Christian Israelite Church-Safe Ministry Policy-2023

Safe Ministry Policy

Background & Governance
This policy outlines the underlying principles that direct our approach to safeguarding vulnerable people involved with The Christian Israelite Church. It applies to all staff, leaders, pastors, coordinators, volunteers, trainees and anyone working on behalf of The Christian Israelite Church (“Relevant Leaders”). The Trustees and Church Officers of The Christian Israelite Church take responsibility for ensuring these principles are reviewed regularly and embedded in the organisation culture at all levels.

1. Commitment to Safeguard Vulnerable People
We are committed to the Biblical call to care for the vulnerable by actively preventing harm and abuse, and by seeking to provide safe programs. We are also responsible and accountable fulfilling our obligations under State and Federal law to protect children and vulnerable people.
We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people (including children, families, the disabled and elderly) are informed and involved in decisions that considerably affect them. We recognise the diverse needs of vulnerable people should be taken into account and that their concerns be taken seriously. We are committed to embedding this care into all levels of our leadership and culture.

2. Commitment to Screening and Training Relevant Leaders
We are committed to ensuring all Relevant Leaders are screened, appropriately supported and trained through the process outlined below.
1. All Relevant leaders must be regular participants at The Christian Israelite Church. They will have their potential roles and responsibilities clearly outlined for them as they start their role,
2. All Relevant Leaders must provide referees who can confirm the proposed leader is suitable to work with vulnerable people and that there is no reason the proposed leader should not be appointed in such a role,
3. All Relevant leaders must complete an Ansvar approved Safe Ministry Training Course (e.g. www.SafeMinistryTraining.com.au) which outlines appropriate behaviour including how to minimise the chances of harm and abuse, as well as training in how         to identify and report cases of abuse,
4. Relevant leaders will have committed to the leader’s Code of Conduct and behave as followers of Jesus and be willing to be held accountable for their behaviour, and
5. Relevant Leaders who may be working with children & youth must have their State “Working With Children Check” verified.
No-one with a criminal record of child abuse, molestation or similar offences is allowed to be involved in children’s or youth ministry at The Christian Israelite Church.
All volunteers and church leaders may approach their Safe Ministry Supervisor for advice and supervision of their work. This will usually be their local Judge/Judgess.

3. Commitment to Providing Safe and Accessible Programs
We are committed to ensuring that our programs and events are safe and appropriate for those attending. Careful consideration must be given to the activities chosen, the venue, safe ratios of supervision, appropriate toileting practices, transportation, work health and safety, parental or guardian permission and confidentiality of records kept.
To help maintain appropriate standards, we will give all relevant leaders access to ongoing training and adequate supervision in their roles and responsibilities.

4. Commitment to Appropriately Respond to Concerns and Complaints
We are committed to creating a culture where people feel safe to speak out about inappropriate behaviour without fear of being rejected or ridiculed. We are committed to listening and responding appropriately to concerns and complaints about behaviour and safety at The Christian Israelite Church. Throughout this process we are committed to protecting the confidentiality, dignity, health and well-being of all individuals involved. Any child-related issues will be managed with a focus on the interest of the child and will be reported to the relevant State Child Protection body.
All reports will be managed by the Christian Israelite Church Safe Ministry Supervisors.
Safe Ministry Supervisors
Local Church Officers or delegate
The Safe Ministry Supervisors will follow a Safe Ministry Issue Management Process. This includes reporting any criminal activity to Police, and the possibility of reporting allegations of abuse to the State Ombudsman and the insurer of The Christian Israelite Church. In certain incidents (as outlined in the Issue Management Process) the Safe Ministry Supervisors will appoint an Independent Ministry Investigator to investigate allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
It is the responsibility of all volunteers and church leaders to report all incidents or suspicion of sexual and/or any other form of abuse to their local Safe Ministry Supervisor which in most cases will be the Judge or Judgess or their delegate who will in turn report to the police and to the Church Insurance Services.
All incidents should be reported using the Christian Israelite Church Complaints Management Record Form.

5. Review of Policy and Guidelines
The policy and guidelines will be reviewed every two years at a District and National level and incorporate comments and suggestions from a range of stakeholders (including volunteers and church leaders, children and families)

Date Instituted by Church Trustees and Officers:
Date of Last Review by Church Trustees and Officers:
This document is based on the Safe Ministry Policy Developed by www.safeministrytraining.com.au and Endorsed by Ansvar Insurance 2018-07-01

 

Accompanying Documents:
Code of Conduct
Recruitment & Training Policy
Complaints Management Record Form
Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012
Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998

Complaints Management Policy

Background & Governance
Everyone in our organisation should be confident that complaints will be dealt with honestly and fairly. Everyone in our organisation should be confident in reporting inappropriate behaviour around kids. Everyone in our organisation should report any concerns about the safety or welfare of a child or young person immediately.

1. Children’s Participation
Our organisation supports the active participation of children in the programs, activities and services we offer. We provide a range of ways to allow children to provide feedback or raise concerns. We listen to their views, respect what they say and involve them when we make decisions, especially about matters that will directly affect them.

2. Reporting Obligations & relevant legislation
NSW Reporting obligations Department of Family and Community Services. Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm may report to Department of Family and Community Services. Phone 132 111 to report child abuse or neglect (24 hour service).
Some people must report if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm. They are legally ‘mandatory reporters’ and must report concerns about risk of significant harm to children, to the Department of Family and Community Services. (FACS) https://reporter.childstrong.nsw.gov.au

NSW Reporting obligations Department of Family and Community Services Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that a child or young person is at risk of significant harm may report to Department of Family and Community Services. Phone 132 111 to report child abuse or neglect (24 hour service).
Some people must report if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a child is at risk of significant harm. They are legally ‘mandatory reporters’ and must report concerns about risk of significant harm to children, to the Department of Family and Community Services. (FACS) https://reporter.childstrong.nsw.gov.au
A person who is paid to provide the following services and a person (paid or unpaid) who is in a management position in these services are mandatory reporters:
• Health care (e.g. doctors, nurses etc.)
• Education (e.g. teachers)
• Children’s services (e.g. child care centres)
• Residential services (e.g. refuges)
• Law enforcement (e.g. police) NSW Ombudsman
The NSW Ombudsman supervises the complaints process of all state and local government agencies as Complaints Management Complaint Policy Sample (02) 8219 3600 Locked Bag 5100, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 kids@kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au well as schools, child care centres and agencies providing Out-of-home care.
People using these services can complain to the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman can check that the service has handled the complaint properly. Complaints Management Policy Sample The NSW Ombudsman’s ‘Complaint Handling Tool Kit’ and ‘Child Protection for the Workplace’ Guidelines are available at: www.ombo.nsw.gov.au Office of the Children’s Guardian Reporting bodies have a legal obligation to report findings of sexual misconduct and serious physical assault involving children by a child-related worker to the Office of the Children’s Guardian. Under Schedule 1 of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 the conduct that must be reported is:
1. sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child, including grooming of a child
2. any serious physical assault of a child.
Under the legislation, reporting bodies must investigate allegations of such conduct to make an informed finding as to whether or not the conduct occurred. To determine whether or not the conduct meets the criteria, reporting bodies must consider the nature of the conduct itself and the context in which it occurred. If the investigation results in a finding that sexual misconduct or serious physical assault occurred, the reporting body must report this finding to the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

Under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 only findings of sexual misconduct and serious physical assault must be reported, although the Ombudsman may report other misconduct to the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

 

3. Complaints Management and Reporting
Children and volunteers and church leaders having concerns or complaints should contact their local officer, the Judge or Judgess of their local church.

It is the responsibility of all volunteers and church leaders to report all incidents or suspicion of sexual and/or any other form of abuse to their local Judge or Judgess who will in turn report to the police and to the Church Insurance Services.
The Child Safety Contact Person to manage all complaints will be the local Judge/Judgess or delegate.
Refer to the FACS Mandatory reporting guide for obligations regarding reporting.

4. Types of Complaints
All complaints should be reported, this includes:
• Disclosure of abuse
• Inappropriate behaviour around children
• Suspicion of abuse or harm to a child

5. Responsible Workers
All complaints must be reported to the Safe Ministry Supervisors.
The Judge or Judgess of a local body will have all contact details of the Safe Ministry Supervisors.
6. Making a Complaint
Any person, including but not limited to a child or young person/vulnerable person/staff member/ volunteer/student can make a complaint or raise a concern by:
• Face to face meeting
• Phone call
• Email
• Letter
7. Review
The policy and guidelines will be reviewed every two years a district, national and international level and incorporate comments and suggestions from our range of stakeholders (including volunteers and church leaders, children and families)

8. Complaint Process
Listen to the person making the complaint and make a record of the complaint using the ‘Complaint Record Form’.
• In NSW make a report to the Department of Family and Community Services in the case of an allegation of child abuse. Inform everyone involved in the complaint of the requirement to make this report.
• If the complaint involves inappropriate behaviour and a breach of the Code of Conduct, the leader will need to take action in accordance with church laws and guides and legal requirements.

9. Privacy and Confidentiality
Child safe organisations need to ensure they are following obligations defined under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
• Complaints and allegations will be collected, managed and stored in a manner to satisfy legal requirements
• Information will be disclosed to other government or non-government agencies as legally required
•The privacy of all those involved will be protected in accordance with obligations under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

10. Communication and support for stakeholders
The church will ensure that all stakeholders (including workers, families and children) know how to make a complaint and or raise a concern. This will be achieved by:
• Information sessions about the policies and practices of the organisation (including the complaints and allegations policy and how it applies to families, workers and Children)
• Resources (including fact sheets/ brochures/ posters) on what to report, and who to report to
• Internal or externally provided training in the complaints and allegations processes for workers
• Age appropriate programs for children explaining what to do if they feel upset or concerned.

 

Recruitment and Training Policy

Background & Governance
Our policy guides church leaders (paid and volunteer) on how to screen, recruit and train workers for all activities run within our church.

1. Recruitment Process
We are committed to ensuring all Relevant Leaders are screened, appropriately supported and trained through the process outlined below.
1. All Relevant leaders must be regular participants at The Christian Israelite Church. They will have their potential roles and responsibilities clearly outlined for them as they start their role,
2. All Relevant Leaders must provide referees who can confirm the proposed leader is suitable to work with vulnerable people and that there is no reason the proposed leader should not be appointed in such a role,
3. All Relevant leaders must complete an Ansvar approved Safe Ministry Training Course (e.g. www.SafeMinistryTraining.com.au) which outlines appropriate behaviour including how to minimise the chances of harm and abuse, as well as training in how to identify and report cases of abuse,
4. Relevant leaders will have committed to the leader’s Code of Conduct and behave as followers of Jesus and be willing to be held accountable for their behaviour, and
5. If a Relevant Leader is working with children & youth, they must have their State “Working With Children Check” verified.
No-one with a criminal record of child abuse, molestation or similar offences is allowed to be involved in children’s or youth ministry at The Christian Israelite Church.

2. Training, support and supervision of volunteers and church leaders
We promote respect, fairness and consideration for all volunteers and church leaders. All volunteers and church leaders may approach their Judge/Judgess for advice and supervision of their work. All new volunteers and church leaders will receive a copy of all child safe policies and procedures and their Judge/Judgess will set up a meeting to discuss the policies and allow the new volunteers/church leader to ask questions and clarify their understanding.
All volunteers and church leaders must complete the relevant Safe Ministry Training course as required. New volunteers and Church leaders must complete the first two modules of the Safe Ministry Training course before they commence working with children. (see https://safeministrytraining.com.au/)
Safe Ministry, including Child safety is a standing agenda item at meetings and volunteers and church leaders are encouraged to offer feedback and contribute to the continuous improvement of child safe policies, procedures and practices in the church.

3. Communication
• Information sessions for volunteers and church leaders will be included in meeting agendas.
• Our policy will be discussed during induction sessions for all volunteers and church leaders.
• Currency will be monitored and, volunteers and Church leaders will be advised when they are to update their training and qualifications.
• A copy of the Policy, Code of Conduct and Dealing with Complaints process will be made available to any person or persons joining our program/s.
• Parents will receive a copy of the Parent’s Guide to Child Protection Issues.

