Safe Spaces Essentials

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During the QB Regional Gatherings in October 2023, we ‘hinted’ at changes in the Child Safe area. I’m excited to announce that an updated QB Safe Spaces Safeguarding Policy template for churches to adopt will be launched soon.  Alongside the new Safeguarding Policy, you will be provided with a full suite of template procedures, recommendations, guidelines, forms, and leader training for you to implement into your church governance.

But for now, I understand that what you want to knowis…‘what must we do to be Ministry ready for Term 1?’

Below are QB’s Top 5 Ministry Ready resources to help you create safe spaces within your church community for all Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults.

  1. QB Safe Church Strategy This includes updates to the Blue Card penalty rates, the application form, the applicant interview form and the referee questionnaire as well as fresh formatting.
  2. Volunteer Application Form template
  3. Ministry Ready Checklist

The above three resources can be accessed via the Working with Children and Youth resource page on our website.

  1. QB Yearly Refresher – Safe Spaces Training.  This is the video that was released at the beginning of 2023, and we would encourage you to use it as a refresher for 2024. Please feel free to address any other areas of relevance to your context. The training video requires a login to the resources on org.au. If you don’t currently have access, click “Register” at the top of the home page to request access.
  2. Risk Assessment Templateas provided by Baptist Insurance Services.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at safespaces@qb.org.au if you have any questions.

New Staff/Volunteer Requirements

With every New Year comes many opportunities for people to step into new volunteering roles within your Children’s and Youth ministries. Please remember that recruiting new team members requires them to undergo a recruitment, screening, and training process.

No new staff member or volunteeris to start in a ministry space that has Children or Young People attending unless ALL of the following has been FULLY completed:

  • Volunteer Application Form - including the ‘Office Use Only’ section
  • Referee checks
  • Code of Conduct – signed and received 
  • A valid Blue / Exemption Card – physical copy sighted, along with additional proof of ID and Blue / Exemption Card linked to your Church’s Portal
  • Training completed – with date of completion recorded.

A template volunteer application form, referee questionnaire, and code of conduct can be accessed via the Working with Children and Youth resource page on our website.

Should you have junior leaders (under 18 years), we have created a Leader Training – Under 18 Parent Permission form template which can also be accessed via the Working with Children and Youth resource page on our website.

And as always –

If an adult does not have a valid Blue / Exemption Card – they are NOT to serve in ministries, programs or events with Children or Youth People attending.

Our Commitment to Safe Spaces 

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

QB is committed to helping you create safe ministry spaces for children, young people and vulnerable adults, which are:

  • God-honouring
  • Person-valuing
  • Respectful , and
  • Free from harm and abuse.

Safeguarding in churches is more than a legal obligation; it is an outworking of what James 1:27 calls us to do – caring for the vulnerable. It is about building a culture that honours Christ’s name through appropriate actions and behaviours.

I’m excited to serve alongside you in 2024, as I support you in implementing your Safeguarding procedures into your Church Spaces. Safeguarding needs to happen everywhere ALL the time – for ALL children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Emily Banks

Emily.banks@qb.org.au

QB Safe Spaces Coordinator