Why a policy?
Protection of vulnerable people is our responsibility.
Our mandate comes directly from
God identified classes of vulnerable
people who were to be protected
given special care and treatment in society because of their powerlessness (Exodus 22:21-22, Deuteronomy 10:17-19, Jeremiah 22:2-4, and James 1:27)
This policy takes into consideration all vulnerable
people in our church programs, whether they be
children, young people,
elderly, those with
disabilities or the emotionally and or spiritually vulnerable (i.e.
those under the authority of church leaders).
We affirm that all people have the right to be emotionally
and physically safe, respected,
and have their views and opinions valued at all times.
We also live in a country
that legislates for people’s safety,
particularly in the area of
child protection. Our policy has been developed to help us live out our Biblical mandate and our
responsibilities under NSW legislation.
Our policy has the following goals:
To minimise the risk
of abuse, ministry misconduct and the misuse of positional power
within the church.
To ensure that all cases of
suspected abuse and ministry
misconduct are handled in a consistent, unbiased and thorough manner and in
accordance with legislative requirements
To ensure that leaders and programs
To ensure that all people are respected and valued,
irrespective of their gender, age, country of origin, cultural heritage, socio-economic background or ability
Safe recruitment of leaders.
We will screen all prospective Ministry Coordinators, Team Leaders and Team Members in our ministries, before they are appointed.
For those working with children we will recruit using "The Working with Children Check Guidelines".
We will have a minimum church attendance requirement for all prospective volunteer leaders.
Adequate training of leaders.
We require that all leaders attend an Introduction to
Safe Spaces (or SCTA endorsed) workshop within
their first year of ministry
and attend a refresher workshop
We require all leaders to attend additional ministry-specific
training as required by our church leadership.
Continued supervision of
We commit to ongoing leadership
training, supervision and support for leaders.
All leaders will agree to follow our Leader’s Conduct Covenant.
Responding to allegations
of risk of harm (abuse) and serious ministry
leaders will report disclosures or suspicions of child abuse,
according to NSW legislation
by using the procedure in Responding
leader has an allegation of ministry misconduct made against them the
Association of Baptist Churches NSW & ACT Complaints Process will be
Emotionally safe environments.
We will offer participants, including children, the opportunity to
input in the programs and the activities
in which they participate by; fostering and valuing their ideas, and encouraging participation in all
areas of the life of the church,
as far as is sensible and practical.
obtain appropriate information relating to
program participants, including
children’s health and
family situation, to ensure
that we are able to care
for their physical and emotional
Safe physical environments.
All leaders will follow
the Safe Church Procedures for
Safe Physical Environments.
will exercise a duty of care through
the use of forms, checklists and templates in the Safe Church manual for
establishment and maintenance
of safe environments in our church.
A “Church Safety” Officer or team will be appointed
to ensure that the following areas are incorporated into establishing and maintaining a safe physical environment:
fire safety, building
safety, first aid, food safety practices, risk assessment
for activities, adequate ministry supervision for activities, transport, critical
incident and emergency recommendations.
Team Leaders are to complete a
ministry approval process annually. Team Leaders
submit their plans to their Church leadership who grant ministry approval.
SAFE PLACES Take steps to keep vulnerable people safe from spiritual /,physical, sexual or emotional abuse and /or
FRIENDLY PLACES. Value, respect and include all people.
SAFETY OFFICER. Also known as risk management officer, responsible for the oversight
of the implementation of this Policy
SAFE LEADER. Has been through a recruitment
process, understands their responsibilities, is supervised, and is an accountable team player.
SAFE PROGRAM. All risks have been
assessed and events thought
through and planned, these programs have
from their ministry coordinator
(a role that may be undertaken by
a Pastor, Elder, Deacons
or other senior leader).
for individual teams and programs. They will jointly recruit team members and complete safety
management plans and for their individual programs.
TEAM MEMBERS (AND JUNIOR TEAM MEMBERS)
with their team to minister
in the context of programs.
Our policy applies to
Our policy takes into account
the following legislation.
The Commission for Children and Young
Child Protection (Prohibited
and Young Persons (Care and Protection)
Legislation Amendment 2009
Young People Act (1999)
Orders Act (2001)
REPORTING SUSPECTED RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARM (ABUSE)
NSW: Child Protection Help Line 13 21 11
Counselling Help National:
Kids Help Line – 1800 55 1800
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Child Abuse Prevention Service (24 hr) – 02 9716 8000
Family Crisis Centre (24 hr) –
02 9622 0522
NSW & ACT Baptist
Churches Safe Church Policy © 2012
If you’d like more information
or would like to discuss anything about the Forster District Baptist Church
Safe Church Policy, please contact us by:-
Telephone 02 6555 2339
Postal PO Box 4207 Forster NSW 2428