Role of the Diocesan Advisory Panel
The consultative Advisory Panel has been appointed by the Archbishop in order to advise and assist him at all stages of the investigative process into alleged abuse.
The Panel provides a consistent and accessible source of guidance, through a process of risk assessment, for the Archbishop who is charged with specific responsibilities for decision-making in response to alleged or actual child abuse involving a priest or religious.
The Advisory Panel provides advice on:
- the complaint itself;
- ensuring the safety and welfare of the child(ren) remains paramount;
- the appropriateness of providing help to a child making an allegation and to the family of the child;
- the appropriateness of the respondent continuing in his or her present pastoral assignment, having regard to the paramount need to protect children;
- how the right of the respondent to a fair trial, on any criminal charge, may be preserved and his or her good name and reputation may be appropriately safeguarded;
- whether a specialist Risk Assessment of the respondent should be sought;
- the needs of a parish or other community in which a respondent has served;
- the needs of the wider community, including the appropriateness and timing of any public statement.
The Panel creates a record of its recommendations and notes the matters upon which it has been asked to advise and the documents which it has considered.