Supporting your journey to restoration

What is the Centre for Restoration?

The Centre for Restoration exists to support you on your journey of healing and restoration. We have found one or more of the following options of non-financial redress to be helpful for survivors:

  • In-person meeting with The Salvation Army, known as a Restorative Justice Meeting
  • Apologies: verbal and/or written
  • Counselling/psychological support (funded by The Salvation Army)
  • Referral to other relevant services
  • Support in reporting your matter to the police, should you choose to do so

We are here to support your journey of healing and restoration.

Once we receive your complaint, we will write to let you know. We may also ask you for some further information. We will give you the name and contact details of our staff member who will respond to your complaint.

Your privacy and confidentiality is important to us. None of your personal information, or any information that identifies you, will be passed on to any other party unless you ask us to, or unless we are compelled or authorised by law to do so. All information will be handled strictly in accordance with our privacy policy and privacy statement.

See one or more of the following forms of non-financial redress.

Meeting with a representative of The Salvation Army

Our senior leaders are ready and willing to meet with you to hear your experience and respond, if you wish them to do so. It is not a requirement.

Wherever possible, The Salvation Army seeks to consider claims of abuse in a restorative justice framework. We feel it is the most responsive way to help a survivor of child abuse find healing and a satisfactory resolution to their claim.

This process includes a “Restorative Justice Meeting” as the central point. It allows the survivor to have acknowledgement and understanding of their pain and to work co-operatively with The Salvation Army to find a suitable outcome. While most survivors find this meeting very helpful, it is not a requirement.

A Restorative Justice Meeting is an informal meeting between yourself (with your chosen support person, if desired) and a representative from The Salvation Army. These meetings are usually facilitated by The Salvation Army but, if you would prefer an independent facilitator, we can arrange this. 

This is an opportunity for you to share your story, as much as you feel able to. The Salvation Army will listen to your experience of abuse and the impact it has had on your life. We will recognise the incident and express a sincere apology for all that you suffered while in our care.

This meeting is not about money. The Personal Injuries Complaints Committee considers financial redress separate to this meeting.

The Restorative Justice Meeting provides an opportunity for you to express your desires for how The Salvation Army may be able to assist you with obtaining some closure from the pain of the past. It is also a way for you to move forward in your journey of healing and peace.

A Restorative Justice Meeting will be set in a safe, informal and non-legalistic environment. You are welcome to choose the date and location of this meeting.

Before the meeting we will call you or your support person to ask what format will be most meaningful for you. We can explain how to expect the meeting to run and answer any questions you may have, just so you feel more prepared.

If you feel a counselling session (with a counsellor of your choice) either before and/or afterward would be helpful for you, the Centre for Restoration will pay for this.

What to expect at a Restorative Justice Meeting:

  1. Direct contact between the survivor and a representative of The Salvation Army
  2. An opportunity for the survivor and The Salvation Army representative to openly express their feelings
  3. Acknowledgement by The Salvation Army representative as to what happened and the acceptance of responsibility for those actions
  4. An opportunity for the survivor to hear The Salvation Army representative express shame and deep remorse for what happened
  5. A verbal (face-to-face) apology, followed by a written apology after the meeting
  6. An assurance that what happened was not fair nor deserved
  7. An opportunity for the survivor and The Salvation Army representative to seek answers to any questions they might have regarding the offending behaviour or other relevant matters
  8. An assurance that the failures of the past will not be repeated

A formal, personal apology

The Salvation Army is deeply sorry for every abuse suffered by those in our care.

We recognise that an apology is a very personal matter. For some people, a verbal apology delivered by a senior representative of The Salvation Army will prove more meaningful than a written apology. You may wish to receive both an in-person and a written apology from The Salvation Army. Be assured that every apology is sincerely given, and all written apologies are personally signed by the leader of The Salvation Army in Australia.

Counselling and support

The Centre for Restoration is committed to providing the best possible support for every person who has suffered abuse within The Salvation Army.

