Child Safety - Riding the Wave
The recently completed Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has recommended 10 child safe standards that every organisation working with children should adhere to. The NSW government has indicated that compliance with these Child Safe Standards will soon become mandatory for all organisations that provide services to children, including churches.
In order to be properly informed about these changes, last Saturday, Winnie - our Admin Manager, Ed - our Church Secretary, and myself, attended the first Baptist Association ‘Safe Church Health Check Information Session’.
At the session they used a surfing analogy. A massive wave of legislative changes is forming and will soon bear down upon churches and other organisations that work with children. Avoiding the wave is not an option. We can either make preparation to successfully ride the wave or we will be overturned and driven along by it.
The Baptist Association of NSW & ACT has therefore been at the forefront, amongst Christian denominations, of producing structures, policies and procedures to enable its member churches to successfully navigate this new future. To use their analogy, they offer an effective surfboard, riding tips, and a tow onto the wave. Each church, however, must ride the wave – implement changes and be legally accountable – on their own.
Out of love and for the sake of Christ’s mission, we want to ensure safety as we work with children and vulnerable adults. By the middle of next year, we hope to be fully compliant with the ‘Safe Church Health Check’ and easily satisfy all audit requirements. Surf’s Up!