Pastoral Care And Assistance Scheme
The Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church offers pastoral care and assistance to those who have experienced child abuse or sexual misconduct by a church worker. The Diocese recognises that child abuse and sexual misconduct have a tragic impact on a person’s life. As a Diocese, we are committed to responding to those who have been abused with compassion and empathy, and to providing practical assistance to help them rebuild their lives.
The Pastoral Care and Assistance Scheme (PCAS) provides an alternative to going to court. Taking a case to court is costly and stressful. Furthermore, survivors of abuse may find it difficult to establish their claim’s validity in court if too much time has passed or evidence has been lost.
What we can offer you
1. Pastoral care
We will provide a chaplain to support you while you receive help from the PCAS. We recognise that reporting abuse or sexual misconduct can be traumatic and takes great courage. As far as possible, we want to make sure that you are properly supported while you are receiving help from us.
2. Professional counselling
We will pay for you to see a professional counsellor with appropriate qualifications and experience. You can choose the counsellor yourself or the chaplain can recommend someone. The counsellor will not be a church worker. We may ask for your counsellor to give us a progress report, but we will ask your permission first.
3. Dealing with the offender
We will seek justice by dealing with the alleged offender according to the disciplinary procedures in the Ministry Standards Ordinance 2017. If you are alleging a criminal offence, we are also required by law to report it to the relevant authorities.
4. Financial assistance
We will invite you to make a claim for financial assistance to help you recover from the harm done to you. We recognise that money cannot undo the harm or distress. However, money can be a practical way of making sure you can afford the resources you need to seek healing. We will assess your claim for financial assistance before making an offer of payment. The maximum amount payable is $150,000.
Any disciplinary procedure must ordinarily be resolved before you can make a claim for financial assistance unless it is impossible for the alleged offender to be disciplined (for example, if the alleged offender has since died or disappeared).
5. An apology
We will provide you with an apology for what happened to you. A church representative will offer to meet with you to acknowledge and apologise for what you experienced. He or she will acknowledge that child abuse and sexual misconduct is always wrong and should never occur.