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YMCA NSW reaffirms its commitment to putting child safety first, as National Redress Scheme starts

29 Jun 2018 - Media Releases

As the National Redress Scheme to support survivors of institutional child sexual abuse comes into effect on Sunday 1 July, YMCA NSW publicly reaffirms its commitment to placing the safety of children and young people first and advocating on their behalf.     

In May, YMCA Australia announced that the movement would be joining the National Redress Scheme. All 18 YMCA associations unanimously opted in to the scheme at the recent National President’s Forum. 

YMCA NSW Interim CEO Lisa Giacomelli said: “YMCA NSW takes its responsibility to survivors of child sexual abuse in our care and their families extremely seriously and one of the ways we can demonstrate this is through our strong support of and involvement in the National Redress Scheme.

“It is our hope that the scheme will provide, as intended by the Royal Commission, acknowledgement to survivors of the harm caused to them, and provide tangible support to them. It is also a significant and formal process through which survivors can be heard. 

“We understand that there is nothing we can do or say that can adequately take away the pain and ongoing suffering of the survivors of child sexual abuse, and their families. 

“We reaffirm our commitment to working diligently and tirelessly to make our organisation as child-safe as possible and to being ever vigilant to the risks to children and young people we serve. We strive to make YMCA NSW a place where children can have positive experiences – where they can be safe and feel safe.”

Since 2013, YMCA NSW has re-engineered policies, procedures and most importantly, our culture to become a child-safe organisation.  This work was recognised by the Commission’s Chief Justice Peter McClellan in December 2016 when he called the YMCA NSW an “instructive story about how an institution which suffers that impact can and should respond”.   

Measures taken include introducing a Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Framework that builds safeguarding children into all areas of the business and operations; establishment of a dedicated Risk team including a Chief Risk Officer and Child Protection Manager; significantly improved recruitment and induction processes including mandatory Working With Children and Police checks and regular, mandatory child protection and safeguarding training for staff; and new reporting tools to report any behaviour not consistent with child safe practices.

Ms Giacomelli also welcomed the NSW Government’s recent adoption of 336 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations. 

“We acknowledge and applaud the NSW Government for responding to all of the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and for their commitment to implementing extensive reforms to ensure the safety of children and young people. 

“This, in addition to the already announced reforms which relate to failing to report child abuse and the new maximum life sentence for those convicted of repeated abuse, will undoubtedly better protect children and young people across the State and make NSW a safer place for children.”

ENDS

Media contacts: Julie Nance, Communications Manager  
P: 0428 511 040  E: julie.nance@ymcansw.org.au

Louise O’Donnell, Senior Media & PR Advisor, YMCA NSW      
P: 0438 121 684  E: louise.odonnell@ymcansw.org.au

About the YMCA: YMCA NSW is a community not-for-profit organisation committed to healthy living, empowerment and positive social impact. We believe in the power of inspired young people to effect positive change in the world. We support this by offering a range of programs and services at more than 100 locations across NSW and the ACT. YMCA NSW is recognised as a Safeguarding Children accredited organisation by the Australian Childhood Foundation. To find out more, visit www.ymcansw.org.au 

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