St Margaret’s is committed to providing a safe space for all people, especially children, to worship and to connect with God. The safety of children and vulnerable people is the responsibility of us all, especially in the light of the revelations made during the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse.
We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to the abuse of children, and are working to put all possible mechanisms in place to ensure that when they come to St Margaret’s, children, young people, all people are safe to explore and deepen relationship with God.
Parish Council is working at putting into place policies and procedures in line with the requirements of the Victorian Government’s Child Safe Standards, and compliant with the Diocese of Melbourne’s Child Safe Policy and Code of Conduct. We have employed ChildSafe SP3, a subsidiary of Scripture Union, to assist us in implementing the Child Safe Standards in our context, and use their online management tools.
Mandy Stevens has been appointed by Parish Council as our Child Safe Officer for 2020. Mandy’s job essentially is to ensure that all parish activities are compliant with Child Safe policies and procedures, and also to act as a central point for any complaints of misconduct against church workers. All complaints will ultimately be forwarded to Kooyoora Ltd, the Diocesan Professional Standards office. 1800 135 246. If a child is in immediate danger, the police should be notified first before any other reporting.
Below are the documents, policies and procedures that promote a culture of child safety here at St Margaret’s. Check them regularly for updates. Other documents are available on the Diocesan website: Making your parish child safe.
We recognise that making the church a safe place for children is an ongoing process, and we welcome feedback from children, families, and parishioners on how we can improve our procedures.
We have a Child Safe Committee dedicated to reviewing our procedures. The following summary outlines where we’re up to, and what work is yet to be done:
Below are materials for the Child Safe Training we’re offering in May and June 2020: