Safe Church Commitment Statement
Grace Bible Church (GBC) is committed to ministering to children, young people and adults by providing a church environment that is physically, emotionally and spiritually safe.
Our church is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all children, young people and adults and will endeavour to provide a safe environment through our policies and procedures, including but not limited to recruitment, training, supervision, reviews, code of conduct, duty of care, risk management, workplace health and safety, conflict resolution, zero tolerance for discrimination against inclusion in our programs, zero tolerance for abuse, and environmental best practice.
The following values reflect the culture we are committed to promoting within our church: growing, inclusive, missional, generous, caring.
Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
Grace Bible Church (GBC) is committed to child safety. All children and young people at GBC have the right to feel and be safe. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers.
We are committed to providing a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability to ensure they can participate equally.
We have zero tolerance for any/all forms of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently in line with our stated purpose & aims. GBC is committed to preventing abuse of children and young people by identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
We have specific policies, in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
Child Safe Policy
Grace Bible Church (GBC) is committed to protecting the safety of all people within its programs, ministries and events.
All people, regardless of age, gender, race, culture, disability and family/social background have equal rights to this protection.
All people, including children and young people, have the right to be respected and valued as well as feel emotionally, physically and spiritually safe at all times.
Our policy has been developed to uphold this commitment to safeguarding and to adhere to National and Local legislation.
Our child protection policy
This policy applies to all staff, volunteers, or anyone working on behalf of Grace Bible Church.
The purpose of this policy:
- To protect children and young people who participate in our programs.
- To provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to child protection.
- GBC believes that a child or young person should never experience abuse of any kind. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people and to keep them safe.
Our policy aims to:
- Minimise the risk of abuse, misconduct and the misuse of positional power.
- Ensure that all cases of suspected abuse and misconduct are handled thoroughly.
- Ensure that leaders and programs are safe.
- Ensure that all people are respected and valued.
Statement of commitment to child safety
Grace Bible Church (GBC) is committed to child safety. All children and young people at GBC have the right to feel and be safe. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to providing a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability to ensure they can participate equally. We have zero tolerance for any/all forms of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently in line with the stated purpose & aims of our policy. GBC is committed to preventing abuse of children and young people by identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks. We are aware of our legal obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety and will do so in order to maintain child safety at all times.
This policy is intended to empower children and young people who are vital and active participants in our organisation. GBC encourages children and young people to ‘have a say’ about things that are important to them. We encourage them to share their views and we listen to their suggestions.
We encourage children and young people as to what they can do if they feel unsafe. We listen to and act on any concerns children, young people, or their parents raise with us.
We promote diversity and tolerance in our organisation and do not tolerate discrimination in relation to participation in our programs. To achieve this, we promote the cultural safety, empowerment and participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families and those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds. We welcome children and young people with a disability and their families and act to ensure a safe environment that allows for equal participation.
Recruitment – Staff and volunteers
GBC takes all reasonable steps to screen and recruit appropriate people for staff and volunteer roles. All people engaged in child-related work, including volunteers, are required to hold a current Working With Children Check and provide evidence of this for our records.
All people engaged in working with children or young people must maintain the highest of standards in conduct, so as to ensure their safety at all times. We encourage staff and volunteers to identify, assess, and minimise risks of child abuse, and to detect potential signs of child abuse and harm.
In addition to general workplace health and safety risks, we proactively seek to guard against the risks of abuse to our children and young people. We recognise the importance of this approach to minimising the potential for child abuse or harm to occur. We seek to encourage the approaches of safety in numbers, visibility and no contact with staff or volunteers on social media, to minimise risks posed by physical and online environments.
Allegations, concerns, and complaints and reporting of them
GBC takes all allegations seriously and will address them thoroughly and promptly. Our staff and volunteers are encouraged to deal appropriately with allegations, concerns and complaints and know what to do and who to tell if they observe abuse, if they are a victim, if they notice inappropriate behaviour, or if a child or young person makes a disclosure to them.
We are aware of our legal and moral responsibilities in reporting abuse and risk of significant harm, and will immediately report any incident to the relative authorities. The safety and wellbeing of children is our primary concern.
Regular review of policy
This policy will be reviewed annually – and following significant incidents if they occur – to ensure they are meeting legislative responsibilities and best practice benchmarks.