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Jump to section:

  • Introduction
  • Principles of Approach
  • Roadmap of Actions
  • Implemented Actions

Roadmap

Responding to the recommendations and themes arising from the Royal Commission

Tautoko has heard the call from the Commission that its work is part of vision to transform care today and into the future.

Tautoko has also heard the call from survivors and their advocates that the Catholic Church can do something more than wait for the Commission to make recommendations. Acknowledging this, the Bishops and Congregational Leaders (church leaders) have been active in listening to the themes that have arisen from the Commission’s work and especially from survivors.

This listening must translate into responding proactively into responses that church leaders can implement, now. This work informs the ongoing response to the Commission through Tautoko and supports and aligns with any findings and recommendations made by the Commissioners. There are Actions that Tautoko propose requiring Church leaders to wait for and reflect on reports and/or recommendations from the Commission, to provide the most aligned response possible and avoid doubling up on effort.

Tautoko eagerly await details of the Commission’s Redress Report that will provide recommendations in relation to the future of redress for survivors of abuse in care in Aotearoa. Once this report has been released many of the actions noted below as “On Hold” can be progressed.

While full transformation of care cannot occur until “we turn and squarely face the reality of our dark and uncomfortable shared history”1, Tautoko recognise that the Commission process will not be “easy nor quick”1. Therefore, this page sets out the approach and actions that Tautoko calls a roadmap. It is committed to assisting church leaders implement these actions. They will evolve and be updated as more work is undertaken and commitments to action agreed.

Any actions that are completed will be added to the Implemented section. There will always be more to reflect on and improve, even when a specific task is completed. Therefore, the Implemented section should be seen as an evolving record of progress to date, not the final word on any matter.

There is always work to do, improvements to be made, and a road to be built, even as we walk it.

1. 'Address by Commissioners' #84, Royal Commission into Abuse in Care Preliminary Hearing, 25 June 2019. Read the PDF on the Royal Commission's website.

Jump to section:

  • Introduction
  • Principles of Approach
  • Roadmap of Actions
  • Implemented Actions

Principles of Approach

The Bishops and Congregational Leaders believe that every person has an innate human dignity (te tapu o te tangata), therefore:

  • regard all forms of abuse as unacceptable and indefensible
  • accept the responsibility to continue to act to stop abuse in the Church
  • listen to, learn from, and support survivors
  • act swiftly on complaints and follow them through
  • ensure action on accountability is followed through for those who are proven responsible for abuse
  • support the need for the Inquiry and actively cooperate with the Commission
  • commit to ensuring transparency

The following additional principles guide the proposed actions:

Church leaders have been challenged by the processes of the Commission to change their approach to matters of addressing complaints of abuse.

Tautoko aim to support church leaders achieve:

  • Reduced barriers for survivors in making disclosures and accessing redress.
  • Engagement with the Commission and Government on the establishment of an independent redress scheme for survivors of abuse in care.
  • Increased independence of church entities involved in leading the church’s safeguarding and redress process.
  • Bishops exercising further leadership for redress outcomes for the whole church; with bishops and congregational leaders continuing to have responsibility for redress on behalf of their respective organisations.
  • A review of honorifics, ensuring the church understands the impact on survivors of known abusers holding titles and honours.
  • Protocols for responding to allegations of abuse, however allegations arise.

Tautoko recognise that significant efforts have been and are continually being made to address historical complaints of abuse and safeguarding of children, young people, and vulnerable adults. These efforts have resulted in significant change and improvement over the last 25 years. The National Office of Professional Standards on behalf of the National Safeguarding and Professional Standards Committee have a principle of continual review of process to improve outcomes. This work continues and is regularly reviewed.

Tautoko propose actions to church leaders offering to support the implementation with those tasked with the work (such as NOPS staff, diocesan staff etc).

Tautoko highlight actions that aim to further improve outcomes. Many actions that were raised in earlier Commission Hearings have already been implemented.

The challenge to all in the Church is to become more and more survivor-informed. This includes understanding the nature of trauma arising from abuse and the life long, intergenerational, and community-wide impact.

Roadmap of Actions

1. Disclosures of Abuse

1.1 Increase the promotion of the paths towards making complaints.
Status: Ongoing

1.2 Agree on a protocol on handling disclosures made through the Commission.
Status: Partially Complete

1.3 Keep a watching brief on any allegations that arise in public forums for investigation.
Status: Ongoing

2. Independent Redress Scheme

2.1 Work with church leaders to implement pathways for the probable development of an independent redress scheme.
Status: In progress, pending information from the Commission

2.2 Decide on a liaison point for an independent redress scheme.
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report)

3. Resourcing

3.1 Additional resources provided to NOPS to support survivors making disclosures of abuse.
Status: In progress

3.2 Ensure any additional resourcing resulting from Actions are allocated.
Status: In progress

4. Church Authority Processes

4.1 Ongoing training from trauma-informed professionals on survivor engagement by church authorities and their staff.
Status: Ongoing

4.2 Consultation on a set of criteria for removal of honorifics.
Status: In Progress

4.3 Review of all of facilities, institutions, and publications of any photos or honorifics of known abusers.
Status: In Progress

4.4 Best practice guides to be published for use of church authorities in relation to obituaries and funerals of known abusers.
Status: In Progress

5. Research and Educational Material

5.1 Engage a research group to create a comprehensive list on the topic of barriers to coming forward and ongoing difficulties with redress processes.
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report, where this is expected to be covered)

5.2 Develop further material about the independence of the congregations and dioceses and the limits on bishops’ powers over congregations.
Status: In Progress

5.3 Finalise research, including literature reviews and community research, with a focus on Māori, Pacific, and Disabled people’s experiences in Catholic care settings.
Status: In Progress

6. Information Management

6.1 Proposals on document management and Privacy Act procedures.
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report)

7. APTH Protocol and overall governance of the redress and safeguarding ‘system’

7.1 Independent review of A Path to Healing
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report)

7.2 Increase the independence of groups involved with complaint and safeguarding management.
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report)

7.3 Development of an ‘all of church’ model for complaints, safeguarding and professional standards.
Status: On Hold (awaiting the Commission's Redress Report)

Implemented Actions

  • Translation of NOPS materials. See https://safeguarding.catholic.org.nz/documents-policies/
  • Survivors only have to share their experiences of abuse once unless survivors want or need to share more information to aid their complaint. Now established practice.
  • Consultations on Redress with survivors, advocates, and the Commission
  • Church leaders support, in principle, the proposals made to the Commission for an independent redress body. Awaiting the Commission’s detailed recommendations.
  • NOPS continue efforts to liaise with NZ Police policy teams around police procedures in relation to allegations of abuse in Catholic institutions.
  • NOPS has sought, received, and implemented advice on new processes to incorporate the latest directives outlined in Vatican documents Vos Estis Lux Mundi (2019) and the Vademecum (2020)
  • Workshops on trauma-informed ways of working being offered to key staff involved in redress processes.

Contact Te Rōpū Tautoko


 

Chairperson
Catherine Fyfe

Project Director
David Mullin
06 213 9264

3 + 4 =

Contact Te Rōpū Tautoko


 

Chairperson
Catherine Fyfe

Project Director
David Mullin
06 213 9264

5 + 4 =

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