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Children and Youth Policy of Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania related to child abuse and reporting are now superseded by new Child Safety Policies.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:
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.
The following is a guide to assist Victorian churches and agencies in complying with the Child Safe Standards applicable in Victoria from January 1, 2017.
Action your church or agency needs to take now if you provide services to children:
Are you organised?
- Appoint a ‘champion’ and if appropriate a small project team to work on ensuring that your church or agency meets the standards. You may want to join forces with other churches in your region, to pool resources. CCVT can help arrange this.
- Agree to a process for updating the church or agency’s governing body about how it is progressing towards meeting the standards
- Appoint a Safety Contact Person and advertise their contact details. This may or may not be the same person as the RedBook Coordinator
- Organise for your Chair, Senior Minister, the Safety Contact Person, and the person responsible for children’s ministry to attend a NCCA Safe Church Awareness Workshop
- Read the new policies and reporting procedure and organise a discussion about how to implement them.
Conduct a self-assessment
The NCCA has generously given CCVT and affiliated churches and agencies access to a self-assessment resource, which can be downloaded in printable .pdf format or interactive Excel format.
Download In PDF
Download In Excel
Develop an action plan
Based on your self-assessment, develop a plan including dates by which each action item will be completed and who is responsible. In particular:
- Victorian churches need to adopt the Child Safety Policy - CCVT Victorian Churches and the Child Safety Reporting Procedure - CCVT Victorian Churches available here.
Example wording to adopt the policy:
(name of church) has a zero tolerance policy in relation to abuse of vulnerable people including children, and hereby adopts the (name of church) Child Safety Policy. To the extent that the Duty of Care for Responsible Leadership of Children and Youth Policy of Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania covers issues not covered by the (name of church) Child Safety Policy, it will continue to operate as our policy on those issues until CCVT distributes replacement policies.
- Consider how you can best consult with your church community regarding how to make your church a safer place.
- Start thinking about how you will conduct child safety awareness and implementation training as required by the new Child Safety Policy. Will you send all leaders and workers involved in children’s ministry to a Safe Training Awareness Workshop or will they utilise the ChildSafe online training? You can book in a time to discuss your implementation approach with CCVT’s Safe Places Coordinator by contacting Karina Bentley at the CCVT office on 03 9488 8800.
The new policy requires the Chair of your governing body, the Senior Minister, the Safety Contact Person, and the person responsible for children’s ministry to attend a NCCA Safe Church Awareness Workshop before commencing in their role, and to attend a refresher workshop every 3 years. Those leaders are responsible for ensuring that all leaders and workers involved with children’s ministry have also been provided with the following before commencing in their role, and every 3 years:
- Awareness training - either by attending a NCCA Safe Church Awareness Workshop, or completing ChildSafe training; and
- Implementation training – covering this policy, our Child Safety Reporting Procedure, and a discussion of how we apply the Victorian Child Safe Standards in your organisation.
Provide feedback to CCVT
We want to hear how we can best help you, as part of our ongoing commitment to improve and develop resources to make all churches and agencies safe places for all people. Please provide feedback at any stage via Kylie Kendall on 9488 8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your church has no specific program for children, please see FAQs.
If you have any further questions, please contact Kylie Kendall on 03 9488 8800 or email@example.com.
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 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.