Standard One

Committed leadership, governance and culture

The safeguarding of children and adults is embedded in the entity’s leadership, governance and culture

1.1 There is a public commitment to safeguarding that takes a zero tolerance approach to abuse.

1.1.1 The Safeguarding Policy is approved and endorsed by the Church Authority and/or relevant leadership body and is publicly available.

1.1.2 The Safeguarding Commitment Statement is published, is widely displayed and made publicly available.

1.2 A culture of safeguarding children and adults is championed and modelled at all levels of the entity from the top down and bottom up.

1.2.1 A strong safeguarding culture is created and maintained by the Church Authority and leaders by:

  • promoting safeguarding, and the dignity and rights of everyone;
  • emphasising that safeguarding children and adults is everyone’s responsibility; and,
  • actively monitoring safeguarding compliance and risk management.

1.2.2 A Safeguarding Committee is appointed at the highest level of leadership to oversee the effective ongoing implementation of safeguarding practices, policies and procedures.

1.2.3 A Safeguarding Co-ordinator(s) is appointed with clearly defined safeguarding roles and responsibilities.

1.2.4 Personnel understand that good safeguarding practices are everyone’s responsibility and are empowered to contribute to the organisation’s safeguarding practices.

1.3 Governance arrangements facilitate the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy across the entity’s activities.

1.3.1 Governance arrangements are transparent and include safeguarding roles and responsibilities to ensure that accountability for the safeguarding of children and adults is clear.

1.3.2 Where the Church Authority’s governance includes activities in countries other than Australia, these Standards are applied wherever possible, considering cultural differences and local jurisdictional issues.

1.4 The entity’s Code of Conduct sets clear behavioural standards towards children and adults.

1.4.1 The Code of Conduct is explicit and inclusive of all personnel and provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour.

1.4.2 The Code of Conduct is written in accessible language and made available to all personnel, children, adults, families, and carers.

1.4.3 The Code of Conduct considers the needs of all children and adults at risk, paying particular attention to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • individuals who are elderly, are living with disability, are suffering from an illness, or who are ‘at risk’;
  • individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds;
  • children in out of home care, or those who are homeless; and,
  • children and adults of diverse sexuality.

1.4.4 The Code of Conduct outlines the importance of considering how power imbalances can occur in ministries and services.

1.5 The entity’s risk management plan focuses on preventing, identifying, and mitigating safeguarding risks to children and adults.

1.5.1 The Risk Management Plan considers the needs of children and adults with diminished capacity, and how and when adults at risk make informed choices (dignity of risk).

1.5.2 The Risk Management Plan incorporates procedures to assess, evaluate, review, and oversee safeguarding of children and adults at risk within its ministry and/or service.

1.5.3 There is a documented program to regularly identify, monitor, report, and review risks.

1.6 Personnel understand their obligations on information sharing and record keeping for safeguarding and professional standards.

1.6.1 Information sharing and record keeping policies and procedures are documented and communicated to personnel.

1.6.2 Information sharing and record keeping policies and procedures align with best practice.

Find definitions of key terms used throughout the Standards in our glossary