4. Review
This policy and guidelines will be reviewed every two years at district, national and international level and incorporate comments and suggestions from our range of stakeholders (including volunteers and church leaders, children and families)

 

Code of Conduct

Personal Leader Commitment
1. I commit to conducting myself in a manner consistent with the Safe Ministry Training “Leadership Training Course” when serving at The Christian Israelite Church;
a. I will treat adults, children and young people with respect and value, without favouritism.
b. I will behave appropriately, being faithful to my appointed tasks, being an example to others, and being careful in how I physically interact with others.
c. I will never use physical punishment or abusive language – even as a form of discipline.
d. I will act transparently, as far as possible, ensuring that another adult is present or within eyesight when I am with a vulnerable person (including other people’s children).
2. I commit to ensuring that the spaces and activities I’m responsible for are safe and do not put people at risk of significant harm.
3. I commit to including vulnerable people (and/or their carers/significant other) in discussions about decisions that will significantly affect them.
4. I commit to encouraging openness by listening to people’s concerns with a willingness to support them and help them.
5. I commit to reporting any concerns or suspicions about harmful behaviours and significant risks to The Christian Israelite Church Safe Ministry Contacts without bias or partiality.
6. I will submit to The Christian Israelite Church leader screening process to ensure I’m a suitable person to work with vulnerable people.
7. I will submit to disciplinary steps if I am found to violate these commitments or act in an otherwise inappropriate or illegal manner at The Christian Israelite Church.

 

Safe Ministry Incident Management Process

Purpose
The purpose of this process is to assist The Christian Israelite Church to meet its obligations for reporting behaviours of concern against vulnerable people in church communities by ensuring an appropriate incident response is followed. It outlines responsibilities, principles and processes to follow.
It forms an important part of our organisation’s commitment to creating a culture of safety and protection of vulnerable people, and forms part of our Safe Ministry Policy.
This process should be followed by the Safe Ministry Contacts when they receive a report or concern relating to the safety or mistreatment of a person within The Christian Israelite Church programs.
Responding to concerns on a case-by-case basis allows Safe Ministry Contacts the ability to ensure their course of action is suitable for the incident, without having to work through fixed steps which may be unnecessary, and allows them to develop particular steps more suitable for the persons and concern raised.
This document should be made easily accessible to children, vulnerable people, staff, volunteers and families.

Principles
When incidents are reported, our response will be guided by the following key principles:
● All incidents will be taken seriously and responded to promptly and thoroughly,
● Our response will protect the confidentiality, dignity, health and well-being of all individuals involved (including any individuals suspected of behaving inappropriately), and
● Special consideration must be given to protecting the interests of children (if they are in any way involved), and we recognise that this may require expert involvement to assist the incident response.
● We will promote a culture where all leaders, volunteers and participants are encouraged to raise concerns and report incidents as they happen. We will make this process accessible to everyone and ensure we meet our reporting obligations (senior staff, regulators, law, insurance) are met on every occasion.
At each point in the process, the Safe Ministry Contact(s) will need to;
1. Agree on a reasonable course of action based on the information at hand and apply the principles on a case by case basis,
2. Ensure the incident and outcomes are thoroughly documented and saved as a record of their decisions and any actions they have determined to take which includes clearly outlining roles and responsibilities and follow up.
A summary of incidents and responses should be regularly reviewed by the executive committee to implement risk management strategies which focus on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children and vulnerable people.

