Raise A Complaint, Report Safety-Related Misconduct or Abuse

If you have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm, the Diocese of Parramatta requires you to report your suspicions. Persons in religious ministry or persons providing religion-based activities to children (including clergy and volunteers in ministry) are legally obliged to report concerns of abuse as they are mandatory reporters.

You can contact our Office for Safeguarding to discuss your concerns in confidence. We can advise you about reporting to authorities and other procedures for dealing with abuse or misconduct, as well as answer any questions you might have.

Our Office for Safeguarding consists of qualified personnel experienced in responding to abuse. If you are a survivor of abuse, we will listen to you with care, dignity and respect, and recommend services that may be able to help you through our Prevention, Healing and Support unit.

Abuse is always wrong and has no place in our parishes.
Abuse is never your fault – no matter where it happened in the Church community or how it happened.

Contact the Office for Safeguarding to raise your concerns or submit a complaint for safe-related misconduct or abuse in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Are you a young person who is worried or distressed? You can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 for a confidential chat.

Catholic Care provides counselling and support services. You can also contact the National Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Service on 1800 737 732.

You are not alone. These national services are available for mental health support and 24/7 counselling over the phone:

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
Headspace: 1800 650 890

Raising a complaint or concerns vs submitting a mandatory report

Submitting a complaint to the Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding and submitting a mandatory report are two distinct actions – each serves a specific purpose.

Both actions contribute to maintaining a safe and secure environment within the church and broader community.

Raising a Complaint to the Office for Safeguarding

If you have concerns or complaints related to the conduct, behaviour, or actions of a member of the clergy, a staff member, a volunteer, or anyone within the church community, you can reach out to the Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding.  

Our office is responsible for handling and investigating complaints and ensuring that any issues are addressed appropriately. The process involves sharing your concerns with the designated office, and they will guide you through the steps necessary to address and resolve the matter. If you are unsure whether to contact our office, we have supplied guidelines below and alternative options of whom you may wish to contact. 

Contact the Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding if you are unsure what to do in any circumstance or where an allegation is regarding a senior ministry leader/principal.  

Phone: (02) 8838 3419
Email: [email protected]
Address: The Bethany Centre, 470 Church St, North Parramatta NSW 2151

Submitting a Mandatory Report

A mandatory report is a legal requirement when there is reason to believe that a child or vulnerable person is at risk of harm. It involves reporting the concern to the appropriate authorities outside of the church, such as law enforcement or child protection agencies, which helps ensure the immediate safety and well-being of the individual in question. Submitting a mandatory report is a legal obligation and is separate from filing a complaint with the Diocese of Parramatta’s Office for Safeguarding.

If you are unsure whether you need to submit a Mandatory Report, you can use The Mandatory Report Guide (MRG), an online, interactive tool created for mandatory reporters but usable by anyone and hosted by the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. The MRG helps you:

  • determine whether a report to Child Protection Helpline is needed for concerns about possible abuse or neglect of a child (including unborn) or young person.
  • identify alternative ways to support vulnerable children, young people, and their families where a mandatory reporter’s response is better services outside the statutory child protection system.

Who do I contact if I am concerned about a child or young person’s welfare?

*Do not report to the Senior Ministry Leader or Principal if the allegation is regarding them.

Issue or ConcernWho to Report to
Child or young person currently at risk of significant harmNSW Police
Phone: 000
Contact the Police first if the situation requires emergency assistance.

If possible, discuss with your senior ministry leader *( Eg Parish Priest) or Principal* (school ministry) first and use the Mandatory Reporters Guideline (see below).

NSW Child Protection Helpline and Child Wellbeing Units (CWU)
Use the NSW Mandatory Reporter Guide to help you determine how to submit an eReport about a child or young person’s safety

Child Protection Helpline
Any member of the community, including mandatory reporters, who suspect, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm should report their concerns to the Child Protection Helpline. Anyone from the general public can phone 13 21 11

Office for Safeguarding – Diocese of Parramatta
Where the alleged perpetrator is a church worker (paid or unpaid).
Phone: (02) 8838 3419 
Email: [email protected]
Knowledge of relevant criminal offencesNSW Police
Phone: 000

Office for Safeguarding – Diocese of Parramatta
Where the alleged perpetrator is a church worker (paid or unpaid).
Phone: (02) 8838 3419 
Email: [email protected]

Child abuse by a church workerNSW Police

Your Senior Ministry Leader (i.e. Parish Priest)*

Office for Safeguarding – Diocese of Parramatta
Phone: (02) 8838 3419
Email: [email protected]

What happens if I lodge a complaint about someone working or ministering in the Diocese of Parramatta to the Office for Safeguarding?

These steps will be taken:

  1. The Office for Safeguarding will take the details of the complaint and assess the nature of the information and the appropriate process to respond to the matter. This may be done over the phone or in person and/or in writing.
  2. The Office will ask you if you require immediate professional support and, if needed, refer you to its Healing and Support personnel to find the best support for you at the time.
  3. The Office will assess if the matter needs further reporting to external agencies such as NSW Police, NSW FACS and/or NSW Ombudsman.
  4. If the Office is managing the matter a response plan will be developed. This involves communication with the reporter about the next steps and how the matter will be managed.
  5. A secure record will be kept confidentially at The Office for Safeguarding.

This process will also occur even if the person you are lodging a complaint against no longer works or ministers in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

Yes, you can. The Office for Safeguarding recognises that at times anonymous complaints provide helpful information on a matter of safety and that sometimes people are afraid to identify themselves. The information will be received and considered as thoroughly as possible.

However, there are often real limits to a process when the information is received anonymously. It can mean that the information cannot be clarified or verified during an investigation. It can also impact procedural fairness for an individual, creating challenges for conclusive findings to be made.

Will the information be given to the NSW Police if I don’t want their involvement?

The Office will only inform the Police if the information is of a criminal nature that triggers our own reporting obligations about notifying a possible crime.

If this occurs, the Office will:

  1. Advise you that we need to call the Police.
  2. Ask if you would like to make your own Police report and support you to do this if needed.
  3. Ask if you would like the Police to contact you to receive your report.

What if I make a complaint but do not want any action taken?

The response of the Office will depend on what the information is you are providing. If it is a matter that triggers a legal requirement to report information or take some internal action, we are obliged to act on this. However, this would be in discussion with you. We will always discuss with you why you are seeking no action with the aim of understanding your rationale or any concerns that you have.

Contact the Office for Safeguarding

Please let us know why you are contacting us(Required)

Type and press "enter" or click search

Scroll to top