Assessment of the Implementation of Safeguarding Culture Standards of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand
On behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders and the National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee, Te Rōpū Tautoko (TRT) sought proposals from suitably qualified and experienced assessors to conduct an assessment of the implementation of the Safeguarding Culture Standards of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The assessment will focus on two standards: Standard 3 - Responding to Complaints or Concerns, and Standard 4 - Monitoring Compliance with National Policy.
Terms of Reference for the Assessment are available here.
The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate compliance, effectiveness, and appropriateness of the standards, as well as identify areas for improvement.
These Terms of Reference responds, in part, to item 2.5 of the Tautoko roadmap:
The National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee and Te Rōpū Tautoko to work together to ensure that a robust and independent assessment processes for the current Catholic Church redress and safeguarding system is undertaken.
More information on the safeguarding culture standards can be found on the website: www.safeguarding.catholic.org.nz
TRT are pleased to appoint and entrust the assessment to GCPS Consulting, based in the United Kingdom.
GCPS Consulting is a consulting firm that specialises in helping organisations ensure the safety of children and adults and improve their systems for preventing and reporting/responding to allegations of abuse. GCPS deals with the identification of risks and issues and has extensive international experience and expertise in policy development, training, review, evaluation, investigations as well as inquiries.
In the Catholic context their work includes:
- a safeguarding audit of the Missions Etrangères de Paris, a French missionary society, focusing on the Asia-Pacific region;
- the inquiry into historical abuse allegations into the founder of L’Arche International; and
- the inquiry into historical child abuse allegations in the Focolare Movement in France
In other spheres their work has included:
- conducting an Independent Assurance Review on behalf of the UK charities regulator UK Charity Commission –to assess Oxfam GB’s compliance;
- participating in an evaluative review of safeguarding measures across UNHCR with a particular focus on investigations of sexual misconduct cases; and
- conducting a review of the Australian government department’s child protection policy for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The output of the assessment will be a report provided to TRT to be considered by the Mixed Commission and the National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee. It is the Mixed Commission that will determine the response to conclusions and recommendations arising from the report. A summary of the final assessment report will be made publicly available on the TRT website.
The assessment started in November 2023 and will be completed, through the publication of the summary assessment report, by June 2024.