“As Archbishop, I am committed to ensuring that the Diocese, including its parishes and congregations, complies with these standards and I would like to assure you of the Diocese’s commitment to help and support you in that regard.” – Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Philip Freier
The Anglican Church of Australia within the Diocese of Melbourne, including its Cathedral Church of St Paul and each parish or congregation or faith community within the diocese (the Church) is committed to child safe practice. The care, the safety and the welfare of children are embedded in policies and practices which reflect a commitment to zero tolerance of child abuse.
When Jesus uttered his beautiful words, ‘let the children come to me and do not hinder them’ (Matt 19:14) he set the benchmark for us. The participation and empowerment of all children is a consideration in decision-making, as we seek to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children are respected and listened to.
The Church has zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures. We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we will follow rigorously. We are committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
What is Child Abuse?
Abuse and neglect includes but is not limited to:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Family Violence
- Sexual Abuse
Child Safety resources for Parishes
AD1 Code of Conduct for Child Safety
AD2 How to help create a Child Safe culture in the your Parish
AD3 Reporting guidelines
AD4 Reporting concerns form
AD5 Incident reporting form
AD6 Risk of significant harm form
Child safety posters and factsheets
AD12 Clearance for Ministry Protocol Melbourne
AD13 Clearance for Service Protocol (Melbourne)
AD14 Application for clearance for ministry
AD15 Application for clearance for service
AD16 Fact sheet National Police Check for clearance for service
AD17 Fact sheet National Police Check for clergy and lay ministers
AD18 Fact sheet Obtaining a Working with Children Card
Codes of Conduct
AD19 Faithfulness in Service Code of Conduct (as at 2006, adopted by the Diocese in 2010)
AD20 Faithfulness in Service Code of Conduct (updated as at November 2011, adopted by the Diocese in May 2016)
AD21 Code of Good Practice for Clergy (adopted by the Diocese in 2010, repealed 2017)
Child safe standards media
Reporting concerns or making complaints
Our organisation takes all allegations seriously and has practices in place to investigate thoroughly and quickly. Our staff and volunteers are trained to deal appropriately with allegations.
We work to ensure all children, families, staff and volunteers know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse or are a victim, and if they notice inappropriate behaviour.
We all have a responsibility to report an allegation of abuse if we have a reasonable belief that an incident took place (see information about failure to disclose above).
If an adult has a reasonable belief that an incident has occurred then they must report the incident. Factors contributing to reasonable belief may be:
- a child states they or someone they know has been abused (noting that sometimes the child may in fact be referring to themselves)
- behaviour consistent with that of an abuse victim is observed
- someone else has raised a suspicion of abuse but is unwilling to report it
- observing suspicious behaviour
- To report concerns that are life threatening, ring Victoria Police 000
- To contact a child protection office close to you, call a local office.
To report concerns about the immediate safety of a child after hours, call:
After Hours Child Protection Emergency Service
Ph: 13 12 78 (5.00pm – 9.00am Monday – Friday, 24 hours on weekends and public holidays).
Note: this is an emergency service for week nights, weekends and public holidays only.
To find out more about making a complaint about the Archbishop of Melbourne please click here
Fact sheets about Complaints
AD22 Fact sheet People Thinking About Making a Complaint
AD23 FAQs for People Thinking About Making a Complaint Melbourne
AD24 Fact Sheet People Responding to a Complaint
AD25 FAQs People Responding to a Complaint