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Child sexual abuse royal commission: Why governments need to adopt redress scheme

Published: 19 August 2015

Today the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) will join three other key organisations that provide child abuse prevention and support services at a major parliamentary briefing session in Canberra. Together they will advocate for the rights of trauma and abuse survivors and urge the federal government to implement the national redress scheme recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

With Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA), the AASW will argue that the implementation of a redress scheme is the only equitable and just way our community can begin to meet survivors’ needs, says National Vice President, Christine Craik.

“The Royal Commission has highlighted the extent of the emotional, physical, social and even economic devastation caused by institutional child sexual abuse,” Ms Craik said.

“Like its well-considered recommendations, we know the only way our community can adequately support survivors to access the financial, social and emotional support they need is for the government to provide a national redress scheme.”

She says under such a scheme, abuse survivors can seek counselling and psychological care.

“This means that it is very important for the government to ensure these services are well funded and delivered by trained and skilled professionals such as accredited social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists,” said Ms Craik.

“For this reason, we support the development of a public register of these practitioners that will help survivors access the best possible care.”

Like the ASCA, the APS and VACCA, Ms Craik says the AASW hopes to see the federal government lead the bi-partisan support that is required to develop, implement and fund a redress scheme with contributions by states, territories and institutions.

The Australian Association of Social Workers represents over 9000 professional social workers, many of whom work on the frontline of child protection. Its members work with communities and individuals to promote wellbeing, human rights and social justice in Australia.

To organise an interview with AASW National Vice President, Professor Karen Healy, please contact Emma Pegrum, Media and Marketing Manager, on 02 6232 3911 or 0408 200 191.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers