Responding to Sexual Abuse

The North New South Wales (NNSW) Conference wants to ensure that all of our churches, companies and schools are safe places for everyone. The conference executive committee voted that every church leader, including those who work with children, receive Safe Church Training (see below for details) as part of their commitment to making sure church is a safe place for all.

The NNSW Conference welcomes the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We believe that, by casting a light on this issue, churches and organisations can work toward healing and create safer environments going forward into the future.

All those who work with children in the conference have a Working With Children Check, and have signed the Safe Place Services online volunteer declaration. To apply for a check or for further information about the Working With Children check, please follow this link: www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/working-with-children/working-with-children-check.

Church employees are also mandatory reporters.

If you or someone you know has suffered or is suffering from abuse, this needs to be reported. Please see the details below for Safe Place Services and the NSW Family and Community Services for making a report. In urgent cases, please contact the police immediately on 000.

Safe Church Training

The North New South Wales Conference conducts Safe Church Training, which is strongly recommended for church pastors and leaders of their congregations around the conference. Pastor Daron Pratt is our endorsed trainer for Safe Church Training. As well as covering issues of workplace/occupational health and safety in the church setting, Safe Church Training also teaches attendees how to take appropriate action when allegations of abuse are made, how to support victims and how to ensure churches are safe places for people of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

For upcoming locations and dates set for Safe Church Training, please contact Robyn via robynborgas@adventist.org.au. To book Safe Church Training for your church, please call (02) 4951 8088.

Safe Place Services

Safe Place Services, which is a service of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia and New Zealand, is dedicated to helping our churches and work places be safe for children and vulnerable people. Safe Place Services conducts regular Child Protection training for ministers, highlighting the importance of churches being aware of their responsibility the Local Church Child Safety Policy (which can be downloaded HERE). They have a variety of resources available to assist with responding to and reporting sexual abuse. These include:

Safeguarding Churches: http://safeplaceservices.org.au/safeguarding-churches

Supporting People: http://safeplaceservices.org.au/people-support

Allegations: http://safeplaceservices.org.au/allegations

Training: http://safeplaceservices.org.au/training

Resources: http://safeplaceservices.org.au/resources

Local Church Policy regarding sexual abuse can be obtained from http://safeplaceservices.org.au/resources/local-church-policy. This link also has a variety of forms, including volunteer and staff data forms, risk assessment forms and so on.

To contact Safe Place Services, you can:

Email: safeplaces@adventist.org.au
Phone: Free-call 1800 220 468
Fax: (02) 9487 5844
Write to: The Director of Safe Place Services
PO Box 650
WAHROONGA NSW 2076

NSW Family and Community Services

To contact the New South Wales Family and Community Services Child Protection Helpline (to report suspected abuse or neglect), please call 132 111 (TTY users phone 1800 212 936). Find out more about Family and Community Services at www.community.nsw.gov.au/welcome_to_docs_website.html.