Safe Ministry Map – Chapter 1

           REQUIREMENTS FOR PARISHES

1.2 The Safe Ministry Representative

The senior minister is required to appoint a Safe Ministry Representative (with the agreement of Parish Council). Although the ultimate responsibility for safe ministry lies with the senior minister, he can delegate the day-to-day work of ensuring compliance with legal and Diocesan requirements to the Safe Ministry Representative.

a. Appointment of the Safe Ministry Representative
A Safe Ministry Representative must:

  • be 21 years or older,
  • have completed Safe Ministry training within the last three years or within three months after their appointment (and every three years after that),
  • hold a Working With Children Check clearance which has been verified with the Office of the Children’s Guardian,
  • have an email account (for administrative purposes),
  • have good administrative skills, and
  • be capable of maintaining a computer spreadsheet.

He or she must not be bankrupt or mentally ill, or otherwise incapable of acting in the capacity of Safe Ministry Representative.

An added help is if the Safe Ministry Representative has professional training or expertise in child protection issues (such as a teacher, children’s worker, youth worker or a person with behavioural or social sciences qualifications and experience). And, it helps if the Representative is not a member of the parish staff or related to a member of the parish staff. Otherwise, a parishioner might feel uncomfortable speaking to the Safe Ministry Representative about concerns regarding a staff member. These are desirable, rather than required, things.

Upon the appointment of a Safe Ministry Representative, the parish must promptly notify the Sydney Diocesan Registry of their details. More information can be found at www.safeministry.org.au.

b. The period of appointment
A Safe Ministry Representative holds their position for the period (if any) specified by the senior minister in writing at the time of their appointment, until a successor is appointed or until they resign (whichever comes earlier).

The senior minister, with the agreement of the Parish Council, may revoke the appointment of the Safe Ministry Representative as he thinks fit, and may appoint someone else to the role.

Where a Safe Ministry Representative has not, without just cause, satisfactorily completed Safe Ministry training within the last three years or within three months after their appointment, their appointment is revoked.

Where a Safe Ministry Representative ceases to hold a WWCC clearance or holds a clearance that becomes subject to an interim bar, their appointment is revoked.

c. Duties of the Safe Ministry Representative

The responsibilities of the Safe Ministry Representative are to:

1. Assist the SENIOR minister to comply with the child protection screening requirements,
2. Keep records of Working With Children Checks and Safe Ministry training,
3. Monitor and report on safe ministry systems and practices in the parish, and
4. Report ANY abuse.

  1. Assist the SENIOR minister
    The senior minister is responsible for making sure that the parish obeys the law in terms of NSW Working With Children Check (WWCC) requirements. The Safe Ministry Representative’s role is to assist the senior minister in carrying this out. The legal requirements are outlined further below.
  2. Keep records
    The Safe Ministry Representative must keep records of all WWCC clearances and Safe Ministry training that has been completed by people engaged in child-related work in the parish.For every person in child-related work, the Safe Ministry Representative must keep the following records in a secure location (with a backup copy):

Personal details

Full name John William Smith

Date of birth

20/09/1989

Ministry position

Youth group leader

Working with Children Check

WWCC number

WWC000XXXE

Start date in ministry position

04/02/2013

Verification date

14/10/2014

Verification outcome

Cleared

Expiry date*

01/09/2019

Paid or volunteer work

Volunteer

Safe Ministry Training

Date Safe Ministry Training or Refresher completed
(keep all dates)

10/03/2013

Date Refresher required*

10/03/2016

Location of training

Sutherland

* It is essential that the Safe Ministry Representative establish a reliable procedure to remind themselves of impending expiry dates of WWCC clearances and the dates that Refresher training is required so that they can follow up on those matters with the leaders.
A template for record-keeping can be found at www.safeministry.org.au.

3. Monitor and report
The Safe Ministry Representative must monitor and report on safe ministry systems and practices in the parish.

 Monitor
One of the ways that we can protect children in our churches is to make sure that they are meeting in a physical environment that is appropriate and safe for them.
Along with the senior minister and parish council, the Safe Ministry Representative must monitor all basic health and safety issues in order to avoid obvious hazards on church property, particularly in rooms used by infants, pre-schoolers and primary age children.

Provide an annual report
The Safe Ministry Representative is to provide an annual report to the parish council that addresses current safe ministry policies and practices, and any suggested changes to improve the current practices in the parish. The aim of this is to ensure the safety of all children involved in the activities of the parish. A template report can be found at www.safeministry.org.au.

 

4. Report ANY abuse
The Safe Ministry Representative must ensure that any child abuse that they become aware of is reported to the relevant authorities. The Safe Ministry Representative may become aware of abuse because they have observed indicators of abuse, another person has informed them of their concerns for a child or a child has told them that they are being abused.

d. Support and resources for Safe Ministry Representatives

The Professional Standards Unit’s Safe Ministry Representative Liaison Officer is available to provide support, assistance and training to Safe Ministry Representatives.