Scouts Australia and its eight Branches, have agreed in principle to opting into the proposed National Redress Scheme resulting from the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
National Co-ordinator (Redress) for Scouts Australia, Mr Neville Tomkins OAM, JP, said: “We look forward to viewing the final legislation.”
“We are committed to ensuring that all survivors of child sexual abuse have access to the Redress Scheme and that their experience of this process is restorative, and responds to the complexity of their needs.”
Scouts Australia believes that the Royal Commission has been an important step in making our community safer for children. It has also provided Australia with the necessary framework to recognise the impact these horrific crimes have had on too many young people.
We are humbled by all those individuals who have shown courage and commitment, appearing before the Royal Commission to share their stories. They have played an important role in making Australia a safer place for children in the future.
Our priority will continue to be on ensuring the wellbeing of all children and young adults.
Scouts Australia has a zero-tolerance for abuse of any kind, and our policy is to immediately report any allegations of child abuse directly to the police. Our Adult Leaders have all the appropriate working with children and police checks in place and undertake mandatory training in child safe practices on a regular basis. Our National Child Protection Policy and Procedures were developed in conjunction with Child Wise, a leading child protection organisation. We continue to refine and improve these Policies and Procedures.
We applaud the Federal Government for its leadership on this matter, and for the highly consultative manner in which the Scheme has been developed.
The Redress Scheme will be run through the Department of Social Services. Further information about accessing the Scheme can be obtained through the Department’s website www.dss.gov.au or by calling 1800 146 713.**
We welcome all your queries about child safe Scouting, as we continue to strive towards ensuring that Scouting is a fun, safe and enriching experience for all young people and the Adult Leaders who support our program. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your state or territory Branch of Scouts Australia.
**Since this article was first published, the National Redress Scheme website and contact details have changed to www.nationalredress.gov.au or call 1800 737 377.