ChildSafe Policy

Dapto Uniting Church

January 2022

Child Safe Policy

We want children who participate in our programs to have a safe and joyful experience. We support and respect our children, their families, and our workers. 

Title

 

Child Safe Policy (2022)

Introduction

Our policy helps to guide workers (paid and volunteer) on how to behave when interacting and engaging with children in Dapto Uniting Church, or assisting with child-related activities, such as Sunday’s Cool, Youth Group and Messy Church, as well as our general activities at which children might be present.

The policy focuses on how we can build and maintain a child safe environment which is inclusive, transparent and promotes children’s participation.

Children’s Participation

We will support the active participation of children in the programs, activities, and services we offer.

We listen to their views, respect what they say and involve them when we make decisions, especially about matters that will directly affect them.

Recruitment

  • We will maintain a rigorous and consistent recruitment, screening, and selection process, in accordance with our Volunteer Policy.
  • We will ensure all new volunteers complete our Volunteer Worker Application as well as the Volunteer Agreement.
  • All people involved in child-related activities will also be required to hold a current Working with Children Check before they can commence.
  • All volunteers who are working in child-related activities of Dapto Uniting Church are required to attend an accredited Safe Church Awareness Training before commencing in the role, and a refresher every three years.
  • All volunteers who are working in child-related activities will need to be approved by Church Council.

Complaints Management and Reporting

If someone makes or considers making a report about a Child Protection concern, or one that relates to possible abuse of a child or vulnerable person that arises during any of the Congregation’s activities, the Church Council will:

  • Support that person in making the report and thinking through the issue.
  • Put in place any actions to address any associated risks, and decide, on a need-to-know basis, who will be informed of the concern.

In the event of a complaint or concern regarding the behaviour of someone connected with the Congregation, the Safe Church Contact Team will:

  • Contact the Associate Secretary (Ministry) in the Synod Secretariate who will advise on the appropriate action in accordance with UCA guidelines.
  • Inform the Minister and/or Church Council Chairperson.
  • If criminal activity is suspected, ensure the police have been contacted.
  • File complaints and reports of investigations in a secure central file.
  • Liaise with the Synod Safe Church Coordinator, as necessary.

The people who members of the Safe Church Contact Team must complete the Safe Church Awareness Training provided through NSW and ACT Synod, or other denominations providing Safe Church Training Agreement (SCTA) accredited courses.

Training, support and supervision of workers

  • We promote respect, fairness, and consideration for all workers.
  • An Elder, Church Council member, the minister, or allocated leader will support and supervise all volunteers in their work.
  • All new workers involved in child-related activities will receive a copy of all ChildSafe policies and procedures and the Church Secretary will set up a meeting or phone call between the leader of the activity and the new worker to discuss the policies and allow the new worker to ask questions and clarify their understanding.
  • ChildSafe is a standing agenda item at Church Council for the Child Safe Contact Person to report.
  • ChildSafe is to be discussed at all child-related activity team meetings. Workers are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to the continuous improvement of child safe policies, procedures, and practices in the workplace.

Other legislation, industry standards or internal policies

  • Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012
  • Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
  • Children’s Guardian Act 2019
  • NSW/ACT Synod Volunteer Policy
  • Dapto Uniting Church Volunteer Policy
  • Dapto Uniting Church Child Safe Code of Conduct
  • Dapto Uniting Vision Statement
  • UCA Child Safe Principles

Communication

  • We will provide information or hold information sessions for staff and volunteers when necessary.
  • Our policy will be given and discussed with all new staff and volunteers.
  • Children and parents joining our program/s will have access to a copy of this Policy, Child Safe Code of Conduct and UCA Child Safe Principles, by display on the Hall Notice board.

Review

The policy and guidelines will be reviewed every two years and incorporate comments and suggestions from our range of stakeholders (including volunteers, children, and families).

 OCG