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YMCA failed to adequately screen, Royal Commi -

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EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: The Royal Commission has been told the YMCA failed to adequately check a childcare worker's background which could have revealed his inappropriate and criminal behaviour with children.

Former YMCA childcare worker Jonathan Lord lied about why he'd left an American summer camp. He went on to sexually abuse 12 boys in Sydney's south.

Philippa McDonald reports.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD, REPORTER: A month before Jonathan Lord was employed by the YMCA as a child care worker, he'd been dismissed for questionable behaviour at a US summer camp.

GAIL FURNESS, COUNSEL ASSISTING: John Lord was reported to have been found by staff alone, that is, without another adult present, in a cabin with the lights off and emerging from the bathroom with the boy.

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: The YMCA never checked with Lord's previous employer and took him at his word regarding his career ambitions: "To work with kids and help them experience life, love and friendships."

Jonathan Lord met most of the 12 boys he sexually assaulted through his child care work in Sydney's south. One of the victim's mothers, a single parent, employed Lord as a babysitter on weekends.

'AN', VICTIM'S MOTHER (female voiceover): "I would pay him $100 for the day. I now know that Jonathan indecently assaulted 'AO' the very first time that he babysat him."

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: When she found out her son, referred to as 'AO', had been abused.

'AN' (female voiceover): "My whole world just fell apart. 'AO' started crying. He has a rug that he calls Ruggie.

"He put Ruggie over his head and said, 'I don't want to talk about this, let's not talk about this.'"

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: The mother of 'AO' has told the commission her son has received extensive counselling at a children's hospital and he now believes he's a hero because he disclosed his abuse. The YMCA's lawyer acknowledged.

GREGORY SIRTES, COUNSEL FOR YMCA NSW (male voiceover): "... its staff in the Caringbah region were not appropriately trained to identify the signs of Lord's grooming behaviour."

PHILIPPA MCDONALD: The organisation's CEO, Phillip Hare, is likely to give evidence later this week.