Process Overview
Step 1. Record Details of the Concern
The Incident Management Process should be initiated when a Safe Ministry Contact(s) receives a concern or a report of an incident. See Appendix A for a list of significant elements to include when recording an incident/concern
Step 2. Work through steps related to the type of Concern
Share the Incident/Concern details with the other Safe Ministry Contacts, then (together) work through each type of concern, only skipping if all Safe Ministry Contacts unanimously agree it can be skipped.
If the type of concern is applicable, record the next steps that need to be taken, and take those steps.
1. Is the concern about a Child or Vulnerable Person? (see Appendix 1)
Are there reasonable grounds?
Are there external agencies who need to be contacted?
What are the next steps?
2. Is the concern about a Church Leader (incl. volunteer leaders)? (see Appendix 2)
Are there reasonable grounds?
Are there external agencies who need to be contacted?
How should this be investigated?
Should the Leader be suspended?
What are the next steps?
3. Is the concern about a Church Participant? (see Appendix 3)
Are there reasonable grounds?
Are there external agencies who need to be contacted?
How should this be investigated?
Should any actions be taken towards the Participant?
What are the next steps?
4. Is the concern about a Church Program? (see Appendix 4)
Are there reasonable grounds?
How should this be investigated?
Should any actions be taken regarding the Program?
What are the next steps?
5. Is the concern about an incident outside the Church? (see Appendix 5)
Are there reasonable grounds?
What actions should be taken regarding the concern?
Step 3. Record a Summary and Review Regularly
After the concern has been appropriately managed and responded to, the Safe Ministry Supervisors should ensure the summary details are included in the next executive review, and that any ongoing actions or commitments are properly in progress.

Appendix A.
Recording the Concern
When someone raises a concern or reporting an incident, it’s important to record as much detail as possible. The details of those reporting abuse should be kept private and confidential, only made known to those in leadership and to individuals and organisations who are legally required to know those details.
Some significant elements to record include;
1. Safe Ministry Contact Name
Who received the report
2. Date Concern Received
3. Name of person who raised the incident/concern
4. Initial Details of the concern, including the date
Record as much of the concern as you can remember. If possible, ask the reporter to email their concern.
5. Further Details of the concern
It might be important to ask further questions of the person raising the concern. (However, if the person reporting is the alleged victim, it might be important to seek external advice before asking further questions.)
a. When exactly did the incident occur? Time of day, etc.
b. Who else was there?
c. What happened before? After?
d. Where were you when it happened? Were there things you couldn’t see?
e. Have you seen something similar before? Since?
f. Has anything else happened in relation to this incident since this event?

Appendix 1.
Is the Concern about a Child or Vulnerable Person?
Note: This step should only be used when there is a concern about a particular (named/identifiable) child.
If the concern is not about a particular child, but rather about a program involving children or a leader of children, please skip this step.
If there are concerns raised about a Child or Vulnerable Person;
1. Determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a particular child or vulnerable person was/is at significant risk of being harmed.
Record any notes or reasons for your determination. It’s possible that the details of a concern could be nonsensical; or the claims could be such that no reasonable person would consider them worthy of further review.
To help answer this question you could use the NSW Government Online Mandatory Reporter Guide decision tree (or other similar tools).
If you do use the MRG tool, include the record of the selections and the results and recommendations here.
2. Determine what, if any, external agencies or organisations might need to be contacted.
These steps might include:
a. Making a official Report to the Dept. of Family Services (This might be actioned through helping the reporter contact or by another person)
b. Contacting the Police to inquire if they need to be informed
c. Making a Police Report
d. Contacting your Insurance provider
e. Contacting an Elder Abuse Hotline or National Aged Care Advocacy Line on 1800 700 600
f. Contacting the National Disability, Abuse & Neglect Hotline 1800 880 052
g. Contacting the State Ombudsman to inquire if there needs to be a formal notification.
h. Contacting any pastoral care persons to provide support to the child and carers.
Include the name of the person responsible for taking those steps.
3. Record and make plans regarding any further steps, processes or guidelines any of the above agencies recommend taking.
Include the name of the person responsible for taking each of these steps.

