The Perth Catholic Archdiocese is committed to providing safe and secure environments for all its members, leaders, and especially its children, young people and vulnerable individuals. The Safeguarding Program has been developed and implemented in the parishes in our Archdiocese to achieve this, focusing on prevention of abuse and harm to children within parishes, creating a new culture of safe practices and collective responsibility for the safety and welfare of our children, and procedures for responding to concerns, allegations or disclosures of abuse. All clergy, staff and volunteers in parishes must comply with the policies and procedures of the Safeguarding Program as outlined in the Safeguarding Handbook.
Parish Safeguarding Officers are there to ensure that the Safeguarding Program is implemented in our parishes. Their responsibilities include:
Be a source of support, advice and information on all matters of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults in the parish.
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 accord with the Safeguarding Handbook, reporting these concerns to the Archdiocesan Director of the Safeguarding Program 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 it remains a high priority and report on any issues or concerns in conformity with safeguarding policy and procedures.
Assist with proactive measures within parishes to safeguard children.
In respect to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, ensure compliance with all statutory requirements.
Below are the three Safeguarding Officers for Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish. You may contact any one of these Safeguarding Officers for any concerns you may have and they will able to assist you.
With deep sadness and regret, the Catholic Church in Australia acknowledges the terrible revelations of abuse that have happened in our parishes and Catholic institutions, and we sincerely apologise to all victims of abuse. The Catholic Church in Australia is committed to responding to these revelations of abuse, to hearing survivors and ensuring justice, and to protecting our children and vulnerable people who are currently in our care.
The Safeguarding Program in our Perth Archdiocese is one such response. In December 1996 the former National Committee for Professional Standards (now the Australian Catholic Centre for Professional Standards), a committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes, published Towards Healing which sets out the principles that form the basis of the Church’s response to complaints of abuse and the procedures to be followed in responding to individual complaints. In 2004 that Committee published Integrity in Ministry, a binding code of conduct for all clergy and religious in Australia. They later published Integrity in the Service of the Church, a code of conduct for all who work in the Church of Australia whether employees or volunteers. These documents are available from here. To read more about the response of the Catholic Church in Australia to the abuse crisis click here.
The Western Australian Professional Standards Office (WAPSO) in Perth has been charged to implement the Towards Healing protocol throughout the Church of Western Australia. Any allegations and complaints of inappropriate behaviour against clergy, religious or other paid or voluntary personnel of the Catholic Church in Western Australia should be directed to this office. All contact is treated with respect and confidentially.
The WAPSO also provides pastoral support to survivors of abuse and assists with bringing them to a place of wholeness, hope and healing.
Click here for their webpage and contact details.