The Adelaide Archdiocese has been committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children for many years and has had a formal child protection body in place for over ten years.
The first iteration of the Adelaide Archdiocesan Child Protection Council was established in 2004 and supported by a Child Protection office. This governing body was instrumental in guiding child safe initiatives and founded the South Australian Catholic Child Protection Charter which directed the Council to work towards child safe environments. The Archdiocesan Child Protection Policy was developed in 2006 and later reviewed in 2009. This policy determines the Catholic Churches’ commitment and responsibilities towards promoting a child safe environment where children have the right to be heard, protected and nurtured to reach their full potential. Implementation Procedures were created in 2009 to assist the Catholic Church Community and Church personnel to understand their responsibilities and obligations to implement the policy. This framework determines 4 key elements to promote and oversee the safety and well-being of children and young people and are; Faith and Culture, Governance, Human Resource practices and Training. Initiatives such as ‘how to guides’ and ‘fast track guides’ were also developed to assist with the introduction of safe practices. In 2017 the Child Protection Policy was phased out and replaced by the Safe Environments for All program which incorporated a policy framework and strategic guide to improving child protection in the Archdiocese.
In accordance with the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (formerly the Child Protection Act 1993), the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has demonstrated its commitment to being a child safe organisation through the implementation of the following practices; introduction of mandatory police checks in 2007, safe recruitment processes inclusive of reference checks, role descriptions and inductions, and mandatory training. Since 2007 all clergy, religious and staff are required to attend Child Safe Environment Training to understand their legal responsibilities to report suspected child abuse and/ or neglect. In 2010 the Archdiocesan Code of Conduct was implemented. Clergy, religious, employees and volunteers of our Archdiocese also comply with Integrity in Ministry and Integrity in the Service of the Church documents, developed by the National Professional Standards Office.
In 2013 the Child Protection Office became known as the Child Protection Unit and this unit continues to build on the positive work accomplished to date.
Our historical policy documents and resources are provided below.