Churches of Christ (Vic/Tas) is committed to ensuring that a uniform standard of care be offered in local church settings which reflect a focus on child and youth safety and highlights our dedication to taking seriously duty of care issues.
All children have the right to feel safe and to be safe all of the time. A child-safe organisation acknowledges that safety does not just happen. A child-safe organisation takes action to protect children from physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and cultural abuse and from neglect. In a child-safe organisation, this commitment to protecting children is embedded in the organisation’s culture and responsibility for taking action is understood and accepted at all levels of the organisation.
A child safe organisation:
• welcomes and respects children, young people and their parents/caregivers
• respects staff and volunteers by providing support, training and clear guidelines to do their jobs well
• identifies potential risks to children and works continuously to prevent and reduce them
• encourages parental participation
Creating a safe environment, for all involved, is important in any activity of the Churches of
Christ. It is also important that this attitude and behaviour is facilitated by those with authority. Where the activity involves children, there is added responsibility. The 2007 Conference of Churches of Christ in Vic/Tas Code of Practice for Responsible Leadership in Programs with Children document outlines the requirements for local churches to ensure the emotional, physical, social and spiritual health of children is protected.
Under the heading “Using this Policy” (section 7.1 the Code of Practice document gives the basis for Mission and Ministry’s resolve to implement ChildSafe as a conference-wide risk management system.
‘Ongoing training and supplementary materials will help the Conference, local churches and
other organisations implement this policy. Local settings should be proactive in using training
opportunities and further materials as they become available.’
Children are precious to God and serving with them is a privilege. The authority that comes with working alongside children is a great responsibility and one that should never be taken for granted or handled with complacency. Mission and Ministry, as the Partner Department of Conference responsible for the development of the mission and ministry of churches, is determined to resource churches to effectively create and manage safe environments for children.
An Emergency Response process
Implementing the Childsafe system will help to improve the quality of care you are able to offer families in your community. Also, implementing the Childsafe risk management system will provide Churches of Christ Vic/Tas the opportunity to standardize the level of care for children and youth connected to our movement. The implementation of a risk management system across the entire movement will play a major role in balancing any significant rises in insurance premiums over the coming years in line with future risk assessments.
The Childsafe materials have been printed, and the online system is being configured. As an indication of the commitment to the successful implementation of the Childsafe system, and the development of safe environments in local churches, a significant proportion of the costs associated with the Childsafe system are being heavily subsidised by Conference Council and Properties Corporation. As a result of this subsidy, ALL churches can benefit from the advantages of this system with minimal financial outlay.