Resources and documents to help you implement Safe Ministry Training principles and practices in your ministry.
Note: Many of these documents are also available on the main Safe Ministry website, but the focus here is on documents relating specifically to Safe Ministry Training
Best Practices – Guides
Contains both the Core Guidelines and activity-specific guidelines covering most church children’s and youth ministries, and relevant to ministries with other vulnerable people.
Safe Ministry Guidelines
A significant challenge in our culture is contact with people in a ministry context. This document outlines recommended practices and policies for different age groups. It will be updated as the social media landscape changes.
Safe Ministry Social Contact Policy
Guideline for managing the transport of children and youth to be adopted by churches.
Safe Ministry Transport Policy
The Child Safe Standards were recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. They provide a principle-based framework to help organisations working with children to develop strategies and create a culture that keeps children safe and protects them from harm.
The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) has developed a number of helpful resources to assist organisations, including churches, in implementing these standards (and the related National Principles for Child Safe Organisations) as they care for children.
A printable copy of the Child Safe Standards and their components can be accessed here.
Other resource guides from the OCG regarding the Child Safe Standards can be downloaded from their website, including
- Empowerment and participation of children and young people in organisations
- Engaging sensitively with survivors of abuse
- Online safety for children
The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian has produced many resources to assist organisations in becoming child safe places.
The link below will give you access to policy templates and samples (for child safety and complaints management), resources from their training programs and links to relevant organisations and legislation.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides audience-specific content to help educate all Australians about online safety including young people, women, teachers, parents, seniors and community groups. Their goal is to empower all Australians to explore the online world—safely.
They can also receive reports of cyberbullying of children (under 18yrs) and adult cyber abuse.
Be Connected is an additional site developed by the eSafety Commissioner, designed to help anyone develop digital skills and confidence online.
Mental Health Line | 1800 011 511 (freecall)
The Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone service operating seven days a week across NSW. For more information about this service or for details of services outside NSW go to their website.
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides services in the local community to children, adolescents and their families with a range of difficulties including anxiety disorders, major depression and mood disorders, and suicide risk and self-harm. For more information go to Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
There are common physical and behavioural signs that may indicate child abuse or neglect. The NSW Department of Communities and Justice website provides an outline of what the possible signs of child abuse are and the associated risk factors that increase the risk of harm to a child.
Possible signs of child abuse
Older Australians and adults with a disability are growing groups of vulnerable people in our community and churches. The NSW Ageing and Disability Commission’s website provides an outline of what the possible behaviours and warning signs of abuse and neglect may be when identifying abuse of vulnerable adults.
What is abuse and neglect?
It is important that we take care to listen and respond appropriately to a child (or any vulnerable person) who discloses abuse to us. Emerging Minds is an organisation who leads the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health and has created an an easily accessible/printable resource on how to respond to a child who discloses sexual abuse, following the five ‘SAFER’ steps.
The Sydney Anglican Diocese has drafted a Domestic Abuse policy along with resources for its implementation. To access these resources go to Resources for responding to Domestic Abuse
One way to make our programs safer for children and to help them feel safe is to teach them about their right to be heard, listened to and believed and the responsibility of adults and governments to care for and protect them.
Click here for a child friendly poster and explanation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (available in various languages).
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that receiving and responding appropriately to complaints is essential for an organisation to be child-safe.
The National Office for Child Safety has provided a suite of resources to
- help children and young people understand their right to speak up when they feel unsafe, unhappy or unfairly treated;
- help adults understand how to engage children and young people with the resources; and
- provide guidance to organisations to understand their role in implementing complaints processes.
The Speak up and make a complaint resources can be found on the National Office for Child Safety website.
This guide can be used to create a realistic risk identification/assessment register for any ministry event. Duplicate as necessary.
Risk Identification Register (pdf)
Permission forms are used extensively in children’s and youth ministries. The first of the following forms is a generic form designed to be used as a ‘one off’ form for a number of children’s or youth activities.
The second form is known as an ‘enduring’ permission form which may be completed (for example) at the start of a year, and is designed to cover all normal activities of a given group or ministry for the rest of that year. It is in the form of a template which may easily be merged into your church’s own stationary. It requires editing for dates and the church name before using.
Generic permission form
Enduring permission form (.docx)
Sample wording that you can use in your own church publications, and when conducting practice evacuations
Safe Ministry – Emergency Evacuation Procedure
Appropriately managing risks is a key aspect of parish ministry and an essential element of safe ministry.
To assist parish office holders with this important task, Sydney Diocesan Services (SDS) has prepared a number of short videos covering the various risk categories and how to appropriately manage them. These videos are available here.
This printable form can be used to record indicators or disclosures of abuse or harm. It must be dated and signed by the person completing it and kept in a secure location. Refer to it when making a report to the Child Protection Helpline at the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ).
Risk of Harm Report
This printable guide assists church workers (paid and voluntary) in identifying who to report their concerns of abuse or harm
Abuse Report Guide
This is an online, interactive guide for mandatory reporters. It is designed to help assess whether a case meets the ‘risk of significant harm’ threshold for reporting children and young people at risk in NSW.
The MRG can help to assess risks where a child or young person is demonstrating suicidal or self-harming behaviours and may be considered a danger to them-self or others.
Mandatory Reporter Guide
Contact the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to report cyberbullying, illegal content online or image-based abuse.
The Commissioner has the power to investigate complaints about serious cyberbullying material targeted at an Australian child, request the removal of cyberbullying material from participating social media services and issue notices to individuals who post cyberbullying material to take down the material.
The eSafety Commissioner website also provides reporting options, support and resources for victims of image based abuse, as well as their family and friends, and bystanders.
Office of the eSafety Commissioner
Appropriate Leadership – Forms & Documents
Faithfulness in Service is the national code for personal behaviour and the practice of pastoral ministry by clergy and church workers. It is intended to identify the personal behaviour and practices of pastoral ministry that will enable clergy and church workers to serve faithfully those among whom they minister.
Faithfulness in Service 2017 (pdf)
These documents are aimed at informing people across all levels of leadership and church engagement to help ensure greater awareness, transparency and accountability within our churches and to help foster a culture of safe ministry at all levels of the church.
They can be accessed here.
The Safe Ministry Check forms part of the Safe Ministry Assessment under the Safe Ministry to Children Ordinance 2020. It is a screening process that must be completed before a worker undertakes ministry to children or youth.
There is a separate Check for adult leaders (18yrs+) and junior leaders (13-17yrs).
Please visit this page for more information and details of how to implement the Safe Ministry Check in your church.
A resource that is a required component of Safe Ministry training and the Safe Ministry Check.
By agreeing to abide by the behaviour and practices outlined in the Safe Ministry Pledge, leaders help to make our churches safer places for everyone.
Safe Ministry Pledge (pdf)
The forms below can be used as an ‘Application pack’ for new volunteer leaders.
Volunteer Application Form
An application for ministry allows potential leaders to provide relevant information for a particular role.
Screening should also occur during the application process and the Safe Ministry Check now forms part of an effective screening policy in our churches.
Sample Volunteer Application form
Safe Ministry Check
All leaders should receive the following documents, ideally during the application process:
Sample Volunteer Job description – this should outline the role and expectations for leaders.
Relevant Blueprint document – this provides a guide for safe ministry practices for various roles.
Faithfulness in Service – this is the Anglican church’s code of conduct.
Above Reproach – Application form/discipling tool for leaders (Word doc)
NOTE: This version of Above Reproach supersedes all previous versions.
This document is useful as part of discipling program – especially with youth leaders. Recommended.