There are people who can help you… and who want to help you…
Conduct Protocol Unit
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance in relation to a complaint, an enquiry or if you would simply like more information about conduct protocol issues. Please be assured that all matters will be dealt with promptly and confidentially.
Jon Flood, Director
Conduct Protocol Unit
Presbyterian Social Services
Tel: (02) 9690 9325
A Contact Person
An aggrieved person may choose to call a Contact Person (a person who is independent of the church authorities and supervising bodies). The contact person will listen to the aggrieved person without blame or bias and provide information about the availability of support services, the right to seek legal advice and the possible need for reporting to appropriate authorities. The access a Contact Person, ring the Conduct Protocol Unit on 02 9690 9325 and ask for the name of a contact person. The CPU will not ask you for any details, just provide you with the name and number of someone to call.
Jericho Road Counselling Service
Free call 1800 818 133
What will we do
- Listen to you
- Offer the services of a contact person
- Determine if a report needs to be made to the appropriate government department or the Police. Further general information about external processes can be obtained from the Director, CPU.
- Deal with allegations and disclosures: The process of handling allegations and disclosures varies depending upon the exact circumstances of the situation. Information about internal church disciplinary processes can be obtained from the Director, CPU, the Deputy Clerk of Assembly or the Clerk of Assembly.
All allegations and disclosures of abuse will be treated seriously. All aggrieved persons will be treated with respect, and disclosures will be dealt with sensitively, promptly, confidentially and within the terms of Breaking the Silence.
It is important to note that not all disclosures will be allegations. Some disclosures will be made that cannot rightly be dealt with under Breaking the Silence because they do not involve the church. However, we will endeavour to deal with all disclosures carefully and with consideration for the pastoral care of the person making the disclosure.
Breaking the Silence is not limited to child abuse. As a church we are concerned for all people, regardless of age, who may be abused. Breaking the Silence covers:
- child abuse
- risk of significant harm
- reportable conduct
- sexual misconduct and/or
- conduct that breaches the Breaking the Silence Code of Conduct
It does not extend to other forms of abuse and does not cover any other forms of grievance or personal injury.
What Support Can We Provide?
A complaint of abuse may raise medical, psychological, spiritual, legal and practical questions. An appropriate response may, therefore need to be based on a team approach. This is coordinated through the Conduct Protocol Unit.
The provision of support is part of our commitment to those who make an allegation or disclosure. Where an allegation is being dealt with by the church in order to make the process rigorous and fair it can be a trying and difficult time for those involved. As far as possible, we minimise the impact of the process upon the individuals involved and acknowledge the need to provide support for all concerned.
Where a disclosure is made that cannot rightly be dealt with under Breaking the Silence we will provide as much pastoral care and support as possible to those concerned.
Where an allegation of abuse is made under Breaking the Silence, we will offer support through:
- access to a contact person
- provision of a support person
- provision of pastoral care and
- access to counselling services.
In appropriate circumstances the church may cover the cost of counselling services but does not accept any liability for the costs, fees or charges incurred by a person obtaining counselling services unless specific arrangements have been made with the CPU. Where such arrangements have not been made the cost of counselling is the responsibility of the person who arranged for it to occur.
Any legal advice obtained by the aggrieved person will be at his/her own cost. The church will take into consideration a request to reimburse reasonable legal expenses if the aggrieved person is unable to obtain legal advice within his/her own means. This should be requested in writing to the Director, CPU.
Quick reference contact numbers
Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800
Lifeline 13 11 14
Australian Capital Territory
ACT Community Services – 1300 556 729
New South Wales
24 hours – 132 111 for the general public
Child Abuse Task Force, Sexual Offences involving Children – 1800 700 250
Child Abuse Prevention Service – 07 3224 8045 or 1800 811 810 after hours Crisis Care – 07 3235 9999 or 1800 177 135
Families SA Child Abuse Report Line – 13 14 78
Child Protection Services – 1300 737 639
Child Protection Crisis Line – 13 12 78
Department of Child Protection and Family Support, Crisis Care Helpline – 08 9223 1111 or 1800 199 008