Safe Places

As you would be aware, CCVT is currently implementing the recommendations of a Safe Places Review. This is based on the following foundational belief:

We believe that CCVT will be doing better at building Communities of Hope and Compassion and developing Leaders to lead them when each place of ministry and mission affiliated with CCVT is a Safe Place for everyone to grow in their discipleship of Jesus, and in their relationships with one another. This sounds a lot like mission, for to us providing those kinds of Safe Places is both an expression of the Gospel and the Kingdom, as well as fulfilling the increasing expectations of community and government.

This Update outlines several immediate actions that we have undertaken. These actions include some overall policy work, specifically addressing new regulatory requirements in Victoria, as well as the appointment of a Safe Places Coordinator.

Also included is a Safe Places Action Guide. This is the best place for churches and their leaders to start. A key Action is the outlined Safe Places training.

While the policy for churches has been developed to meet Victorian requirements in the first instance, there are key elements that are common to Tasmanian churches. A Tasmanian version will be developed in early 2017. 

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) paper will address most questions. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact Karina Bentley at the CCVT office, kbentley@churchesofchrist.org.au or 03 9488 8800.

Policies

The elements of the 2012 Duty of Care for Responsible Leadership of Children and Youth Policy of Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania related to child abuse and reporting are now superseded by these new Child Safety Policies. The Duty of Care policy also covers a range of issues beyond Child Safety including useful resource material as well as some appropriate policy and procedure. These further elements will be addressed in later policy formation. For simplicity and ease of access, all of these elements will now be dealt with in a suite of separate documents.

The first of these documents to be released are:
  • Statements of Commitment to Safe Places for CCVT and affiliates, download here
  • CCVT Child Safety Policy – CCVT’s umbrella policy, download here
  • Child Safety Policy for CCVT Victorian churches, download here 

    Please note that it is a 'fillable form' PDF so your church name and other relevant details can be added as required.

  • Child Safety Reporting Procedure for CCVT Victorian churches, download here
    Please note that it is a 'fillable form' PDF so your church name and other relevant details can be added as required. 

The church Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Reporting Procedure are expected to be adopted by churches without delay and are designed to be adopted without amendment, other than to insert the church name and other required details. The CCVT Safe Places Coordinator will be checking in with churches about progress with policy adoption and implementation in the new year. 

And to repeat, to the extent that the Duty of Care covers issues not covered by the CCVT Child Safety Policy, it will continue to operate as our policy on those issues until we distribute replacement policies.

More detailed guidance, for example about when parental permission is required, will be incorporated into other future policies.

Other aspects of safety

Work continues on other areas of safety and further updates will be available in early 2017:

  • Governance, risk management and compliance 

  • Support for and accountability of ministers
  • Workplace safety and food safety
  • Conflict resolution

  • Domestic violence and discrimination
  • Positive promotion of wellbeing

Safe Places Coordinator

A full time Safe Places Coordinator will commence in early 2017. CCVT is making this appointment as the next step in the culture change of becoming the Renewal Movement God wants us to be.

The Coordinator will be part of the staff team designing and developing a culture of safety within CCVT. The role will involve the rollout of new Child Safety policies and procedures; the integration of some other existing policies, processes, and procedures; and the initiation of new levels of Safe Places resourcing, training, and support for CCVT’s affiliates, in other words for Communities and Leaders, churches, and ministers.

You will hear more about this appointment soon.