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HOW TO

REPORT A COMPLAINT

Issue or Concern

Child or young person currently at risk of significant harm

Who to Report to

NSW Police 000
Contact the Police first if the situation requires emergency assistance.

FaCS Helpline 132 111
If possible, discuss with your senior ministry leader *( Eg Parish Priest) or Principal* (school ministry) first and use the Mandatory Reporters Guideline. https://reporter.childstory.nsw.gov.au/s

Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards
Where the alleged perpetrator is a church worker (paid or unpaid). T: (02) 8838 3419, email: safeguarding@parracatholic.org

Knowledge of relevant criminal offences

NSW Police 000

Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards
Regarding a church worker, paid or unpaid. T: (02) 8838 3419, email: safeguarding@parracatholic.org

Child abuse by a church worker

NSW Police 000

Senior Ministry Leader* (i.e. Parish Priest)

Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards
T: (02) 8838 3419, email: safeguarding@parracatholic.org

*Do not report to the Senior Ministry Leader or Principal if the allegation is regarding them.

CONTACT THE OFFICE FOR SAFEGUARDING AND PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF WHAT TO DO IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE OR WHERE AN ALLEGATION IS REGARDING THE SENIOR MINISTRY LEADER/PRINCIPAL.

F.A.Q.

What happens if I lodge a complaint about someone working or ministering in the Diocese of Parramatta to the Office for Safeguarding and Professional Standards (OSPS)?

These steps will be taken:

  1. OSPS will take the details of the complaint and assess the nature of the information and appropriate process to respond to the matter. This may be done over the phone or in person and/or in writing.
  2. OSPS will ask you if you require immediate professional support and, if needed, refer you to its Healing and Support personnel to find the best supports for you at the time.
  3. OSPS will assess if the matter needs further reporting to external agencies such as NSW Police, NSW FACS and/or NSW Ombudsman.
  4. If the OSPS is managing the matter a response plan will be developed. This involves communication with the reporter about the next steps and how the matter will be managed.
  5. A secure record will be kept confidentially at OSPS.

This process will also occur even if the person you are lodging a complaint against no longer works or ministers in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

Yes, you can. OSPS recognises that at times anonymous complaint provide helpful information to a matter of safety and that sometimes people are afraid to identify themselves. The information will be received and considered as thoroughly as possible.

However, there are often real limits to a process when the information is received anonymously. It can mean that the information cannot be clarified or verified during an investigation. It can also impact on procedural fairness for an individual, creating challenges for conclusive findings to be made.

Will the information be given to the NSW Police if I don’t want their involvement?

The Office will only inform the Police if the information is of a criminal nature that triggers our own reporting obligations about notifying a possible crime.

If this occurs, the Office will:

  1. Advise you that we need to call the Police.
  2. Ask if you would like to make your own Police report and support you to do this if needed.
  3. Ask if you would like the Police to contact you for receive your report.
What if I make a complaint but do not want any action taken?

The response of the Office will depend on what the information is you are providing. If it is a matter that triggers a legal requirement to report information, or take some internal action, we are obliged to act on this. However, this would be in discussion with you. We will always discuss with you why you are seeking no action with the aim of understanding your rationale or any concerns that you have.