Safe Churches Update
Keeping Our Children Safe
ATTENTION ALL CHURCH SECRETARIES, DEACONS and leadership teams!
Tas Baptists’ Administrator Rodney Marshall explains the new legislation our churches must engage with.
On the 30th of May the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Act passed the houses of parliament, fulfilling the Sate’s responsibility to enact the 10 Child Safe Principles and to establish an Independent Regulator.
The 10 standards mirror the recommendations from the Royal Commission and the principles developed by the Australia Human Rights Commission. Their scope encompasses all forms of harm to children and young people, in addition to child sexual abuse, requiring adherence to the following …
The Ten Standards for Safe Churches
Requires organisations to ensure that child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
Ensures that children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
Ensures families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
Guarantees that equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and in practice.
Requires that people working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
Requires processes to respond to complaints and concerns to be child-focused.
Expects that staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
Requires physical and online environments to promote safety and wellbeing, while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
Sees regular review and improvement of the child and youth safe standards within the organisation.
Ensures policies and procedures document how the entity is safe for children and young people.
As well, there is an additional overarching principle that embeds the right of Aboriginal children and young people to cultural safety which sits across all 10 Child and Youth Safe Standards.
What churches need to do now
Several years back, at the request of our insurers, Tas Baptists churches updated their policies to incorporate these standards. The main task that remains is to appropriately train and support our workers and volunteers.
Training completion date: 1st January 2024.
Matt Henderson (S), Owen Muskett (NW) and Linda Guy (N) have agreed to assist by providing training around the state. In addition, online training will be available in the Safety Management Online system. Once the trainers are trained, Workshop details for each region will be made available.
So as to comply with the new laws we need to ensure that everyone 18 and over, who ministers (has direct care or gives spiritual direction) to a person under 18, understands the principles and their application.
I hope the workshops will answer most of your questions, but if you would like to check on something before then please contact me on 0407 903 620 or email@example.com
Tas Baptists Administrator
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