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Adelaide Archdiocese sets up Child Protection Council

In an Australian first, the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has established a child protection council to oversee the safety of children.

The Advertiser reports today that the Council will develop policy initiatives and oversee all areas of child protection within the Archdiocese.

The Council will be chaired by leading child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Prue McEvoy. Its aim is to prevent child abuse and ensure the church responds properly to concerns and any allegations.

Explaining details of the council yesterday, Archbishop Philip Wilson (pictured) said it was a direct response to child abuse issues that had arisen in many institutions in recent years.

"The Catholic Church, both globally and here in Adelaide, has had to face some very difficult and distressing truths about the way it has failed to protect children in our care in the past," Archbishop Wilson said.

"While our early priorities have been in seeking to deal with the suffering of the victims, my aim has always been to get to the point where we are not just dealing with abuses after they happen, but establish a culture to ensure they don't happen again. Our number one aim is to establish awareness, policies and principles to ensure that children in our care are being protected throughout the archdiocese, including schools, parishes and church agencies."

While he welcomed moves that will see all teachers working in government, independent and Catholic schools subjected to police checks, Archbishop Wilson called on the State Government to check all people who work with children, including volunteers.

Church sets up child protection council (The Advertiser 27/8/04)

Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide

27 Aug 2004