Safe Ministry Policies and Website Circular – February 2016

Article   |   10/03/16

26 February 2016
Dear Rectors, Wardens, Parish Councils and Safe Ministry Representatives,

Safe Ministry policies and website

I am writing to draw your attention to some new Safe Ministry policies and a new Safe Ministry
website.
On 14 October 2015, the Synod passed a motion –

(a)  affirming the diocesan Safe Ministry Policy Statement adopted by the Synod in 2004,
(b)  encouraging all parishes and organisations that have not adopted the diocesan Safe Ministry Policy Statement to do so,
(c)  recognising the Safe Ministry website (www.safeministry.org.au) as an important access point for survivors of abuse in the Diocese of Sydney for seeking information and support and for reporting abuse,
(d)  commending the Safe Ministry website to parishes in the Diocese of Sydney for safe ministry support, information and resources, and
(e)  recommending each parish adopt the Safe Ministry Journey policies for Parishes, and specifically the policy documents for those serving in the following roles: Ministers, Safe Ministry Representatives, Head of Youth Ministry, Youth Ministry Leaders, Head of Children’s Ministry and
Children’s Ministry Leaders.

Safe Ministry Journey policies
A new safe ministry policy model for parishes was introduced in October 2015.

The  policy  model  is  called  the  Safe  Ministry  Journey.  The  Safe  Ministry  Journey  consists  of  three different types of accessible, plain-English documents, each tailored to a different audience.

The first document is called the Safe Ministry Map. The Safe Ministry Map is the comprehensive policy document for safe ministry with children and youth. It is written for senior ministers, parish councils and wardens and includes information on selection and screening of leaders, safe ministry training, codes
of conduct, guidelines for children’s and youth ministry, reporting abuse and guidelines for parishes regarding ‘persons of interest’ attending the parish.

The second set of documents are called Safe Ministry Pathways. Each Pathways document is written for a different audience: Senior Ministers, Safe Ministry Representatives, Head of Youth Ministry, Youth Ministry  Leaders,  Head  of  Children’s  Ministry  and  Children’s  Ministry  Leaders.  These  are  shorter documents that provide the reader with only the information that is relevant to them in their particular role. The information in these documents is drawn from the Safe Ministry Map.

The third set of documents are called Safe Ministry Signposts. The Signposts documents are aimed at the church community. There is currently one Signpost document written for parents and congregation members. The aim of this document is to inform parents and congregation members of safe ministry
policies and practices in the parish. Further Signposts will be made available in due course on the safe ministry website.

Safe Ministry website
The new safe ministry website (www.safeministry.org.au) contains information and resources both for parishes and for survivors of abuse.

In  the  section  of  the  website  titled  “For  Parishes”,  parishes  can  access  the  Safe  Ministry  Journey documents, information on safe ministry training, resources to promote safe ministry in the parish, as well as the latest news and documents to assist in implementing safe ministry policy. There is also a section for safe ministry representatives to assist them in their task. A revised and updated version of Above Reproach for youth ministry workers is also available which replaces all earlier versions.

In the section of the website titled “Support”, survivors of abuse can find information on how to report abuse, as well as resources that may assist them. Details of the Pastoral Care and Assistance Scheme for victims of child abuse or sexual misconduct by a church worker are also available.

Of particular significance is the video  of Archbishop Glenn Davies’ apology to survivors of sexual abuse
which can be found in the section titled “Apology”.

Action items
Rectors, wardens, parish councils and safe ministry representatives should –

  • familiarise themselves with the new Safe Ministry Journey policies and website,
  • ensure that the Safe Ministry Journey policies are implemented in their parish, and
  • promote the Safe Ministry Journey policies and website, for example by including a link to the new website on the parish’s website.

Rectors, could you please ensure this letter is provided to your Parish Council for their consideration.
Further information
If  you  require  further  information  about  the  new  policy  model  or  the  website,  please  contact  the Professional  Standards  Unit’s  Manager,  Legal  Support,  Stephanie  Menear,  on  9265  1536  or  at stephanie@safeministry.org.au.
Yours sincerely
LACHLAN BRYANT
Director, Professional Standards
Anglican Diocese of Sydney