Serving together at church is one of the hallmarks of a christian community. We work together to encourage one another in faith and life. This work of service is undertaken by paid church staff and volunteers. The Royal Commission has many recommendations for paid church staff but how does it relate to the volunteers serving in your ministry? Volunteers are often caring for and teaching children and vulnerable adults in church programs.
At the core of the recommendations from the Royal Commission are the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. These principles are aimed at changing the culture of whole communities including paid and unpaid leaders who work with children. Like paid workers volunteers need to be suitable and supported (standard 5) in their work with children. Suitability could be assessed though referee checks, interviews, WWCC verification and willingness to adhere to a code of conduct. Volunteers should be supported through regular training that raises awareness of the risks of harm to children, encourages a culture of identifying and reporting harm and gives volunteers a clear framework so that they can respond appropriately to any concerns they have or disclosures made to them.
Safe Ministry Training can help your organisation to follow the National Principals for Child Safe Organisations. Our Training courses have been developed in partnership with Ansvar Risk and with reference to the National Principles. The screening and verification tools help you make sure you have suitable people working with the kids and vulnerable people in your community. Working together we can help bring about change and start reducing risk in to children and vulnerable people in your church.
For more information see https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/child-safe-institutions