The Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney is a network of 270 local parishes with over 1300 paid clergy and lay pastoral workers. In addition, there are approximately 15,000 unpaid volunteer child related workers. The Diocese has adopted a multifaceted approach to the issue of child protection and sexual misconduct since the mid-1990s. The structures, policies, practices and procedures now in place and being further developed are as follows:
1. Professional Standards Unit
This unit consists of a Director, a Chaplain for Diocesan Complaints, a Manager, Policy and Pastoral Care and Assistance Scheme Claims, Safe Ministry Parish Consultant, Safe Ministry Training Consultant and Safe Ministry Training Administrator.
The unit administers the complaints and discipline procedure in relation to clergy and church workers. A database of offenders and alleged offenders is maintained. It also has the overall responsibility throughout the Diocese to ensure that all parishes and other activities of the Diocese are child protection compliant. The unit undertakes screening of all clergy appointments on behalf of the Archbishop. It provides ongoing support and advice to parishes and organisations. The Chaplain ensures contact with and support of those who disclose abuse.
The Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney is committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people, particularly within its own community. To ensure the safety of children and vulnerable people in our communities, the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney , in conjunction with the Anglican Church of Australia, will –
- Carefully recruit and train its clergy and church workers,
- Adopt and encourage safe ministry practices by its clergy and church workers,
- Respond promptly to each concern raised about the behaviour of its clergy and church workers,
- Offer pastoral support to any person who has suffered abuse, and
- Provide supervision of and pastoral accountability (within the context of the ministries, locations and activities of the parish) to any person (who is a member of a congregation and) who is known to have abused a child or another vulnerable person.
Note this policy is individually adopted by every parish within the Anglican Diocese of Sydney