St Stephens Anglican Church Belmont is committed to protecting people regardless of age (especially children and young people), gender, race, culture, disability, sexuality, and family or social background within our worship, ministries, social gatherings, and interaction with our faith community.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure:
· that all, children especially, are treated with respect and valued emotionally, physically, spiritually, and culturally
· to provide all members of St Stephens Anglican Church Belmont with the principles that guide our approach to child protection
· and ensure that children and young people should never experience abuse of any kind in accordance with National and State legislation.
This policy applies to all members of St Stephens both paid staff and volunteers, ministry and administrative, leaders and participants, coordinators and students, within the church grounds and other community settings, and anyone acting on behalf of St Stephens Anglican Church Belmont.
WE COMMIT TO:
1. Safe recruitment of leaders.
All prospective leaders and assistants of our programmes will be screened before they are appointed including:
· interview by the senior leadership with reference checks
· Working With Children Check (WWCC) renewed every 5 years
· National Police Name Check renewed every 3 years
2. Adequate training of leaders.
All leaders will be required to continue training including:
· attending Child Safe training workshop prior to commencement and renewing every 3 years
· participating in development of ministry skills when available
· be provided with supervision and support
3. Have a clear code of conduct.
All leaders will receive and be required to commit to the codes of conduct of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne available in:
· Faithfulness in Serviceand The Code of Good Practice – A Summary, and
· Duty of Care – A Shared Responsibility
· This information is also available on-line at:
4. Responding to allegations of harm and disclosure of abuse.
All leaders will receive training to identify indicators of bullying, abuse, neglect, and self-harm to support all vulnerable people within our community. We will listen to and believe children concerning suspicion and disclosure of abuse, especially of children, and report according to our procedures available in:
· Information for people thinking about making a complaint
5. Provide an open and safe environment.
We will create an environment that encourages participation, enables concerns to be raised, nurtures and values ideas, including those of children. Where there are physical obstructions to a place of safety and accessibility, we will endeavour to remedy the situation.
6. Understand and value diversity.
We respect all cultures and encourage their participation. We will adapt all our programmes and activities to be inclusive of all people, recognising disabilities, culture, language, and age, especially the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
We recognise that:
· Family violence and violence against women are widespread and serious issues, which happen in church families as well as in wider society.
· Family violence can take many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, spiritual, emotional, social, and financial abuse
· Family violence and violence against women in all its forms are unacceptable and irreconcilable with Christian faith and a Christian way of living.
· The misuse of Scripture and Christian teaching to justify family violence and to prevent the person experiencing violence from seeking safety is wrong and places them in danger.
In our church and community we commit to:
· Listening to and supporting people affected by family violence against women.
· Making the safety of the person or people experiencing family violence and/or violence against women our highest priority.
· Working with professional family violence and violence against women services, referring people experiencing violence to them and seeking their advice.
Actively promoting gender equality and speaking out on violence against women.