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.
Healthy Churches Workshop Session
Watch the recent Healthy Churches (5 September 2020) here
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.
Everyone in the Uniting Church has a role to play to ensure children are safe and protected. Any adult with concerns about a child’s safety or welfare is expected to appropriately raise those concerns. There are three different but potentially interrelated types of reports that may be required if any person within the UCA has concerns about the safety of children.
Mandatory (or mandated in the ACT) reporters are those people who are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect to specified government authorities. Mandatory reporting relates to notifying the relevant authority of current concerns about the safety, welfare and wellbeing of a child. This may be because abuse or neglect is suspected which arises in the child’s life outside the church’s connection with the child.
For more information about Mandatory Reporting please see the guidelines for NSW and the ACT as to what action to take if you have concerns or contact the Safe Church Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reportable conduct - The Reportable Conduct Schemes in NSW and the ACT provide for the reporting of allegations or convictions of reportable conduct, or misconduct that may involve reportable conduct, committed by ‘employees’ of the Uniting church. Employees may be a paid or unpaid worker.
The General Secretary Rev. Jane Fry must be notified under the reportable conduct schemes of NSW and the ACT of any relevant allegations or convictions.
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.
Persons of Concern
A person of concern (POC) is any person who has engaged in criminal sexual behaviour and /or is reasonably suspected of engaging or seeking to engage in harmful sexual behaviour toward another person. A POC is deemed a risk to the safety of others and for this reason safeguards must be placed around their attendance and participation at any church service, activity or program. If you suspect someone who is involved in the life of the UCA Synod of NSW and the ACT is a person of concern, please immediately contact:
Safe Church Unit firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refer to the Person of Concern Policy for more information.
Any complaint, allegation or concern can also be raised through the Synod’s confidential reporting service, Speak Out.
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.
Principle 1 Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
Principle 2 Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
Principle 3 Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
Principle 4 Diversity is respected and equity is promoted
Principle 5 Our people are suitable for work with children and committed to the values of child safety and wellbeing
Principle 6 Child focused complaints processes
Principle 7 Our people are provided with ongoing education and training on child safety
Principle 8 Physical and online environments promote safety
Principle 9 Policies and procedures document child safety
Principle 10 Review and continuous improvement of policy, procedure and practices