SAFER CHURCHES

ACC is committed to making our churches safe for everyone involved – children, young people, adults, attendees, visitors, volunteers, leaders and staff. To this end, we run within our movement and each local church an education and training program called Safer Churches. Much of the Safer Churches program is driven by our national Child Protection Policy but it also extends beyond that policy to areas such as Work Health and Safety. The program caters for pastors, leaders, staff and volunteers in face-to-face and online formats. It has a national focus and also accounts for interstate variations in some legislation. All pastors, leaders, staff and volunteers are required to complete Safer Churches training and to repeat refresher training every three years. The training itself is modified over time to factor in any new legislation.

1800 070 511 Helpline

ACC provides a national Helpline for advice concerning any abuse of a child or young person. It is available during office hours and has an answering machine that is checked out of hours. If you or someone you know is suffering abuse, it may be best to report this immediately to the police. ACC churches each have a Safer Churches Person (or team) and there is also an ACC Tas Safer Churches Officer, whom you can contact here secretary@acctas.org.au. If you attend an ACC church and don’t know who your Safer Churches contact person is, please ask for that information from your Senior Pastor.

Safer Churches Training

ACC has developed the following training options, in conjunction with an organisation called Safe Ministry Resources for all ACC people and pastors.

Safer Churches Induction online

This training is a requirement for all ACC Credential holders, or those applying for a credential who have not completed the face-to-face Induction workshop. It is in-depth training, also designed for Board members and key team leaders, particularly those in Children’s or Youth Ministry. This training was updated to reflect the National Principles of Child Safety as adopted by COAG in February 2019. It also reflects changes to legislation across several States and Territories.

This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group. It can be accessed by those with access to access.acc.org.au and directly HERE .

Safer Churches Refresher online

All ACC Credential holders, or those applying for a credential must update their Safer Churches training every three years. This training is for those who have previously completed the face-to-face (or online) Induction workshop and includes updates to legislative requirements and best practice in Safer Churches ministry.

This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group. It can be accessed by those with access to access.acc.org.au and directly HERE .

Safer Churches Essentials for Volunteers online

This material, launched in June 2019, makes the training of volunteers more accessible. It covers:

• ACC Child Protection Policy and Safer Churches Guidelines,
• boundaries, codes of conduct and duty of care, and
• identifying and responding to concerns about harm.

This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group. It is not suitable for ACC credential holders, or those applying for a credential. It can be accessed by those with access to access.acc.org.au and directly HERE.

Safer Churches Resources for local churches

ACC local churches, as self-governing entities, bear the ultimate responsibility for implementing the ACC Safer Churches strategy in the church. This includes the ACC Child Protection Policy, which was adopted at the 2015 National Conference with an implementation date of 1 December 2015. To assist ACC local churches and pastors with implementing the Safer Churches strategy, comprehensive tools and resources are available to download from our National website: access.acc.org.au.

For further resources to assist you with implementing your Safer Churches strategy please refer to:

https://childsafe.humanrights.gov.au/tools-resources/links-resources

https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications

https://professionals.childhood.org.au/resources/

Pastoral and Family Resources

In keeping with National Child Safe Principles 3, 7 and 8, ACC is committed to providing resources for Parents, Carers, Children and Young People as well as those who are ministering to families in any way. The following sites provide helpful information about safety and access to support. As these are secular websites, they may include some content that is not consistent with ACC beliefs, so discretion may be required when using these sites.

https://bravehearts.org.au/

https://www.esafety.gov.au/

https://headspace.org.au/

Redress and Survivor Support

ACC recognises the enormous impact child sexual abuse has in a person’s life. For information and support, go to:

https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/contact

https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/

https://www.samsn.org.au/