Anglican Church SQ requirements for AYCF Ministry groups
Risk Management, Child Protection and Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) policies
CHILD PROTECTION: If you need to speak to someone immediately about a matter involving any aspect of the safety of children (under 18), whether now, in the past or potentially in the future, please contact the Diocesan Director of Professional Standards, Mr Greg Milles on (07) 3835 2266 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMERGENCY IN PROGRESS: If you have an emergency situation happening, call 000. After that, call the Diocesan WHS Manager, Ms Suan Wallis (24/7) on 0402 184 310 and she will coordinate the response to the situation.
Q1: What needs to happen before we start running an event or program with youth or children?
Answer: In terms of Risk Management, WHS and Child Protection policies, you need to read, understand and implement the latest Diocesan policies, specifically the Risk Management Strategy (Dec 2016) and the Child Protection Policy (still in force, but to be updated). It is very important that you follow these policies, as if something goes wrong, you may be asked to explain why you didn’t follow the policy.
The Diocese of Brisbane has Risk Management policies in place which apply to all Diocesan ministries. It is the ultimate responsibility of the Ministry Leader (i.e. the Parish Rector / Priest-in-Charge) to be familiar with these policies and to ensure they are applied. Regular audits are conducted to assist parishes and agencies to comply with the policy.
If you are planning to run a regular U18 group in the parish, some of the key points mentioned in the policies above include:
Every leader (who is 18 or older) needs to hold a valid Qld Govt Blue Card. This is normally arranged through your Parish office, and takes about three weeks to process at the time of writing. (There is more info on this further down this page.)
No leader should be left alone with a child – always have two leaders present at all times, or ask children to stay in pairs or groups.
Aim for a gender balance among leaders, if there is a gender mix in the group.
Check the environment of your ministry and eliminate ‘hiding spots’.
Transport policies apply: parents should always authorise drivers and know where their child is at any given moment.
Youth and children (or their parents) need to supply an appropriate amount of medical and contact information, even if they are just visiting, unless a parent or guardian is with them.(Example: At a youth group one night, a boy, who had attended for a couple of weeks but wasn’t well known to the others, managed to fall off a stage and break his wrist. Because he was in pain and also had some language issues, the group leaders had no way of contacting his parents or knowing if he had any relevant medical issues as they waited for an ambulance to arrive. Not a great situation to be in!) Filling in an official registration form should be a natural part of joining the group. Approved versions of ‘Forms’ are found here (you will most likely want Form 2 and Form 5 for an ongoing parish group, and Form 1 for a special activity) but you may wish to combine them into one form, and then check with one of the authorities listed below if you want to check it.
If your question relates to Starting A Youth Group, programming, discipleship, etc, please visit our other related pages on this website.
Q2: What do we need to do if we are planning an off-site event or excursion for U18s?
Answer: 1. We suggest you start by reading this: Risk Mgt: Procedure for Managing High Risk Activities (Dec 2016)
2. Then fill this in and have it signed by your Ministry Leader (your priest): Parish Activity or Event Risk Assessment Form 1.0 If it’s a ‘large event’, you should also complete the Event Checklist v2.0. (If you need help filling it in, contact WHS on (07) 3838 7645 and choose option 3 (email WHS@anglicanchurchsq.org.au) or contact us at AYCF on (07) 3514 7432 (email email@example.com).
Q3: Are our youth and children’s ministry activities covered by insurance?
A: Diocesan insurance at the time of writing (29/6/17) includes coverage for Diocesan clergy, employees and “voluntary workers engaged in activity officially organised or authorised by the Insured [i.e. by the Diocese] resulting in bodily injury caused by an accident during the period of insurance.” In order to assist with your YCF activities being acknowledged as ‘official’, we suggest sending the proposed term plan of your activities to your Parish Council and making sure it is formally accepted in the Minutes of a PC meeting, prior to each term. More information about Diocesan Insurance (including making a claim) may be found here: http://anglicanchurchsq.org.au/resources/risk-and-insurance/
Q4: Is there a standard Code of Conduct for people leading YCF groups to agree to follow?
Answer: Yes. Following General Synod and Diocesan Council decisions of late 2017, we are part of a national Anglican agreement to use the relevant sections of Faithfulness in Service (Nov 2016) as a Code of Conduct for ministry with children. Licensed YCF Ministers in our Diocese agree to abide by this Code as part of their Employment Agreement.
Q5: What do we need to do about parish Social Media accounts (including youth group accounts) as they relate to people under 18?
Answer: This document is still in force at the time of writing: Guidelines for Social Media in Children’s Ministries but it is likely to be updated in the near future, so check here for an update. If you need quick advice, contact us at AYCF or the Office of Professional Standards.
If you have another question not covered here, please contact us on 3514 7412 or 3514 7432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For these and other Diocesan Policies, Procedures and Downloads, please visit: https://anglicanchurchsq.org.au/safeguarding/professional-standards/resources-professional-standards/
Blue Cards (Queensland Law)
Before any worker (paid or volunteer) begins actual work with a YCF group (e.g. leading a youth group, Sunday school, kids’ club, etc), he or she must hold a “Blue Card” or equivalent – it’s illegal for them to work with the group if they don’t. A paid worker may commence employment while waiting for the Blue Card to arrive; a volunteer is not able to work with young people until a Blue Card is in his or her possession. Note that a volunteer who is switching into paid employment related to children MUST apply for a different type of Blue Card. For Blue Card information and Forms, please click here and look under ‘Blue Cards’.
Screening volunteers and paid workers (ACSQ Policy): under review in 2018
Until otherwise notified, all paid or volunteer workers with an ACSQ YCF group are to be screened undergo before commencing work and unless you consider them to be in a very low risk situation, this will normally mean they need to complete a “Safe Ministry Check” (SMC) before commencing work. The SMC “Part A” is to be completed by people who are to be paid workers, and involves answering a series of questions and providing the names of two referees who are then asked to fill out a written form. Once the applicant has completed the SMC, he or she should send it directly to the Director of Professional Standards (DoPS), in an envelope marked “Private and Confidential”, or send it via their clergy. The DoPS will then assess the SMC responses, make any necessary enquiries and declare the applicant to be ‘suitable’ or ‘unsuitable’ for work with YCF groups.
The SMC “Part B” is to be completed by volunteer workers. This can be administered by the Senior Clergyperson or authorised ministry leader, and involves completing a short questionaire and providing the names of two referees who may be consulted, usually over the phone. The process is designed to respect the privacy of an applicant, while also allowing a ‘firm but fair’ approach to producing leaders who are able to be trusted in their work with youth and children.
For more information (including FAQ) and the SMC forms themselves, please click here.
Child Protection Policy Training (ACSQ Diocesan policy)
All workers with YCF groups of any kind are to undertake official Diocesan Child Protection Policy training. An on-line version of CPP Training has been produced which may be undertaken individually or as a group. Attendees’ names must be recorded to prove they have undertaken the required training. More information may be found by contacting the Office of Professional Standards on (07) 3835 2274.
For more information on any aspect of the areas above, please contact the following people:
Director of Professional Standards: Greg Milles (07) 3835 2266 or email@example.com
Program Manager of WHS: Suan Wallis (07) 3838 7659 (0402 184 310) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of YCF Ministry: Jonathan Kemp (07) 3514 7432 or email@example.com
Diocesan Camps Coordinator: Erica Skerman (07) 3514 7412 or firstname.lastname@example.org