The Salvation Army says it regrets abuse of children under its care and says it has strong policies to ensure protection of youth.
The Salvation Army says it feels deep regret for every instance of child sexual abuse inflicted on children in its care.
The statement comes as representatives of the Salvation Army prepare to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday.
The commission is preparing to investigate the charity’s movement of staff linked to sex abuse between children’s homes in NSW and Queensland.
“The early phase of the hearing will be a time for former residents to share their experiences with the Royal Commission – it is our role to listen,” the Salvation Army said in a statement.
“The Salvation Army feels deep regret for every instance of child sexual abuse inflicted on children who were in our care.
“We are grieved that such things happened. We acknowledge that it was a failure of the greatest magnitude.”
“The Salvation Army now has policies and procedures to protect and ensure the protection of children is the most serious of our obligations.”
The focus of the public hearing will be the response of the Salvation Army to child sexual abuse within four homes: the Alkira Salvation Army Home for Boys, Indooroopilly, Queensland; the Bexley Boys Home, Bexley, NSW; Riverview Training Farm (also known as Endeavour Training Farm), Riverview, Queensland; and the Gill Memorial Boys Home, Goulburn, NSW.
At a child abuse inquiry in Victoria last year, it was revealed that since 1997 the Salvation Army has received 474 abuse claims, 470 of which arose from its children’s homes, over 30 to 40 years.
It has also been reported that the Salvation Army Australia has privately paid out more than $15 million settling abuse claims.