Safe Ministry Reps
Who can be a Safe Ministry Rep?
A Safe Ministry Representative must:
- be 21 years or older;
- have completed Safe Ministry training within the last 3 years or within 3 months after their appointment (and every 3 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.
It is recommended that the SMR 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.
Appointment of an SMR
The Safe Ministry Rep is appointed by the Senior Minister of a parish, with the agreement of the Parish Council. The Registry and PSU need to be notified of any change of SMR by using this form:
Safe Ministry Rep Appointment Form
Where can SMR's find support?
The PSU has a part time staff member who is the first place for SMR’s to ask all sorts of questions about their role, responsibilities and implementing Safe Ministry policy in parishes – The Safe Ministry Parish Consultant.
Currently that is Rev Neil Atwood who can be contacted via the Contact page.
The Parish Consultant regularly sends informative newsletters to all Safe Ministry Reps. Archives of those newsletters can be found here
What is an SMR responsible for?
A good part of the role Safe Ministry Rep is administrative, but there is quite a bit more to the role than just that.
According to the Parish Administration Ordinance 2008, the four main responsbilities of an SMR are:
- to ensure compliance by the minister or the minister’s
delegate with the Child Protection (Prohibited
Employment) Act 1998 by persons appointed to a
children’s ministry position within the parish, and
- to maintain records of the date and place of safe
ministry training satisfactorily completed by persons
appointed to a children’s ministry position within the
- to provide a report, at least annually to the parish
council, that includes current policies and practices, and
any suggested changes, to ensure the safety of children
involved in the activities of the parish and such other
matters as may be prescribed by the Safe Ministry
- to report to the Director of Professional Standards, and
in the case of a parish office holder, to the minister and
any applicable delegate of the minister, knowledge or
reasonable suspicion that a child who attends or has
attended any activity of the parish has suffered child
abuse or is at the risk of harm of child abuse from a
parish office holder.
Those elements of the role are expanded on and explained in the Safe Ministry Blueprint for Safe Ministry Reps.
You can download a copy here:
Blueprint for Safe Ministry Reps.