Background & Governance
This policy outlines the underlying principles that direct our approach to safeguarding vulnerable people involved with Bethany International Church. It applies to all staff, leaders, pastors, coordinators, volunteers, trainees and anyone working on behalf of Bethany International Church. The Board of Committee of Bethany International Church take responsibility for ensuring these principles are reviewed regularly and embedded in the organisation culture at all levels.
1. Commitment to Safeguard Vulnerable People
We are committed to the Biblical call to care for the vulnerable by actively preventing harm and abuse, and by seeking to provide safe programs. We are also responsible and accountable fulfilling our obligations under State and Federal law to protect children and vulnerable people.
We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people (including children, families, the disabled and elderly) are informed and involved in decisions that considerably affect them. We recognise the diverse needs of vulnerable people should be taken into account and that their concerns be taken seriously. We are committed to embedding this care into all levels of our leadership and culture.
2. Commitment to Screening and Training Relevant Leaders
We are committed to ensuring all Relevant Leaders are screened, appropriately supported and trained through the process outlined below.
- All Relevant leaders must be regular participants at Bethany International Church. They will have their potential roles and responsibilities clearly outlined for them as they start their role,
- All Relevant Leaders must provide referees who can confirm the proposed leader is suitable to work with vulnerable people and that there is no reason the proposed leader should not be appointed in such a role,
- All Relevant leaders must complete an Ansvar approved Safe Ministry Training Course (e.g. www.SafeMinistryTraining.com.au) which outlines appropriate behaviour including how to minimise the chances of harm and abuse, as well as training in how to identify and report cases of abuse,
- Relevant leaders will have committed to the leader’s Code of Conduct and behave as followers of Jesus and be willing to be held accountable for their behaviour, and If a Relevant Leader is working with children & youth, they must have their State “Working With Children Check” verified.
- No-one with a criminal record of child abuse, molestation or similar offences is allowed to be involved in children's or youth ministry at Bethany International Church.
3. Commitment to Providing Safe and Accessible Programs
We are committed to ensuring that our programs and events are safe and appropriate for those attending. Careful consideration must be given to the activities chosen, the venue, safe ratios of supervision, appropriate toileting practices, transportation, work health and safety, parental or guardian permission and confidentiality of records kept. To help maintain appropriate standards, we will give all relevant leaders access to ongoing training and adequate supervision in their roles and responsibilities.
4. Commitment to Appropriately Respond to Concerns and Complaints
We are committed to creating a culture where people feel safe to speak out about inappropriate behaviour without fear of being rejected or ridiculed. We are committed to listening and responding appropriately to concerns and complaints about behaviour and safety at Bethany International Church. Throughout this process we are committed to protecting the confidentiality, dignity, health and well-being of all individuals involved. Any child-related issues will be managed with a focus on the interest of the child and will be reported to the relevant State Child Protection body.
The Safe Ministry Supervisors will follow a Safe Ministry Issue Management Process. This includes reporting any criminal activity to Police, and the possibility of reporting allegations of abuse to the State Ombudsman and the insurer of Bethany International Church In certain incidents (as outlined in the Issue Management Process) the Safe Ministry Supervisors will appoint an Independent Ministry Investigator to investigate allegations of inappropriate behaviour.