The church should be a place where young people can come to know and experience the love of God through those who care for and work with them.
The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne expects that leaders in children’s and youth ministry in the church will pay careful attention to their duty of care.
The resources on these pages are intended to help you think about some of the issues that are involved.
Commission for Children and Young People
The Commission for Children and Young People promotes improvements in policies and practices that affect the safety and well being of children. It has created a list of child safe principles and child safe standards, which you can read here.
Duty of Care Handbooks
The Duty of Care Handbook and its appendices can be downloaded from this page. These policy documents are provided to give clear guidelines of minimum standards for duty of care.
Duty of Care Handbook
An accompanying manual to Faithfulness in Service: The National Code for Personal Behaviour and the Practice of Pastoral Ministry’. Includes: Guidelines for Recruitment, Guidelines for Safe Practice, Understanding Child Abuse. Updated November 2012.
Duty of Care Handbook – A5 booklet
Contents as per ‘Duty of Care Handbook – A4’ but presented in an A5 (booklet) format suitable for double-sided printing. Review the printer settings to enable the booklet printing.
Duty of Care Appendices
Appendices to the Duty of Care booklet: Includes all necessary application forms, consent forms, report templates and checklists. Last updated July 2011.
Recruiting and screening
Did you know that the Working With Children check and the National Police check are only two of the screening processes that the Diocese requires parishes to undertake when recruiting staff or volunteers for ministries or programs that are provided for children?
It is important that the other steps outlined in the Duty of Care Handbook (Guidelines for Leader Recruitment) are also followed. Asking all volunteers and applicants for ministry positions to fill out a Leader Application Form is important because it gives a clear message that your parish takes its duty of care to children seriously. It also helps the potential leaders think about their responsibilities and reinforces that they can expect to be working within an environment that cares about the safety of children.
Checking references is an effective screening process that should always be carried out. It is particularly important to check references from previous churches when recruiting people who have been in your church for less than a year, but even people who are long-standing members of the parish should be able to provide a reference.
The process of talking to referees about the suitability of the potential leader can help affirm the gifts that others have recognised. If problems are identified then it is far better to be able to deal with them at the recruitment stage than to be faced with potential disaster later on.
Updating your working with children check
WWC card-holders can now go online to update their personal details with the Department of Justice. It is quick and easy to change contact details (a new address or phone number) or change the list of organisations that you work for (volunteer or employed). Go to the Department of Justice Working With Children website and click on ‘Update my details’.
There are three options:
• Change your details online (you need to register and receive a password).
• Call the Information Line, Tel: 1300 652 879 (you may have to wait for some time but you can then speak to an officer and update all your information).
• Download a ‘Change of Personal Details’ form to fill out and post to the Department of Justice.