Anglican Church in Tasmania expands its Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme

The Anglican Church in Tasmania has made significant changes to its Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme (PSAAS) for survivors of sexual abuse.

These changes come in light of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the establishment of the National Redress Scheme (NRS).

The Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, The Right Revd Dr Richard Condie, today said, “The Anglican Diocese of Tasmania is pleased to announce that we will continue to operate our Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme in parallel with, and as an alternative to, the National Redress Scheme”.

“Our Church is committed to an attitude of care and generosity towards survivors of sexual abuse,” said Bishop Condie.

“The model we have adopted is a more formal and survivor-focused assessment matrix, modelled on the matrix proposed by the Royal Commission.

“In contrast to the National Redress Scheme, we will accept applications from people who were non-Australian citizens, have a criminal conviction or who were abused as adults,” said Bishop Condie.

“The payment cap has been increased to $150,000, up from $75,000. Previous claimants are welcome to have their claims reassessed. This may result in an additional payment,” Bishop Condie said.

There will be a separate payment for counselling, assessed on the ongoing impact of the sexual abuse. (This is different from the NRS, where the counselling payment is assessed by reference to the nature of the abuse)

There will be a separate payment, capped at $2,500, for legal expenses.

“As a result of these changes, we expect that payments under the new scheme will be higher than they have been historically. The Anglican Diocese of Tasmania is committed to redress for survivors of sexual abuse and extending our PSAAS is one way of demonstrating that commitment,” Bishop Condie said.

The Anglican Church of Tasmania was an early voice calling for a Royal Commission in 2002 and remains thankful for its work.

The Anglican Church of Tasmania has instituted many changes over the last eighteen years in order to protect children and prevent abuse. The safety of children and vulnerable people in our church communities is paramount. The church has been working hard to screen, educate and develop church leaders and volunteers who are working with vulnerable people. We have improved our response to and support for survivors of sexual abuse. We have no tolerance for abuse of any kind.

To report abuse call 1800 017 286.

Published: 26 March 2019