PUBLIC ADVICE IN RELATION TO THE OFFICE OF SAFEGUARDING’S OPERATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION
Last updated 19 March 2020
The Office of Safeguarding is committed to promoting the safety, welfare and wellbeing of the children and vulnerable people for whom we work and our colleagues across the Diocese.
Office of Safeguarding management continues to monitor and respond to the development of the COVID-19 situation. We will continue to follow the guidance provided by the relevant authorities. Public health advice is available through NSW Health and the Australian Government’s Department of Health.
Between now and 27 April 2020 some of the Office of Safeguarding functions have been affected:
- Safeguarding training sessions are cancelled.
- Most Healing and Support services continue to be offered. However, group work with clients is suspended. Where appropriate and agreeable to the client, individual casework may be conducted by phone or video where available (e.g. Zoom or Skype).
- Investigations will proceed. Where appropriate and agreeable to the witness, investigative interviews may be conducted by video (e.g. Zoom, Skype or teleconferencing).
- ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) will proceed. Where appropriate and agreeable to the participant, preparatory interviews may be conducted by alternative methods (e.g. Zoom, Skype or teleconferencing).
- Undertaking safeguarding risk assessments, including site or service-based assessments will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Urgent and high-risk matters will be prioritised.
- School accreditation processes (COSI) are suspended
The following Office of Safeguarding functions are unaffected:
- Intake services (where diocesan personnel can contact the Office of Safeguarding to discuss any concerns they have for the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children or vulnerable adults) continue to operate during normal business hours Monday to Friday.
- Working to produce a just resolution to survivors seeking redress from the Diocese will continue unaffected, dependent on any possible delays or restrictions raised by legal firms and mediation facilities.