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 regularly reviews the status of Child Safety in the parish, ensuring that we are compliant with the Diocese of Melbourne’s policies and procedures.
Mandy Stevens has been appointed by Parish Council as our Child Safe Officer for 2024. 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.
All those who work with children are required to have a Clearance for Service (if they are a lay volunteer) and a Clearance for Ministry (if they are in a ministry role licensed by the Archbishop). This page on the Diocesan website explains the process of applying for a Clearance for Service.
There are three levels of Child Safety Training. Those who require a Clearance for Service will complete Levels 1 and 2; those who have a Clearance for Ministry will complete all three levels; and those who are volunteers in any capacity will complete Level 1. The parish will cover all expenses for the costs of these courses which can be done online. We are also exploring options for offering Level 1 training within the parish. Further details about this can be found on the Diocesan website under Safe Ministry Training.
This training replaces previous training offered in the parish.