Justice (August 2017), as well as numerous case study reports. Two case study reports—Case Study 43 (Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle) and Case Study 44 (dioceses of Armidale and Parramatta/Fr Farrell)—are yet to be published because of ongoing criminal proceedings.

In addition, some material throughout the reports of Case Study 28 (Ballarat), Case Study 35 (Archdiocese of Melbourne) and the final report, has been redacted for the same reason. It will be up to the government to publish unredacted versions of these reports after relevant criminal proceedings are concluded. The final report contains a preface and executive summary plus 17 other volumes—each devoted to a particular topic. Volume 16 is specifically devoted to religious institutions, including the Catholic Church, and is 2,524 pages long. The final report contains 189 recommendations, of which 21 recommendations are directed specifically at the Catholic Church, nine are directed to other specific religious organisations, and 27 are directed to all religious institutions in Australia. The Working with Children Checks report contains 36 recommendations, the Criminal Justice report contains 85 recommendations and the Redress and Civil Litigation report a further 99 recommendations.

There are numerous recommendations covering various issues that are directed at the Catholic Church, religious organisations and religious institutions in Australia. The Royal Commission conducted 8,000 private sessions with survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and, with the consent of the survivors concerned, has published summaries of approximately 4,000 survivor narratives on its website, of which 1,316 reference the Catholic Church.

Download Royal Commission final report

Integrity in Our Common Mission

Integrity in Our Common Mission is the National Code of Conduct for those exercising pastoral ministry in dioceses of the Catholic Church in Australia. This document combines the key principles from the two previous national documents, Integrity in Ministry and Integrity in the Service of the Church, and gives consideration to best practice approaches to safe ministry. These two documents are now superseded by Integrity in Our Common Mission which now becomes the foundational conduct document for anyone ministering or working in the Church, whether that be in a paid or voluntary capacity, clergy, religious or lay person.

Download Integrity in Our Common Mission

10 Child Safe Standards

The Royal Commission has recommended that all organisations that have any contact with children must be compliant with 10 National Child Safe Standards (the Standards) as outlined in Volume 6, Making Institutions Child Safe. The Standards are a benchmark against which organisations can assess their child safe capacity and set performance targets for a best practice approach to child safety. The Standards are interrelated and work together to articulate a holistic approach to child safety. There are necessary overlaps between the Standards and they can be implemented alongside other standards.

Towards Healing

Towards Healing is the primary document of the Australian Catholic Church in relation to sexual, emotional and physical abuse. It presents the attitudes and procedures that are followed when a person approaches the church. It does not attempt to replace the other options available to an individual: reporting a matter to the police, or working through a lawyer.

Download Towards Healing