Appendix 2.
Is the Concerns about a Church Leader (incl. volunteer leaders)?
A ‘Leader’ could be a staff member, board member, program leader, volunteer, or even a helper within our organisation. If the concern/incident relates to the behaviour of a Leader then the organisation may bear the responsibility for the leader’s actions.
Note:
● If multiple leaders have been implicated in the concern, the Safe Ministry Contacts should go through this process for each leader individually.
● If no specific leader is able to be identified, it may be appropriate to treat the issue as a ‘Program Concern’ which relates to the general behaviour of leaders within the program.
If there are concerns raised about a Church Leader;
1. Determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a leader has behaved inappropriately.
Record any notes or reasons for your determination. It’s possible that claims made about leaders could be accurate, but not describe inappropriate behaviour; or the claims could be such that no reasonable person would consider them worthy of further review.
2. Determine if outside agencies should be contacted about the suspected behaviour of the leader
It may be suitable to contact the Police if the suspected behaviour could be considered illegal. Other possible agencies could be the organisations Insurance provider, denominational support teams, or organisation partners. (Leader’s other employers?)
Record who will contact which agency and any details or recommendations coming out of that contact. This may be done with or through the person who originally made the report.
3. Determine what steps should be taken to investigate the suspected behaviour
The appropriate method of investigation will depend on the circumstances and the severity of the suspected behaviour and on the suspected leader’s role in the organisation.
a. If the suspected incident occurred outside the responsibility of the organisation, and in which the suspected leader was not acting (or could not be reasonably thought to be acting) as a representative of the organisation, it may not be appropriate for the organisation to conduct an investigation.
b. If the suspected behaviour is severe misconduct or the position of the leader is at a high level within the organisation, it may be appropriate to arrange an Independent Investigator to investigate the suspected behaviour with a level of transparency and separation from the organisation. The Independent Investigator should provide a report and recommendations to the board for their review and action.
c. Otherwise, it may be appropriate to appoint a person within the organisation to investigate the suspected behaviour.
d. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to temporarily remove the suspected Leader from various responsibilities during the investigation (see step 4 below).
e. It may be appropriate to inform the pastoral team so they can provide pastoral care.
Record what steps should be taken, including who will action those steps and what will be expected as a result.
Record any resulting decisions or recommendations provided by an investigator (if applicable).
4. Determine if the suspected leader should be temporarily suspended from some or all of their responsibilities
There may be reasons to consider removing the suspected leader from their duties or responsibilities, and to what extent.
a. It may be appropriate to remove the leader from all responsibilities if the severity of the suspected behaviour is such that it warrants concerns about the ongoing safety of other persons in the organisation.
b. It may be appropriate to remove the leader from responsibilities where they would be brought into any or substantial contact with the suspected victim.
c. It may be appropriate to not remove the leader, but to reduce their responsibilities for a time to ensure they are aware of the appropriate behaviour of a leader in their role.
d. It may not be necessary to take any actions related to the suspected leader.
5. Record the decision and what, if any, steps needs to be taken, and who is responsible for taking those steps.
They may include;
a. Communicating with the suspected leader
b. Communicating with the suspected leader’s supervisor
c. Communicating with the organisation’s board or senior leaders
d. Communicating with the suspected victim

Appendix 3.
Is the Concern about a Church Participant?
A ‘participant’ is someone who attends a program or event run by our organisation.
Note:
● Only follow this step if there is a concern raised about the behaviour or conduct of a particular person which occurred in the context of an organisation program. If the concern is regarding someone’s behaviour outside the context of an organisational program, please use Process E “Respond to concerns about incidents outside the organisation”.
● If multiple participants have been implicated in the concern, the Safe Ministry Contacts should go through this process for each participant individually.
● If no specific participant is able to be identified, it may be more appropriate to treat the issue as a ‘Program Concern’ which relates to the general behaviour of leaders within the program.
If there are concerns raised about a Participant;
1. Determine if there are there reasonable grounds to suspect the participant has behaved inappropriately.
Record any notes or reasons for your determination. It’s possible that claims made about a Participant could be accurate, but not describe inappropriate behaviour; or the claims could be such that no reasonable person would consider them worthy of further review.
2. Determine if the suspected behaviour is of such a nature that any State, Federal or other organisation might need to be notified
It may be suitable to contact the Police if the suspected behaviour could be considered illegal. Other possible agencies could be the organisations Insurance provider, denominational support teams, or organisation partners. (Participant’s other employers?)
Record who will contact which agency and any details or recommendations coming out of that contact. This may be done with or through the person who originally made the report.
3. Determine what steps should be taken to investigate the concerns
It may be appropriate to investigate the suspicion further. Depending on the nature of the incident or the relationships between the parties it may be appropriate to appoint an independent investigator. The Independent Investigator should provide a report and recommendations to the board for their review and action.
Otherwise (if appropriate) decide who, within the organisation, will investigate and record their report.
4. Determine what, if any, steps should be taken regarding the suspected incident and participant
Depending on the suspected or potential severity of the incident, there may be a range of options to consider taking in response to the concern.
a. It may be appropriate to appoint someone to speak with the suspected Participant about standards of behaviour expected for organisation Participants.
b. It may be appropriate to set out some particular standards of behaviour for this Participant to ensure future behaviours are appropriate.
c. It may be appropriate to request the participant does not attend various programs for a time, or until various criteria a met.
d. It may be appropriate to inform the pastoral team so they can provide appropriate pastoral care.
5. Record what steps should be taken, including who will action those steps and what will be expected as a result.
Record any resulting decisions or recommendations provided by an investigator (if applicable).

