Partnering With Parishes
How does the Safe Ministry Team (ODSM) work with parishes?
The scope of the work of the ODSM touches many aspects of church life in our diocese.
Responding to complaints
Many people are aware of the work done to assist survivors of abuse and the associated processes as they seek redress. And sadly, for some churches, the ODSMonly really comes into focus for them when something goes wrong and the Safe Ministry Team assist in managing that and in helping the church to recover from that.
These are vital ways that the ODSM partners with churches in order to tackle sexual abuse and related matters.
But there are many other ways that partnership is expressed.
The prevention of abuse of vulnerable people should be high on the priorities of every church, and this is an area the Safe Ministry Team can join with the local church in powerful ways.
Safe Ministry Training
The most obvious way is through Safe Ministry Training.
The effective training and equipping of all people who work with children and other vulnerable people) can go a long way towards protecting all vulnerable people in our churches.
With the move to online training, that partnership becomes even more significant. While there are many benefits to online training, it usually means a re-think of how it is managed by the local church.
For example: for smooth and successful training to occur, churches will need to assist some people in their congregations with some of the online processes. These might be people with no internet connection, or limited online skills. The Safe Ministry Team has recommended that each church appoint an Online Assistant to help with this.
The benefit for churches is that they can be confidant that the online training is thorough, participants are tested for their understanding, and a central record is kept to back up local parish records.
Safe Ministry Representative support
Another key way the Safe Ministry Team can support the local church is through the resourcing of your Safe Ministry Representative. The Parish Consultant is a member of the Safe Ministry Team focussed on working with Safe Ministry Reps to help train and resource them in their role. The Parish Consultant is available to answer questions, problem solve and generally advise Safe Ministry Reps. The Parish Consultant can be reached via the Contact page.
Safe Ministry Records are a key part of every churches approach to making their churches safe places for children and vulnerable adults, and the Royal Commission into Instructional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse emphasied the importance of accurate, comprehensive records of everyone who works with children. The Safe Ministry Team offers a free, online database system – Safe Ministry Records Online – to make keeping of Safe Ministry Records easier, more secure and convenient. More information about SaMRO can be found here.