We realise the value of professional psychological support and we have sought expert advice in order to develop an approach to counselling that has been shown to make a significant and effective difference in the lives of individual survivors. We also believe that survivors deserve to be able to access the best qualified people available, to ensure that the help they receive will enable them to move forward in life.

Substantial research shows that regular counselling sessions for a period of up to two consecutive years – with a qualified, registered counsellor or psychologist – provides the most therapeutic benefit. 

Based on this evidence, in addition to any offer of financial redress you may receive, the Centre for Restoration will fund the cost of counselling sessions with a registered counsellor or psychologist of your choice, for a period of up to two consecutive years.

There is no limit to the number of sessions within that timeframe (though not to exceed one hourly session per week, apart from the initial consultation). It is your choice when you would like to begin having counselling.

So that you won’t be “out of pocket”, the Centre for Restoration will pay your chosen counsellor directly. On occasion we may ask for a general report on progress from your counsellor, simply to ensure that you are receiving the most appropriate assistance. Your counsellor will always discuss this with you first.

Support services

The Centre for Restoration understands survivors may need support with education, job seeking or day-to-day financial hardship. While we are unable to provide that ourselves, we can refer you to other parts of The Salvation Army or to external agencies.

There are also agencies that provide support to survivors of abuse. The following services may be able to provide information or help.

1800 Respect
1800 737 732

Blue Knot Foundation
1300 657 380

1800 272 831

Care Leavers Australia Network
1800 008 774

Elm Place (SA), Find and Connect Support Services
1800 16 11 09

1800 605 762

13 11 14

Lotus Place, Find and Connect (QLD)
1800 16 11 09
Historical Abuse Network
(07) 3055 8500

Micah Projects
(07) 3036 4990

Open Place (VIC)
1800 779 379

Relationships Australia
1300 364 277

Tuart Place (WA)
1800 619 795

Wattle Place (NSW)
1800 663 844


Reporting to police

It is your choice whether you report a crime to police or not. Some people choose not to report straight away for reasons important to them.

There are several actions a survivor can take. These include:

  • Engaging the police and having the matter formally investigated.
  • Completing a less formal, alternative reporting method. It is important to note that this option is not a formal complaint for police to initiate a criminal investigation.

If you choose to report the matter to the police, we can support you by attending the police station with you, whenever you feel ready to do so. Please be aware that the nature of the allegations you disclose to us may require us to report the matter to the police as part of our mandatory reporting obligations.


Seeking financial redress

Your story, your choice

We will consider claims for redress for any kind of abuse experienced in The Salvation Army. 

The Salvation Army recognises no amount of money can ever take away or change the pain of the past. We do, however, want to provide tangible recognition of the seriousness of the harm and trauma suffered by you, the survivor, and the lifelong impact this has had.

Where a financial payment is being considered, there are currently three ways you can seek redress from The Salvation Army:

  1. Through The Salvation Army’s internal restorative justice framework, run through the Centre for Restoration, with claims assessed by the Personal Injuries Complaints Committee (PICC)
  2. Through the Commonwealth Government’s National Redress Scheme (NRS) of which The Salvation Army is a participating institution

If you have suffered abuse at another institution (in addition to The Salvation Army), you can choose to either:

  1. Apply for redress from both The Salvation Army and the other institution through the National Redress Scheme OR;
  2. Apply for redress directly to The Salvation Army Personal Injuries Complaints Committee (in which case you can receive any payment directly from The Salvation Army within two months) and apply to the National Redress Scheme to seek redress from the other relevant institution(s)

Please note: The Salvation Army’s Personal Injuries Complaints Committee will consider claims for redress for any kind of abuse in connection with The Salvation Army, whereas the National Redress Scheme will only consider applications relating to abuse of a sexual nature.

  1. Through legal engagement (civil law claims)

Please follow the links for further information about each of these financial redress options.

The Salvation Army Personal Injuries Complaints Committee
The Commonwealth Government National Redress Scheme
Legal Engagement

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present. The Salvation Army is a child safe organisation that is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of children and young people, and protecting them from harm.

Hope where it's needed most