Safe Church Resources for Children & Vulnerable Adults
The Safe Church for Children and Vulnerable Adults resources have been developed to assist congregations, presbyteries and faith communities with implementing Safe Church policies and to provide tools for maintaining safe places and programs for children and vulnerable adults.
- National Child Safe Policy Framework
- Background Check Policy
- Person of Concern Policy (see person of concern guideline below)
- Volunteer Policy
- Promote strong leadership and governance and a culture of child safety where no harm to children is tolerated
- Enable children and families to participate in decision-making
- Provide an open environment – open communication, transparency and accountability, encouragement of any person (including a child) to raise any concerns about child safety
- Respect diversity and promote equity – pay particular attention to the needs of vulnerable children including those with a disability or who have suffered past trauma
- Have clear codes of conduct – adopt, implement and strictly enforce codes of conduct for all adults who interact with children
- Adopt clear evidence-based policies and procedures – including in relation to child safety awareness and training, risk management, reporting and complaints handling, recruitment and screening of volunteers and records management
- Recruit well – conduct referee checks and perform the required background checks for employees or volunteers in child-related roles
- Provide child safe focused orientation and training – including in relation to child abuse, grooming, mandatory reporting and handling complaints/allegations
- Undertake strong planning and supervision
- Provide support for children, and those who raise concerns about the safety of children, and those affected by child abuse
- Comprehensive investigation and reporting
- Keep good records – use records to identify and manage risks and improve child safe policies and procedures, observe legal requirements in relation to access, privacy and confidentiality and document all incidents with actions taken
- Review child safe policies and procedures and monitor their implementation, and critically review all incidents and reports
Safe Church Guidelines
- Congregation Health Check
- Responding to and Reporting Child Abuse
- Persons of Concern
- Reportable Conduct NSW
- Reportable Conduct ACT
- New Laws Affecting Churches 2018
Safe Church Templates
- Anecdotal Record Form - To record safety issues/concerns and incidents/observations.
- Approval for Ministry - To ensure appropriate risk management is conducted in preparation for a church program or event.
- Code of Conduct for Leaders - Outlines behaviours expected of leaders. Applies to all lay leaders including church councillors, elders, worship leaders, committee chairs and team/activity leaders.
- Children's and Youth Ministry Driver's Declaration Form - Driver declaration for vehicle use as part of a church program or event.
- Safe Church Contact Person Role Description - To promote Safe Church awareness and assist with issues related to the protection of children and vulnerable people.
- Safety and Protection Policy - A policy for congregations to adopt to promote safe leadership and safe environments in ministry programs.
- Volunteer Application Form - To be submitted with documentation before engaging a new volunteer.
- Volunteer Agreement - Part of induction to recognise and authorise a volunteer.
- Registration/Permission Form - For parent/guardian permission for a child to participate in program activities.
If a child is in immediate danger ring 000 and immediately report the incident to the police.
For more detailed information see our Guidelines for Responding to Reporting Child Abuse.
The General Secretary Rev. Jane Fry should be notified under the reportable conduct schemes of NSW and the ACT. Reportable conduct schemes are legal frameworks for overseeing how organisations prevent and respond to employment-related child abuse or misconduct involving children. For more information see our Guideline for Reportable Conduct NSW and Guideline for Reportable Conduct ACT.
Contact Rev. Jane Fry:
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: Addressed as “Confidential” to the General Secretary, Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, PO Box A2178, Sydney South 1235.
The Associate Secretary Rev. Bronwyn Murphy should be notified of sexual abuse and misconduct complaints against Uniting Church ministers and also of persons of concern. Broadly speaking a person of concern has a history of sexual offending, or there are reasonable concerns that their behaviour is a risk to the safety of others. For more information see our Guideline for Persons of Concern.
Contact Rev. Bronwyn Murphy:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (02) 8267 4452
- Mail: Addressed as “Confidential” to the Associate Secretary, Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT, PO Box A2178, Sydney South 1235.
All congregations are required to appoint a Safe Church Person and advise the Synod of appointments.
A Safe Church Person assists with information sharing, reporting (including safety concerns, child abuse, misconduct) and arranging pastoral support within a congregation.
If you would like to find out what is involved in becoming a Safe Church Person download the role description. Contact the Safe Church Unit on (02) 8267 4381 or email SafeChurch@nswact.uca.org.au to find out more about training.
It is recommended that each congregation of the Synod adopt a Safe Church Policy for Congregations.