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The Professional Standards Office review and proposed restructure

15 August 2014

Since January 2013, The Salvation Army has worked in an open and transparent manner with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in order to review, strengthen and improve its child protection processes.

This latest review and proposed restructure of the Professional Standards Office (PSO) is intended to build on that work with the Royal Commission and ensure best-practice procedures are continuously in place.

The Salvation Army responses to questions from the ABC are as below.


1. Why has Marina Randall been dismissed from the Professional Standards office?

The Salvation Army does not ordinarily comment on specific individuals or the roles they perform. However, it should be noted, Major Marina Randall is a retired Salvation Army officer (not an employee), who was assisting PSO in a temporary capacity.

The Salvation Army has voluntarily initiated a review and proposed restructure of the PSO.

One of the outcomes of this review and proposed restructure will mean all investigations are now carried out by an independent external panel of investigators.

Naturally, this means some internal roles will change and people will be offered alternative roles.


2. Is Marina Randall’s dismissal from the PSO because of an interview which her husband Cliff Randall gave to Background Briefing?

No, absolutely not. Majors Marina and Cliff Randall have given many years of valuable service to survivors, clients and The Salvation Army. To suggest otherwise is completely wrong and misleading.


3. Why has the PSO counsellor been dismissed?

No. That is definitely not the case.

The proposed PSO restructure will ensure PSO continues its important work of facilitating access to counselling and case management services to survivors. This moves from a simple model to a more complex, case management services model.


4. Does the PSO now have any professional trained investigators? And if so, who?

Yes. The Salvation Army already has an internal investigator in addition to using an external investigations firm.

The review and proposed restructure will look at - instead of having an internal investigator – the merits of moving all investigations externally and having them conducted by an independent external panel of investigators.

This will seek to ensure all allegations of abuse brought to the attention of The Salvation Army are investigated in a professional, objective and independent manner, by these external investigators, and are free from any perceived conflicts of interest.

It is important to note, The Salvation Army is serious about continuously strengthening its processes and procedures around allegations of abuse and as such is undertaking this work proactively ahead of any final recommendations delivered by the Royal Commission.


5. Does the PSO now have any professional trained counsellors? And if so, who?

Yes.

PSO already facilitates and provides access to counselling services to survivors. This is not changing.

This proposed review will ensure PSO is able to continue its important work of providing counselling and case management services to survivors.

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