James McDougall, Alex Cahill and Carelink staff


Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne


To build and support child safe and child centred safeguarding practice

Project details

Carelink designs and delivers services for adult survivors of abuse and their partners and families. The survivors have experienced sexual and other forms of abuse perpetrated by clergy and other individuals appointed or employed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Carelink coordinates counselling and support for adult survivors.

Carelink also supports children and young people as family members and is developing workforce skills and capabilities to support survivors who are children and young people. We are working with Carelink to ensure the organisation is both child safe and child centred with appropriate safeguarding polices for children and young people.

Our work has been informed by our knowledge and understanding of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013-17). The Royal Commission made numerous recommendations and outlined regulatory and best practice reforms for child safety in the Catholic Church community and in civil society.

Our work for Carelink is also informed by the Child Safe Standards in Victoria and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: child-friendly poster and full details.

We are developing guidelines to help staff engage with children and young people based on clear communication techniques and child-centred practice. The guidelines are also based on human rights principles such as respect, safety and wellbeing, equity and diversity, and accountability. Another document in development is a guide to safeguarding in practice that is centred on a trauma-informed care and practice service delivery model underpinned by positive practice.


Survivors of abuse will benefit from better safeguarding practices, and a safeguarding approach with child-centred and child-safe practice will provide better protection for vulnerable children and young people.


James McDougall for further information.


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