Safe Places... Safe People... Safe Programs
The existing Safe Place Services (SPS) organisation that has handled advice and provided support for victims and persons of concern will be closing by the end of January 2017 to make way for the new centralised service AdSafe. These are both agencies that are set-up and run on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to provide services to the local Adventist Church communities across Australia and New Zealand.
Because of the centralised nature of the new AdSafe Service local conferences are also closing their services. This is generally happening before the end of the 2016 calendar year. As such SPS will oversee the support services in the interim while AdSafe sets itself up and becomes operational.
To manage this transition SPS has set a deadline for the handling of any new disclosures and queries that come from churches or individuals. It recommends that after the close of business on Friday, 25 November 2016 all new matters should be directed to the office of SPS.
We ask you to assist us by referring people to SPS using the following methods:
People needing advice or wishing to raise concerns about new cases can contact SPS:
1. By phone on +61 2 9487 5833 Office hours
2. Through our website http://safeplaceservices.org.au with links to online forms
3. Or via email through email@example.com
4. Complete the attached form and send it to http://safeplaceservices.org.au
All existing case support will be handled through the normal channels until a schedule handover.
Summer Holiday times for SPS
Friday, 23 Dec 2016 - Office Closes at 1:00 PM
Saturday, 24 Dec 2016 - Monday, 2 Jan 2017 - Office closed for Summer break
Tuesday, 3 Jan 2017 - Office opens at 9:00 AM
Emergency Contact during Summer break
Ring normal office number - voice message will give an emergency number
NEW ONLINE TRAINING - eLearning
Child Safe Minimum Standards 1 January 2017
From 1 January 2017 new child safe standards apply to organisations that provide services for children, including churches. The new standards aim to drive cultural change in organisations so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in everyday thinking and practice.
Department of Human Services Child Safe standards can be found here
The Commission for Children and Young People has developed the following tip sheets to assist organisations achieve compliance
- A guide for creating a child safe organisation - version 2.0 (1.9mb, pdf)
- What to look for in a child safe organisation (362kb, pdf)
- Cultural safety for Aboriginal children (435kb, pdf)
- Safety of children with a disability (249kb, pdf)
- Empowerment and participation of children (266kb, pdf)
- Safety of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (229kb, pdf)
Or go to their website here
We would also like to remind everyone that the Victorian Government has introduced three criminal offences to further protect children from abuse. These three criminal offences affect every single church and every single adult that attends your church. We invite you to have a look at and familiarise yourself with these new requirements. It is a criminal offence to groom, it is a criminal offense to fail to disclose, and it is a criminal offence to fail to protect. (see links on left).
Working With Children Checks
There have also been changes to the Working with Children Act which came into effect October 26 2014. Are you up to date with these? Did you know that it if children regularly attend your church it is imperative that ALL church leaders have a current Working With Children Check?
If you have any questions about the changes to the WWCC please call the WWCC hotline on 1300 652 879 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a concern regarding the safety of someone you care about?
Responding to Risk is a brocure prepared by the AUC which may be of help to you.
Under the Individuals tab on the Department of Human Services website in the Children, Families and Young People section, you can find resource guides for making a report, however should you prefer to do so, a complaint may also be registered through our own Safe Places - allegations page.
Here is a step by step flowchart which guides through the process of making a report.