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.