ACC Safer Churches

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.

Safer Churches national helpline: 1800 070 511


Safer Churches Training

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.

  • Safer Churches Induction online.
    This training is a requirement for all ACC Credential holders, or those applying for a credential who have not completed the face-to-face Induction workshop. 
    This is in depth training and is also recommended for Board members and key team leaders, particularly those in Children’s or Youth Ministry. This training was updated this year to reflect the National Principles of Child Safety as adopted by COAG in February 2019. This edition also includes changes to legislation across several States and Territories.
    This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group.
    – Safer Churches Induction Online Course – access.acc.org.au
  • Safer Churches Refresher online.
    All ACC Credential holders, or those applying for a credential must update their Safer Churches training every three years.
    This training is for those who have previously completed the face-to-face (or online) Induction workshop and includes updates to legislative requirements and best practice in Safer Churches ministry.
    This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group.
    – Safer Churches Refresher Online Course – access.acc.org.au
  • Safer Churches Essentials for Volunteers online.
    This new training was launched in June 2019 to make accessing training of volunteers even easier for all churches.
    This training is suitable for all volunteers and covers:-
    • ACC Child Protection Policy and Safer Churches Guidelines team ministry,
    • boundaries, codes of conduct and duty of care
    • identifying and responding to concerns about harm
    This training can be done individually or as a facilitated group.
    This training is not suitable for ACC Credential Holders, or those applying for a credential.
    – Safer Churches Essentials for Volunteers Online Course – access.acc.org.au

Reportable Conduct Scheme

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:

https://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/child-safe-organisations/reportable-conduct-scheme

 

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.


Local Church Safer Churches Resources

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 was adopted at the 2015 National Conference with an implementation date of 1 December 2015.

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

For further resources to assist you with implementing your Safer Churches strategy please refer to:

https://childsafe.humanrights.gov.au/tools-resources/links-resources

https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications

https://professionals.childhood.org.au/resources/

https://www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/child-safe-organisations


Training and Implementation

Pastoral and Family Resources

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. 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.

https://bravehearts.org.au/

https://www.esafety.gov.au/

https://headspace.org.au/

 

Redress and Survivor Support

ACC recognises the enormous impact child sexual abuse has in a person’s life. For information and support go to:

https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/contact

https://www.nationalredress.gov.au/

https://www.samsn.org.au/

 

Professional Supervision

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 supervision@chaplaincyaustralia.com 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)


Ps Allyson Parker
Ps Allyson Parker
Safer Churches

(02) 4736 3000

ACC Safer Churches Upcoming Events