Jesus set the benchmark for us when he said, ‘let the little children come to me, and do no not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ (Matt 19:14, NIV). We want to be a safe place and to put no barriers in place that will harm or hinder children and young people.
In all our actions and programs, we seek to maintain high ethical standards and work in accordance with child safe practices and child protection reporting guidelines. The participation and empowerment of all children is a consideration in decision-making, as we seek to provide a safe and nurturing environment where children are respected and listened to.
St Matts has zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with the Anglican Diocese’s robust policies and procedures.
All St Matts representatives (including, but not limited to, staff, church members, volunteers and contractors) must agree to abide by the Melbourne Diocese Code of Conduct for Child Safety and Wellbeing which specifies the standards of conduct required when working with children.
St Matts works to empower children by involving them when making decisions about matters that directly affect them, as appropriate: listening to them and respecting their views.
St Matts values tolerance and diversity. In particular, we work to promote the cultural safety, participation and empowerment of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds and ensure that children with a disability are safe and can participate equally.
As a part of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, St Matt’s has adopted and abides by the diocesan policies including: Faithfulness in Service, Safe Ministry Policy, and Code of Conduct. These are all available directly from the Diocese.
Training and Supervision
Training and education are important to ensure that everyone in the church understands that child safety is everyone’s responsibility.
We also support our staff and volunteers through formal training and ongoing supervision to:
- develop their skills to protect children from abuse;
- to detect potential signs of child abuse; and
- promote the cultural safety of Aboriginal
children, the cultural safety of children from linguistically and/or diverse backgrounds,
and the safety of children with a disability.
New employees and volunteers will be supervised regularly to ensure that they understand St Matts commitment to child safety and to check that their behaviour towards children is safe and appropriate.
Any behaviour that fails to comply with the Child Safety Code of Conduct will be reported appropriately. Where necessary, behaviour will be reported to the church’s Professional Standards organisation (Kooyoora) and/or external bodies such as Victoria Police and the Department of Health and Human Services, depending on the urgency and severity of the matter.
Complaints can be made privately and directly to Kooyoora – please see the Diocesan complaints page.
To find out more please contact our Child Safety Officer, Michael Curtis at email@example.com.