Resources and documents to help you implement Safe Ministry Training principles and practices in your ministry.*

Additional safe ministry resources can be found at

*The views and opinions expressed in any externally produced resources are those of the organisations stated and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney.

Best Practice – Guides

These guidelines can be used for specific children’s and youth ministries in conjunction with the Safe Ministry Blueprint documents.

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 link below will give you access to the SDS website where you will find resources to help churches welcome and include all people at church gatherings in a safe way and enable all believers to contribute to the community of faith, irrespective of their physical or intellectual abilities or disabilities.

Church resources for disability inclusion

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. They are also a legal requirement in NSW for any organisations working with children.

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 (including multilingual documents).

Other resource guides from the OCG regarding the Child Safe Standards can be downloaded from their website, including

  • Child Safe Standards and their components in multiple languages
  • Empowerment and participation of children and young people in organisations
  • Engaging sensitively with survivors of abuse
  • Online safety for children

Child Safe Standards – implementation resource for churches

This resource is intended to support churches to implement the Child Safe Standards. It includes examples of key strategies that can be used to implement each Standard; many are already being implemented in churches.

Child Safe Standards – implementation resource for churches (PDF)

The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) 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.

Many resources are available in multiple languages.

Child Safe Resources

Protective behaviours teach children how to stay safe and what to do, or who to speak to, if they don’t feel safe. This was seen as an important strategy in empowering children in research conducted by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The link below will give you access to a wide array of resources produced by various agencies and organisations. They aim to assist and guide us in teaching and promoting protective behaviours in our church ministries.

Protective Behaviours Resources

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 Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides audience-specific content to help educate all Australians about online safety including young people, women, teachers, parentsseniors 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.

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

eSafety: Help in languages other than English

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)

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.
They are available in a variety of languages.

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

The National Office for Child Safety has also developed fact sheets in a number of languages to help parents/carers and community members learn more about child sexual abuse.
Child Sexual Abuse: Get the Facts

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

Safe Environment

Permission forms are used extensively in children’s and youth ministries and may be general or comprehensive depending on its purpose.

The generic permission form is a general form designed to be used as a ‘one off’ for a number of children’s or youth activities.
Generic permission form (.docx)

The enduring permission form is a more comprehensive form designed to cover all normal activities of a given group or ministry and may be completed (for example) at the start of a year. It is in the form of a template which can be easily be merged into your church’s own stationary and requires editing for dates and the church name before using.
Enduring permission form (.docx)

This form should be completed by the coordinator of any activity that is to be held away from the main program site and submitted to the senior minister one month prior to the event.
Activity Approval form
Activity Approval form (fillable) 

This guide can be used to create a realistic risk identification/assessment register for any ministry event. Duplicate as necessary.
Risk Identification Register  (pdf)

Sample wording that you can use in your own church publications, and when conducting practice evacuations
Safe Ministry – Emergency Evacuation Procedure

A form to be used when an incident involving injury to one or more people happens.
Incident Report Form
Incident Report Form (.docx)

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

The following brochures were created by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney and are designed to be an information guide for those who are survivors of abuse or other misconduct by an Anglican church worker, or victims of bullying or other misconduct by an Anglican church worker, or for those who witness such behaviour by an Anglican church worker and wish to report it.

Tell Your Story – Reporting Abuse by a church worker
Information for survivors and reporters of abuse and misconduct (pdf)

Tell Your Story – Reporting Bullying by a church worker
Information for survivors and reporters of bullying and misconduct (pdf)

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

Lifeline Australia – 24hr crisis support line
13 11 14

Kids Helpline – 24hr phone counselling service for young people aged 5-25
1800 55 1800

13 Yarn – 24hr Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis support line
13 92 76

1800 RESPECT – domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service
1800 737 732

A form to be used when an incident involving injury to one or more people happens.
Incident Report Form
Incident Report Form (.docx)

A key activity of the Safe Ministry Representative in Sydney Anglican churches to oversee the keeping of essential Safe Ministry Records, including leadership forms, screening reports, risk management records and reports of harm or abuse. For privacy and security, leaders should also know what the church process is for keeping documents safe.

For information and recommendations on how, where and how long to store records see these articles.

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) has an ongoing commitment to cultural diversity, and to support people from multicultural backgrounds. Information about DCJ and how they support and assist people is available in a number of languages.

Click here to learn more.

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 2023 (pdf)
Faithfulness in Service 2017 – Chinese (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.

The Blueprint documents for various leaders 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 Safe Ministry to Children Ordinance 2020 provides for safe ministry to children in the Diocese of Sydney. It is based on the framework set out in the General Synod – Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017.

It outlines the prescribed code of conduct for safe ministry to children in the Diocese and identifies the safe ministry requirements for screening and training of clergy and church workers.

Safe Ministry to Children Ordinance 2020

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

Additional documents
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.

In Sydney Anglican churches, complaints regarding certain conduct by leaders may be followed up in the local church using the Diocesan policy for dealing with allegations of unacceptable behaviour by clergy and church workers.

The policy aims to ensure that allegations of unacceptable behaviour by clergy or church workers are dealt with properly in accordance with a Bible-based process.

In addition to this policy, certain types of misconduct by a church worker must be referred to the Director of Safe Ministry to be dealt with under the Ministry Standards Ordinance 2017.

Reports of sexual misconduct or misconduct involving children can also be reported to the Abuse Report Line on 1800 774 945.

The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is managed by the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian. It is a requirement for anyone in paid or volunteer child-related work in NSW.

Employers and organisations must verify the WWCC details of anyone they engage in child-related work. The Check lasts for 5 years and undergoes continuous monitoring, even if the Check holder moves jobs.

Working with Children Check

WWCC information in other languages

Special Religious Education (SRE) takes place in NSW public schools, helping students form personal moral and ethical frameworks while nurturing their faith at school.

In the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Youthworks is responsible for authorising and training teachers and providing assistance to churches so that they can provide effective SRE classes in their local schools.

For more information about the SRE authorisation process and to access forms, visit Youthworks website via the link below.

Youthworks – SRE ministry