105 Corio St Shepparton VIC 3630 pastor@sheppartonchurchofchrist.org.au (03) 58217699

Australian Child Protection

Shepparton Church of Christ Safe Ministry Policy 2020

Why A Policy?

God calls his body to minister to vulnerable people. God identified classes of vulnerable people who were to be protected and given special care and treatment in society because of their powerlessness.(Ex22:21-22, Deut 10:17-19, Jer 22:2-4, James 1:27). 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. Our policy has been developed to help us live out our Biblical mandate and our responsibilities under Australian legislation.

Our Policy Aims To: Minimise the risk of abuse, ministry misconduct and the misuse of positional power in all SCoC ministries. Ensure that all cases of suspected abuse and ministry misconduct are handled thoroughly. Ensure that leaders and programs are safe. Ensure that all people are respected and valued.

We Commit To:

Safe recruitment of leaders

We will screen all prospective leaders in our ministries, before they are appointed.(ie relevant working with children’s check/vulnerable people/police check. We will have a minimum church attendance policy for all prospective volunteer leaders.

Adequate training of leaders

We will require that all leaders attend a Safe Ministry Induction (or Safe Church Training Agreement endorsed) workshop within their first year of ministry and attend a refresher every three years.

We require all leaders to attend additional ministry specific training as required.

Continued supervision of leaders.

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 or harm(abuse) and serious ministry misconduct.

All leaders will report disclosures of child abuse, according to our procedures.

Where a leader has an allegation of ministry misconduct made against them we will provide support to alleged victims and perpetrators and seek appropriate denominational help for a fair and just resolution.

Safe environments in our ministry programs.

We will serve participants as servants of Christ, commit to the good news of Jesus and lead in spiritually non abusive ways. We will afford participants, including children, a say in the programs and the activities in which they participate by  fostering and valuing their ideas, and encouraging participation.

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.

All leaders to discharge their duty of care through the use of forms, checklists and templates for establishment and maintenance of safe environments in our church. A safety team will be appointed to establish and maintain: WHS, fire safety, building safety, first aid, food safety, safe transport, incident and emergency procedures.

Team leaders are to complete a written ministry approval process annually.