Jewish Care Responds to Article Published in The Age Feb 10 2016

Bill Appleby, Jewish Care CEO formally responds to an article that has been published in The Age newspaper on February 10, 2016 entitled Yeshivah Centre Abuse Victims Fear Bullying, Intimidation:

Last December, we announced that we would assist the Yeshivah Centre in the operation of their Redress Scheme which was established to offer assistance to victims of child sexual abuse.
Jewish Care agreed to operate a confidential 1800 number and email address for abuse victims. In addition, our President Mike Debinski was engaged in a personal and separate capacity to oversee the operation of the Scheme.
Our Board agreed to assist Yeshivah because we felt that we were uniquely and appropriately placed to offer assistance to the victims and that we have the relevant expertise in the area to most effectively respond to survivors of abuse; ensuring a caring and empathetic initial response to what is no doubt a traumatic disclosure.
The Board and I are extremely disappointed with the article as it contains a number of serious factual errors. Unfortunately, Jewish Care has been mentioned in The Age article as having breached a victim’s trust after an email sent to the Board of Jewish Care was sent to a member of the Committee of Management at the Yeshivah Centre.
It is absolutely vital to understand that the author of the email mentioned in the article did not identify as a victim, nor did the email contain any victim information. The content of the email only raised an issue of perceived governance concerns. Those concerns have been clarified by the Board with the assistance of independent legal advice.
The article also stated that Jewish Care is the administrator of the new sexual abuse Redress Scheme. This is incorrect. Jewish Care is not the administrator of the Yeshivah Redress Scheme. The Scheme is administered independently of Jewish Care and I have previously described our limited role above.
We believe the implication that Jewish Care Directors released information about a victim to another body is defamatory and formally requested The Age newspaper on the 9th February to immediately retract these inaccuracies.

In closing, I want to give our community, clients, residents, staff and volunteers absolute confidence that we respect and keep confidential all client information in accordance with our statutory responsibilities. This is as you would expect.
As we have done for 168 years, we continue to serve the community professionally, providing vital support for those who are most in need.We remain ready to assist and continue with our efforts on behalf of all those in the Victorian Jewish community who need our assistance.

We believe the implication that Jewish Care Directors released information about a victim to another body is defamatory and formally requested The Age newspaper on the 9th February to immediately retract these inaccuracies.
In closing, I want to give our community, clients, residents, staff and volunteers absolute confidence that we respect and keep confidential all client information in accordance with our statutory responsibilities. This is as you would expect.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

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