The Salvation Army is strongly committed to working with the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions.
‘It causes us deep sorrow that a few people connected with The Salvation Army have caused pain and lasting harm to children and other vulnerable people in our care,’ says The Salvation Army's Royal Commission Response Officer, Major Christina Tyson.
‘As these historical crimes have come to light – as people have courageously told their stories – we have had a policy of listening, saying sorry and making appropriate redress for their suffering. We have endeavoured to pursue a survivor-led approach in our responses to people.’
The Salvation Army is committed to doing its utmost to ensure the protection of those in our care and has a no-tolerance policy for anyone who offends against children, young people and vulnerable people within our organisation.
The Salvation Army has stringent policies that it expects everyone associated with The Salvation Army to follow without exception. This includes Criminal History Checks for staff and volunteers, a Keeping Children Safe Child and Young Adults’ Protection Policy, a Sexual Misconduct and Complaints process, guidelines for the Management of Sex Offenders in Salvation Army Fellowships, and a Salvation Army Respect Policy. Failure to adhere to these policies will result in disciplinary action.
Crown agencies have lifted confidentiality obligations on survivors of abuse in State care arising from settlement agreements with the Crown. Since 2003, The Salvation Army has not required survivors to keep settlement details confidential, but in respect of earlier settlements, The Salvation Army does not require survivors to keep these details confidential – unless, of course, the survivor wishes to.
‘Survivors should feel free to engage with the Royal Commission as they wish, including disclosing the detail of settlement arrangements and their experiences during the overall settlement process. The Salvation Army believes it is important that people can speak about their experiences as well as the overall claim process and their dealings with us if they wish,’ says Major Tyson.
‘The Salvation Army supports the Royal Commission and will fully cooperate with its investigations. We understand and value its goals of bringing understanding and accountability. We pray that the Royal Commission will also bring healing for survivors.’