No matter who we minister to, we want that ministry to be safe, encouraging and strengthening for both those being ministered to, and those who are serving within that ministry. ACC NSW safer churches provides training workshops for credential holders, board members and volunteers in safer church ministry. The ACC NSW safer church officer can also provide assistance and advice to churches as they implement safer church guidelines and procedures and if they have the need to report any incident.
All ACC Credential and Certificate holders are required to complete Child Protection Training to maintain their Credential/Certificate. A refresher course is required every three years, in line with best practice and accepted standards. Before commencing the credential process, Senior Pastors are to ensure that candidates have completed the required Safer Churches training.
ACC has developed the following training options in conjunction with Safe Ministry Resources (SMR) for all ACC people and pastors.
The Children’s Guardian Act captured all religious bodies into the Reportable Conduct Scheme in NSW from March 1st 2020. The Head of Entity (most often the Senior Pastor) of each church must understand their obligation to investigate all reportable allegations and complete all reporting requirements to the Office of the Children’s Guardian. Additionally, it is important that all Pastors, Board members and church volunteers understand their obligations under this Act to report allegations of reportable conduct. For information and training, please go to:
As part of the ACC credential process, candidates are required to provide a National Police Check.
To apply for a police check online, please click here.
ACC local churches, as self-governing entities, bear the ultimate responsibility for implementing the ACC Safer Churches strategy in the church.
The ACC Child Protection Policy has been reviewed and updated. The updated ACC Child Protection Policy was adopted at National Conference 2021.
To assist ACC local churches and pastors with implementing the Safer Churches strategy, the tools and resources are available to download from our National website – access.acc.org.au or https://childsafety.pmc.gov.au/resources
For further resources to assist you with implementing your Safer Churches strategy please refer to:
In keeping with National Child Safe Principles 3, 7 and 8, ACC is committed to providing resources for Parents, Carers, Children and Young People as well as those who are ministering to families in any way. ACC has developed brochures with age appropriate language and information to explain our Child Protection Policy to children, young people and parents and carers. You can access these brochures in the Implementation Kit: http://access.acc.org.au/SAFERCHURCHES/tabid/2233/language/en-US/Default.aspx
The National Office for Child Safety also has information for children, parents and carers, and organisations to help them know what to do if they have a complaint. These are valuable tools to provide families and team to empower children and young people to speak up if they have been harmed or are at risk of harm. https://childsafety.pmc.gov.au/resources/speak-up-make-complaint
The following sites provide helpful information in regards to safety and access to support. As these are secular websites, they may include some content that is not consistent with ACC beliefs, so discretion may be required when using these sites.
ACC recognises the enormous impact child sexual abuse has in a person’s life. For information and support go to:
What is Professional Supervision, and why is it so important for Pastors?
Professional Supervision (Pastoral) provides a safe, confidential space for pastors to discuss what’s happening in their ministry, with someone who is trained to provide this support. Supervision assists people to grow and develop both personally and professionally. It follows the Biblical principle of having partners in ministry, modelled by Jesus in Matthew 6: 6, 7, 30-32, providing encouragement, accountability and time out to rest and reflect. It helps people to identify their core values and to understand more about themselves and why they respond or react the way they do. Supervision helps people to thrive in ministry, to discover what they love to do, how to make good choices, have good boundaries and practice holistic self-care. One of the great flow on effects of this is the health of our churches.
In what vocations is Professional Supervision mandatory?
Professional Supervision (Clinical) is standard practice for most people working in the helping professions such as counselling, psychology and social work. More recently Professional Supervision (Pastoral) has become either compulsory or highly encouraged by many Christian denominations for its ministers, chaplains and pastoral carers.
What has encouraged the church to now recommend Professional Supervision for Pastors?
The Child Abuse Royal Commission Final Report (2017), recommended that “each religious institution should ensure that all people in religious or pastoral ministry, including religious leaders, have professional supervision with a trained professional or pastoral supervisor”. It is a duty of care issue, with a strong theological basis (Robinson, 2007).
Having Professional Supervisors that can assist pastors and leaders to work through ethical dilemmas and legal issues is so important in the times we are living in. With such a variety of complex situations that churches now face, providing high quality care and knowing how to access vital resources is imperative. Supervisors are trained to assist in ensuring best practice.
How do you find a supervisor, and how often do you recommend seeing them?
It is recommended that people see a supervisor once a month or at least every second month. This way you don’t only deal with crisis situations but you begin to build resilience and engage in skills development and transformational learning. It not just about what you do, it’s about who you are. You are your best asset – you better look after yourself.
To find a Professional Supervisor go to https://www.chaplaincyaustralia.com/supervision/
For more information contact Ps Susan Marcuccio firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Pastors Health Team in your state.
Ps Susan Marcuccio is an Ordained ACC Minister, ACC Chaplaincy Australia National Supervision Director, a Professional Pastoral Supervisor Trainer, and Chair of Training Standards for Australasian Association of Supervision (AAOS).
“Supervision interrupts practice. It wakes us up to what we are doing” (Sheila Ryan, 2004)