As a Christian community, meeting together to worship God, we affirm our commitment to ensuring the safety of each child who interacts with our community. God’s word is very clear in telling us that all people are created equal and every single person can be a child of God receiving the full inheritance of heaven. We look to the bible to learn how to love and serve everyone no matter what their age, colour, ethnicity, gender or nationality. As part of this worldview, we specifically seek to promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and all children who come to us from a culturally or linguistically diverse background. We also seek to ensure the safety of any child with a disability.

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. To ensure that we meet the highest standards of child safety for each child who comes into our community, we have the following policies in place:

  • Our organisational culture is one of child safety where, through effective leadership and clear lines of accountability, we ensure that all those in positions of power or influence with children are properly screened, supervised and trained.
  • Our code of conduct is the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne “Duty of Care” handbook. A copy of the handbook is provided to all those in paid or voluntary positions, who have contact with children. The handbook is available at all our places of worship and can also be found online at:

http://www.melbourneanglican.org.au/mission/youthchildrenfamily/childrenfamily/Documents/Duty-of-care-handbook-Nov2012-A5.pdf

  • All those working with children in the parish are required to have a current Working with Children card and police checks. We will also conduct reference checks on all who move into our parish and ask to be part of the leadership team.

The process of responding to and reporting suspected child abuse is set out by the diocese. Such concerns can be brought to the ministry team leader, or to the vicar, and they will discuss with the complainant what further action should be taken. The complaint can also be made straight to the Director of Professional Standards.

(see below)

A complaint can also be made to the police if it is felt` that a child’s safety has been compromised by the actions or words of someone operating within our programs.

A booklet entitled. “Information for People Thinking about Making a Complaint” published by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is available in each place of worship. The information is also available online from www.melbourne.anglican.com.au

 

How to make a complaint

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne takes all complaints of misconduct very seriously. This information is intended to help you should you wish to make a complaint, have been abused or harassed by clergy or Church officials, including Reginal Bishops, in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

The Office of Professional Standards responds to all complaints of misconduct including sexual, physical, spiritual or emotional abuse by clergy or Church officers. The Diocese has appointed an independent professional standards company, Kooyoora Ltd who provide these services to non-profit making charitable entities. This aims to give assurance of the effective and independent handling of complaints.

The first step in making a complaint is to call the recorded information at any time on:

1800 135 246

All information provided to this service is strictly confidential. The person taking a message on this number will ask you to give a name and your phone number or address so that the Director can contact you as soon as possible. Alternately, you can write to the Director:

Director of Professional Standards

Kooyoora Ltd.

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne

PO Box 329

Canterbury VIC 3126

Mark your envelope Confidential

The aim is to solve complaints as quickly as possible. There are different ways of dealing with complaints – informally, formally or referring the matter to another Church professional standards body or to a child protection authority or to the Police.

If the formal process as outlined in the Professional Standards Act is used, the Director advises the Professional Standards Committee who investigates the matter. A Protocol, Power & Trust in the Church guides the process.

 

 

This statement was endorsed by Parish Council on 24 October 2017