Newtown Mission, Safe Church Policy
Newtown Mission, Tempe Church and Annandale Creative Arts Centre
Our mandate comes directly from God. God identified classes of vulnerable people who were to be protected and given special care and treatment in society because of their powerlessness (eg Ex 22:21-22, Deut 10:17-19, Jer 22:2-4, James 1:27).
Protection of vulnerable people is our responsibility
This policy takes into consideration all vulnerable people in our churches, whether they be children, young people, elderly, those with disabilities or the emotionally and or spiritually vulnerable i.e. those under the pastoral care and leadership of the church’s authorised representatives, both lay and ordained.
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.
- To ensure that leaders and programs are safe.
- To ensure that all people are respected and valued, irrespective of their gender, age, country of origin, cultural heritage, socio-economic background or ability.
We commit to:
a) 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 2006.
We will have a minimum church attendance policy of 6 months for all prospective volunteer leaders.
b) adequate training of leaders
We require that all leaders attend a safe Churches (or SCTA endorsed) workshop within their first year of ministry and attend a refresher workshop every 3 years.
We require all leaders to attend additional ministry-specific training as required by our church leadership.
c) continued supervision of leaders
We commit to ongoing leadership training, supervision and support for leaders.
All leaders will agree to operate within this policy and to follow the Code of Conduct
d) responding to allegations of risk of harm (abuse) and serious ministry misconduct
All leaders will report to the relevant government authority disclosures or suspicions of child abuse, according to NSW legislation via their congregation’s Safe Church Contact Person.
Where a leader or helper has an allegation of ministry misconduct made against them the UCA processes will be followed (call the Associate Secretary (Ministry) 02 8267 4287 in such instances).
We commit to:
a) emotionally safe environments
We will offer participants, including children, the opportunity to provide 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.
We will obtain appropriate information relating to the program participants, including children’s health and family situation, to ensure that we are able to care for their physical and emotional needs.
b) safe physical environments
All leaders will follow the Safe Church Procedures for Safe Physical Environments.
Leaders 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 Safety Person/Team will be appointed in each congregation 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 written ministry approval process annually. Team Leaders submit their plans to their Church Council who grant ministry approval.