The commitment to Child Protection has been a major focus of the Australian Christian Churches, as well as support for the survivors of child sexual abuse. The ACC has been engaged in the plans for, and design of the National Redress Scheme since the first roundtable gatherings with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014.
The autonomous nature of churches in the Movement has meant that the ACC cannot opt-in to the scheme on behalf of its members. Consequently, the financial services arm of the ACC, ACS Financial, has been working with the Department of Social Services to develop a bespoke solution enabling our churches to opt-in. This has been a lengthy process and in August 2019, ACS Mutual was formally accepted and recognised as a Participating Group under the National Redress Scheme.
ACS has written to all Mutual members, requesting confirmation of opting into the Redress Scheme. A large number of our churches, including Hillsong Church, have already confirmed their participation in the Scheme, and are working through the onboarding process with ACS.
The Redress legislation requires all churches to be individually and formally proclaimed in Parliament before being officially listed as opting in, so it is still likely to be some months before our churches are listed on the Redress site.
If anyone has concerns regarding the safety of children at an ACC Church, please call the ACC National Child Protection Helpline: 1800 070 511 or local Police in your area.
For more information on ACS Mutual and the Redress Scheme, visit this LINK