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
Safe Ministry Guidelines
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
Social Contact Policy
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
Possible signs of child abuse
There are common physical and behavioural signs that may indicate child abuse or neglect. The NSW Family and Community Services 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
Possible signs of elder abuse
Older Australians are a growing group of vulnerable people in our community and churches. This guide (from a Government website) is useful in identifying elder abuse.
Elder Abuse types
Mental Health Line
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 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.
Be Connected is an additional site developed by the eSafety Commissioner, designed to help anyone develop digital skills and confidence online.
Risk Identification Register
This guide can be used to create a realistic risk identification/assessment register for any ministry event. Duplicate as necessary.
Risk Identification Register (pdf)
Risk Identification Register (docx)
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)
Emergency Evacuation Procedure
Sample wording that you can use in your own church publications, and when conducting practice evacuations
Safe Ministry – Emergency Evacuation Procedure
Activity approval form
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) (.docx)
Abuse Reporting Guide
For church workers (paid and voluntary) to use
Abuse Report Guide
Abuse Reporting Form
Use this form to record indicators or disclosures of abuse and refer to it when making a report to Family and Community Services (FaCS). This form must be dated and signed and kept in a secure location.
Risk of Harm Report
Mandatory Reporters Guide (MRG)
This is an online, interactive guide aimed a mandatory reporters (but usable by anyone). 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 Reporters Guide
Cyberbullying and image-based abuse
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
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)
Safe Ministry Pledge
A resource that is now part of the online version of Safe Ministry Refresher (and will also be in Essentials Online).
Safe Ministry Pledge (pdf)
Under 18 year old Leaders Declaration Form
This form should be completed by all children’s/youth leaders/helpers under 18 years old, and countersigned by their parent(s)/guardian. These should then be kept with the parish Safe Ministry records.
Safe Ministry – Under 18yrs Declaration (pdf)
Application forms for volunteer leaders
This form is recommended to be used as part of a screening process for volunteers:
It includes the Safe Ministry Pledge – a concise form of code of conduct now part of online Safe Ministry Training.
Safe Ministry Volunteer Application Form
All applicants – paid or volunteer – should have their referees checked. This document has suggested questions to ask
Suggested Referee Questions
Every worker in a church should have a job description. This document is a sample of a simple job description for a volunteer worker.
Sample Job Description
This is the recommended Screening Policy that should be adopted by every church as part of it’s local Safe Ministry policies:
Discipling tool for volunteer children’s/youth leaders
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.