Appendix 4.
Is the Concern about a Church Program?
A ‘Program’ is an event, group, or session which is run by the organisation staff or organisation volunteers. It includes its spaces, environments and culture. It may also include any online environments used for the Program by Leaders or Participants .
If a concern is raised about Leadership in general, or the general behaviour of Participants, it might be suitable to use these following steps to respond.
If there are concerns raised about a Program;
1. Determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect a Program is unsafe.
Record any notes or reasons for your determination. It’s possible that claims made about a Program could be accurate, but not describe inappropriate culture or an unsafe environment; or the concerns could be such that no reasonable person would consider them worthy of further review.
2. Determine what steps will be taken to investigate the concerns
Record what steps should be taken, including who will action those steps and what will be expected as a result.
Record any resulting decisions or recommendations.
3. Determine what, if any, steps should be taken regarding the Program concerns
Depending on the severity of the concerns about the Program and the result and recommendations of any investigation, there may be a variety of steps to consider taking.
a. It may be appropriate to gather some or all of the Program Leaders to re-establish appropriate culture standards and acceptable behaviours
b. It may be appropriate to gather some or all of the Program Participants to increase awareness of organisational Policies and appropriate behaviours.
c. It may be appropriate to conduct a Program Risk assessment
d. It may be appropriate to recommend updated systems or processes to be used within the Program by the Leaders.
e. It may be appropriate to inform the pastoral team so they can provide appropriate pastoral care.
4. Record what steps should be taken, including who will action those steps and what will be expected as a result.

Appendix 5.
Is the Concern about an Incident outside the Church?
If the concern relates to an incident which occurred outside the context of a church Program, and the person of concern was not acting as a representative of the church, the concern is most likely outside the direct responsibility of the church.
However, as responsible members of our communities, there may be appropriate steps to take in response to external concerns. Many of these steps should have already been captured in section A if the concern was about a child or vulnerable person, by contacting various agencies.
If there are concerns raised about an external incident;
1. Determine if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the concern is valid.
Record any notes or reasons for your determination. It’s possible that concerns raised about a external incident could be such that no reasonable person would consider them worthy of further review.
2. Determine what, if any, steps should be taken about this concern.
Depending on the severity of the concern, it may be appropriate to one or several of the following;
a. Contact CrimeStoppers, the Police or other emergency services
b. Contact Family and Community Services
c. If there is a concern about a person who is in a position of influence in another organisation, it may be appropriate to help the reporter raise their concern through the appropriate channels in that organisation.
d. It may be appropriate to inform the pastoral team so they can provide appropriate pastoral care.
3. Record what steps should be taken, including who will action those steps and what will be expected as a result.

Complaints Management Record Form

This form should be used to record a suspicion, allegation or disclosure of child abuse or a complaint of inappropriate behaviour.

1. Nature of the complaint – include time, date, location and what happened (this can include observations of the child’s behaviour).

2. Details of any injuries and if the child received medical attention.

3. Accurately record what the child said when describing what happened
(In the case of an allegation of abuse, formal investigations and interviews will be carried out by Family and Community Services and/or NSW Police. You must record what the child has said but unless it is your role to investigate, you should not interview the child).

4. Details of anyone who saw what happened.

5. Does this complaint indicate the possibility of child abuse, i.e. physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect?

Yes No

6. Who did you make a report to?

FACS (via child story link)

FACS (via 132 111)

OCG website

Ombudsman

People spoken to:

Date(s):