Victim Assistance Coordinator
On October 7, 2002 the Diocese of Camden named Barbara Ann Gondek its Victim Assistance Coordinator to provide a comprehensive program of outreach to victims of sexual abuse by clergy and other church personnel of the diocese. In accord with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the U.S. bishops, Ms. Gondek coordinates the diocese’s outreach to abuse victims/survivors. This includes the provision of counseling, spiritual assistance, and other support services.
Among these efforts are counseling/assistance referrals and the long-standing policy of the Diocese of Camden to pay for treatment and professional counseling for anyone who claims to have been abused by a priest or employee. Ms. Gondek also facilitates meetings between victims and Bishop Dennis Sullivan as part of the diocese’s program of pastoral outreach. Ms. Gondek’s work is overseen by a Clinical Advisory Panel to ensure that the needs of victims are being met.
Ms. Gondek has a Masters in Social Work from Widener University and a Masters in Religious Education from LaSalle University. She is a licensed clinical social worker.
In making the announcement, the diocese said in a statement,
“We are pleased that Barbara Ann Gondek has agreed to assume this pivotal role in the Diocese’s program of outreach to victim/survivors of sexual abuse. Her years of social work experience in a wide range of settings, her history of working effectively with young people, and her sensitivity to the concerns of abuse victims/survivors, will ensure that victim/survivors have access to and receive the full range of support services so that there may be spiritual and emotional healing.”
“Each Diocese is to develop an outreach to every person who has been the victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone acting in the name of the Church, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past. This outreach will include provision of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services agreed upon by the victim and the diocese, eparchy.”
–Charter, Article 1