The Archbishop will appoint an Adviser(s) to be available to the respondent. Advisers shall represent the needs of the respondent to the church authority and assist, where appropriate, with the care of the respondent and with communication between the respondent, the Designated Officer and the church authority/church organisation. The respondent’s Adviser shall not be the respondent’s therapist or spiritual adviser. Advisers should be particularly alert to the sense of isolation and vulnerability which a respondent may experience following an allegation of this nature. He or she will:
- accompany, if so requested, and be available after the respondent’s meeting with the church authority and the Diocesan Designated Officer;
- inform the respondent of his or her right to obtain advice in civil and Canon Law;
- identify any therapeutic or other needs of the respondent and suggest how these may be met;
- consider the wishes of the respondent in regard to a pastoral response by the Church to his or her family;
- be available to the respondent throughout the inquiry process and thereafter as required;
- ensure that the respondent is kept informed of developments in regard to the inquiry;
- represent the needs and wishes of the respondent to the Designated Officer, as required. Appropriate training is provided to the Adviser.
Under no circumstances should the same Support Person be provided for the child or adult making the allegation/disclosure of abuse and for the respondent.