If an affected person already has a recent medico-legal report, does the affected person have to undergo another assessment and report?

In circumstances where there is a recent medico-legal report from an independent and suitably qualified health practitioner, then Pathways do not require a further assessment for the purposes of proceeding through Step 3 of the Pathways model. Pathways acknowledges that such assessments are emotionally and psychologically exhausting; as a result, when there is a recent and suitable report available, Pathways is content to utilise that to progress through Step 3C of the Pathways Model. Please note that Pathways will not provide reimbursement of medico-legal reports not obtained through Step 3 of the model.

          Is the offer of counselling referred to in paragraph 191B of the Pathways Model only available if an affected person goes through the Pathways Resolution Panel, as opposed to the Mediation process? 

Counselling and psychological support are available irrespective of whether an affected person’s matter finalises at Mediation or Adjudication. Counselling and psychological support is available throughout the duration of the Pathways process (i.e. from Step 1A through to Step 3F).


           If an affected person has an entitlement to services through Carelink due to a previous claim and signs a new deed under Pathways, would that terminate the affected person’s right to any support from Carelink?

Counselling and psychological support is available to an affected person under the Pathways model until the conclusion of Step 3F. On a case-by-case basis, it may be extended for a short period after. Unfortunately, under the Pathways model, counselling and psychological support is not available indefinitely. If an affected person chooses to proceed with Pathways, they will lose any entitlement they may have to ongoing support through Carelink.


         Can ‘secondary’ victim-survivors proceed through the Pathways model?

Pathways would like to acknowledge that secondary victims of institutionalised abuse are impacted greatly. However, unfortunately, at this stage, the Pathways model is directed to ‘primary’ victim-survivors only. This in no way is meant to minimise the experience of secondary victims.


          What will the Resolution Panel consider when reviewing an affected person’s application?

In reaching a determination, the Resolution Panel will consider:

  • any material provided by the affected person in support of their application, including any impact statement or submissions;

  • any other materials the applicant has supplied from earlier stages of the Pathways model (such as any Disclosure Report and any earlier determination of the Complaints Committee or Assessment Panel);

  • the independent medical assessment (obtained earlier in the Resolution process at Step 3C); and

  • any submissions made by the parties;

           What happens if a resolution is not reached at mediation?

If a resolution is not reached at meditation, an affected person can ask Pathways to refer their application to the Resolution Panel for determination. Before making a determination, the Resolution Panel will extend an invitation to the affected person to provide any additional materials they would like the Panel to consider.

            At mediation, without prejudice, negotiations are to be held with a representative of the Church Authority - does this include legal representatives as well as a church representative?

The mediation process is intended to give the affected person an opportunity to engage with the Participating Church Authority’s representatives.  The affected person may have legal representation at the mediation who can make submissions on their behalf.  They are also encouraged to have a support person present if they wish.  The Participating Church Authority may, in turn, appoint one or more representatives to attend the mediation and may also choose to have legal representation.  


          I have already began a complaint through the Melbourne Response or Towards Healing. What will happen?

Those who have already commenced a complaint process through the Melbourne Response or Towards Healing will have the choice of continuing with their existing process or transitioning their complaint to Pathways. Those who have had a determination made through either of those responses are encouraged to continue to resolve their complaint through that model. Please note that Pathways Victoria differs in how it responds to complaints and what it offers. This may not be the same as through the Melbourne Response or Towards Healing.


          I want to provide feedback on the Pathways model; how do I do that?

For those participating in the model, feedback is welcomed throughout their participation. At the conclusion of Step 3F, an affected person will be invited to participate in an evaluation survey. In addition, feedback can be received through our website https://www.pathwaysvictoria.com/contact.

           Does an affected person need to be legally represented to participate in the Pathways model?

There is no requirement to be legally represented. However, Pathways strongly encourages people to obtain legal advice, financial advice and other professional services. Free independent legal advice can be obtained from www.knowmore.org.au. In addition, for those participating in the Pathways model, Pathways offers up to $5,000 in assistance for this.



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