FAQ

 

FAQ
A growing collection of Frequently Asked Questions to assist Safe Ministry Representatives and others in parish ministry. There are more Safe Ministry Training-specific FAQ on the Training website at: https://safeministry.training/faq

 

Training

Safe Ministry Training lasts for three years.

When the Safe Ministry Training expiry date approaches for an existing worker in your church (volunteer or paid), they should:

  • Make every effort to complete the Refresher course BEFORE the expiry date.
  • If this is impossible to comply with*, they should complete the Refresher course within 30 days of the expiry date. Note: where training is completed online, all aspects of the training including the webinar must be completed prior to the 30 day grace period expiring.

If a Refresher course is not completed within 30 days of the expiry of their training, the leader should step down from their ministry role(s), and complete the ‘Essentials‘ course again before resuming their role.

*If there are very unusual circumstances such as serious medical reasons or the person is overseas, some leniency should be offered, but before doing so, the Safe Ministry Rep or Minister should contact the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant to discuss the details.
The Safe Ministry Board clarified and confirmed the above details as policy at their December 2016 meeting. This underscores the importance for all church workers keeping track of their training dates.

All clergy and lay ministers have the same requirements as anyone who is working with children in your church or ministry.

That means:

  • they must have a verified WWCC and
  • they must be current in their Safe Ministry training – even if their role does not involve them directly working with children.

Things to check for if you are a Safe Ministry Representative:

  • Make sure you have all clergy staff members give you their WWCC details (for recording in your Safe Ministry Records and verifying), and their Safe Ministry Training details (evidence of date of last training, and preferably name of trainer, etc)
  • It’s easy for ministers to forget about renewing their WWCC or Safe Ministry training, so you will be doing them a big favour if you remind them in plenty of time when those dates are coming up.
  • In the past, clergy and lay ministers who hold a license from the Archbishop have gained credit for Safe Ministry training by attending the Faithfulness in Service Conference held every three years. But from 2017 that training credit will no longer exist, so all clergy and lay ministers will need to complete a Safe Ministry training online or as a face to face session at a regional Safe Ministry Training Event every three years.

Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years of age) needs as much care as we give the process with adult leaders. Here are the main points:

  • Working with Children Check (WWCC) – Under 18 year olds cannot obtain a WWCC, so they and their parents/guardian must complete this declaration which must then be securely stored with other safe ministry documents. Note: A Junior Leader must have a verified WWCC as soon as they turn 18. This transition is helped by the fact that they can apply from 17 years 9 months of age.
  • Screening – We should be as vigilant with our screening of Junior Leaders as we are with adults (a high percentage of sexual abuse of children is peer-to-peer abuse). Therefore, every church should use a comprehensive screening policy such as found in  this document.
  • Safe Ministry Training – All Junior Leaders should be current in their Safe ministry Training – just as adult leaders are expected to be.
    To clarify the training requirements for Junior Leaders, the Safe Ministry Board approved the following at its December 2016 meeting:

    • A Junior Leader is a person who is under 18 years of age, and has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish.
    • In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader course instead of the Safe Ministry Essentials course as a part of their training for their role.
    • However, once a person who has been a Junior Leader attains 18 years of age they must complete the Essentials course unless it was previously completed. All leaders must complete the Essentials course prior to undertaking the Refresher course.
    • At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a Junior Leader who is 16 or 17 years of age who has greater leadership responsibilities than a Junior Leader would usually have (e.g. has some teaching responsibilities or has the maturity to be included in leader to child ratios),  should complete the Essentials course rather than the Junior Leader course.

Any further questions: please contact your local church Safe Ministry Representative,  Safe Ministry Training Supportor the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.

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Administration

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Screening

All clergy and lay ministers have the same requirements as anyone who is working with children in your church or ministry.

That means:

  • they must have a verified WWCC and
  • they must be current in their Safe Ministry training – even if their role does not involve them directly working with children.

Things to check for if you are a Safe Ministry Representative:

  • Make sure you have all clergy staff members give you their WWCC details (for recording in your Safe Ministry Records and verifying), and their Safe Ministry Training details (evidence of date of last training, and preferably name of trainer, etc)
  • It’s easy for ministers to forget about renewing their WWCC or Safe Ministry training, so you will be doing them a big favour if you remind them in plenty of time when those dates are coming up.
  • In the past, clergy and lay ministers who hold a license from the Archbishop have gained credit for Safe Ministry training by attending the Faithfulness in Service Conference held every three years. But from 2017 that training credit will no longer exist, so all clergy and lay ministers will need to complete a Safe Ministry training online or as a face to face session at a regional Safe Ministry Training Event every three years.

Managing Junior Leaders (those under 18 years of age) needs as much care as we give the process with adult leaders. Here are the main points:

  • Working with Children Check (WWCC) – Under 18 year olds cannot obtain a WWCC, so they and their parents/guardian must complete this declaration which must then be securely stored with other safe ministry documents. Note: A Junior Leader must have a verified WWCC as soon as they turn 18. This transition is helped by the fact that they can apply from 17 years 9 months of age.
  • Screening – We should be as vigilant with our screening of Junior Leaders as we are with adults (a high percentage of sexual abuse of children is peer-to-peer abuse). Therefore, every church should use a comprehensive screening policy such as found in  this document.
  • Safe Ministry Training – All Junior Leaders should be current in their Safe ministry Training – just as adult leaders are expected to be.
    To clarify the training requirements for Junior Leaders, the Safe Ministry Board approved the following at its December 2016 meeting:

    • A Junior Leader is a person who is under 18 years of age, and has been appointed to a leadership role in children’s or youth ministry in a parish.
    • In general, it is more appropriate for a Junior Leader to complete the Safe Ministry Junior Leader course instead of the Safe Ministry Essentials course as a part of their training for their role.
    • However, once a person who has been a Junior Leader attains 18 years of age they must complete the Essentials course unless it was previously completed. All leaders must complete the Essentials course prior to undertaking the Refresher course.
    • At the discretion of the rector or his delegate, a Junior Leader who is 16 or 17 years of age who has greater leadership responsibilities than a Junior Leader would usually have (e.g. has some teaching responsibilities or has the maturity to be included in leader to child ratios),  should complete the Essentials course rather than the Junior Leader course.

Any further questions: please contact your local church Safe Ministry Representative,  Safe Ministry Training Supportor the Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.

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Good Leadership

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