I was recently involved in preparing a child protection policy for our church. We were given a template by our insurer which was really great as it prompted us to put a policy in place early. Even though our children’s ministries are still small, we’re now prepared to offer a safe environment and our people are trained so that in the case of a bad situation arising, our people know who to talk to and what to do about it. More than that, our leaders have it clearly spelled out what our obligations are.
For independent churches, a child protection policy can easily get overlooked and even where it is not overlooked, developing such a policy can be quite a daunting task. So I wanted to share our policy with you. We have significantly upgraded the template that was given to us. You can download the document here. The only change from our actual policy is that we’ve redacted the details of our Independent Person as a courtesy to him. This person is an elder at another church nearby.
Our church is in Queensland. If you’re in another state, you’ll need to adapt this document to fit the context in your state. If you’re not sure the mandatory reporting obligations in your state, look here for a summary by state including the relevant legislation. Consider also any requirements of your insurer.
I pray that this document will help someone, somewhere make their church a safer place. May the church in Australia come again to be trusted as a leader in ethical behaviour as an outworking of godly wisdom and love.
Grace to you.