Safeguarding Our Faith Communities

The Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is wholly committed to ensuring the safety, well-being and dignity of all Children and Adults at Risk, and acknowledges its important legal, moral and spiritual responsibility to create a safe and nurturing environment for these people. It has a zero tolerance for the abuse, mistreatment, bullying or discrimination of and against Children and Adults at Risk. The diocese strives to maintain an organizational culture of respect for Children and their opinions, rights, safety and wellbeing.

Safeguarding has traditionally ensured the safety, welfare and well-being of Children. However, the Diocese’s broader commitment to safeguarding includes adults who are at increased risk of abuse (‘Adults at Risk’). Varying circumstances can increase a person’s vulnerability such as being elderly, having a disability, having diminished cognitive capacity, being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, being from a culturally and linguistically diverse background or currently experiencing difficulties and/or violence within their domestic relationships.

The Diocese recognises that Adults at Risk, though they may be more vulnerable to abuse, have the right to make informed decisions to live the life they choose (‘dignity of risk’). In fulfilling this responsibility, the Diocese has developed the Diocese’s Child and Adults at Risk Safeguarding manual which comprises of the Code of Conduct, and accompanying guidance documents, fact sheets, protocols and procedures.

The Diocese’s safeguarding culture is aligned with the ten Child Safe Standards that were recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and adopted by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian to facilitate a Child safe culture throughout the Diocese. The Diocese also aligns its safeguarding response to abuse with the ten National Catholic Safeguarding Standards which are overseen by ACSL and the National Principles which are overseen by the National Office for Child Safety.

The best interests of the Child and Adult at Risk is at the heart of the Diocese’s safeguarding culture. It seeks not only to ensure Children and Adults at Risk’s safety, well-being and dignity within the Diocese.