One of the key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was the establishment of a National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
The Catholic Church supports the creation of an independent process that allows survivors of child sexual abuse to seek redress. Church leaders confirmed their commitment to the Scheme during the final hearings of the Royal Commission and again more recently.
On 1 July 2018, the National Redress Scheme commenced, with survivors of child sexual abuse able to approach the Scheme at any time until 30 June 2027.
Under the Scheme, applications for redress are made by independent assessors who decide on the appropriate levels of financial and other support, such as counselling services. The Catholic Church and other institutions participating in the Scheme will meet the costs of redress that the Scheme determines.
Church authorities will enter the Scheme when they are able to do so. Joining the Scheme is not an automatic process. Church authorities are working with Commonwealth officials to facilitate entry into the Scheme as soon as possible. It is necessary for an institution, such as the Archdiocese, to apply to the Scheme and for that application to be approved by the Commonwealth.
People wishing to access the Scheme can call 1800 737 377 or visit http://www.nationalredress.gov.au
(Please note that the Victorian government has passed the required enabling laws for organisations to join the Scheme. However, in some states, the relevant enabling legislation has not yet been passed. This means that currently in some jurisdictions dioceses and other Church authorities are unable to join the Scheme.)