Embracing New Child and Youth Safety Standards: A Call to Action for Tasmanian Churches

Church Support Australia

As of January 1, 2024, a pivotal change in legislation requires all religious community services and organisations in Tasmania to comply with new Child and Youth Safe Standards. This significant shift emphasises our collective responsibility to safeguard the well-being of children and young people within our communities. Here’s what this means for your church and how you can take proactive steps to ensure compliance and provide a safe environment for the younger members of your congregation.

Understanding the New Law

Under the new law, any religious organisation or community service where adults come into contact with children must adhere to two critical components:

  1. Child and Youth Safe Standards: These standards are a comprehensive list of practices designed to protect the safety and well-being of children. They encompass everything from creating child-safe policies to ensuring staff are adequately trained in child protection. Child and Youth Safe Standards
  2. Reportable Conduct Scheme: This scheme mandates that organisational leaders report any concerns regarding conduct related to child abuse by a worker to an independent body. Additionally, it requires organisations to conduct their own investigations into such matters. Reportable Conduct Scheme

Your church must comply if it:

  • Provides services or programs aimed specifically at children and young people, even if these are infrequent.
  • Offers facilities that are specifically intended for use by children and young people under the supervision of the organisation.

Examples of Relevant Services

To give you a clearer picture, here are some examples of services and facilities that would fall under the scope of the new law:

  • Faith-Based Support Programs: Services designed to support families, including children and young people.
  • Youth Groups and Activities: Religious youth groups or any organised activities for young people.
  • Supervised Facilities: Community rooms or facilities where children and young people are supervised by church staff or volunteers during use.

 

The Imperative to Act Now

As the January 1, 2024 deadline has passed, it is crucial for your church to act swiftly to ensure compliance. This is not only a legal obligation but also a moral duty to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

Contact ChildSafe for Training and Support

To assist in this vital transition, ChildSafe offers comprehensive training and support for churches. Their expert team can guide you through the implementation of the Child and Youth Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme, ensuring that your church is fully compliant and equipped to protect children and young people.

ChildSafe can support your Church Team with: :

  1. ChildSafe Training in TAS Child and Youth Standards: Available through group training face-to-face or individual online modules for individual learners. Learn more and register for training.
  2. ChildSafe’s Safety Management Online: This risk management framework supports churches in applying the child safe standards in practice. Explore Safety Management Online.
  3. ChildSafe Subscriptions: These subscriptions offer resources, training, and policy templates to support churches in maintaining compliance and fostering a safe environment. Explore Subscription support
  4. Customised support and policy writing: ChildSafe can assist you to strengthen your child safety plans and empower your team further. Contact ChildSafe

Take the First Step Today

Reach out to ChildSafe to arrange team training and support for your church. By doing so, you are committing to a safer, more nurturing environment for all children and young people in your congregation.

Final Thoughts

Complying with the new Child and Youth Safety Standards is a collective effort that requires dedication and proactive steps from every church in Tasmania. By embracing these changes and seeking the support of ChildSafe, we can build a stronger, safer, and more caring community for our children and young people.

For more information and to schedule your training, contact ChildSafe today. Let’s work together to uphold the highest standards of child safety and wellbeing within our churches.

Contact ChildSafe to discuss how we can support you further at info@childsafe.org.au or make time to meet together here https://calendly.com/childsafe-au/15min

Author

  • Mal MacDowall

    Mal has over 25 years of experience empowering businesses by providing solutions to challenges they face. Having grown up around and volunteered in camping and children’s ministry, Mal has experienced the practical challenges of implementation at a grassroots level. Mal is passionate about helping organisations, clubs, and churches on their journey of safety for children and vulnerable people.While at ChildSafe, Mal is working with thousands of organisations to discover how to apply Child Safety in their context. He is passionate about keeping children and young people safe and empowering organisations to undertake this important task.

    View all posts National Relationships Manager - ChildSafe Australia

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