Putting children first

St Bridget is committed to the wellbeing and safety of all children and vulnerable adults.

Under this year’s theme of ‘Putting children first’ all Australians are invited to look at how they can prioritise children in their lives and communities and to engage in National Child Protection Week – as individuals, and as part of families, organisations, communities and society.

The Archdiocese of Melbourne has been developing and implementing various Policies, Practices and Behavioural Guidelines to help parishes plan and deliver programs, activities and events involving children and young adults and meet their reporting obligations under the various Government Legislation. These guidelines seek to address situations that may place children and young people at any form of risk. The framework does not seek to restrict social interaction when we come together as parish community, but does seek to protect both the volunteer/parishioner and children and vulnerable adults.

At St Bridget’s, promoting child and vulnerable adult safety in our parish community and fostering an understanding of the importance of child safety is our priority. St Bridget’s has:
• Implemented the Safeguarding Children and vulnerable People Policy (2020).
• Go to: https://www.stbridgetsgreythorn.org.au/news-events/child-safety/
• Implemented a the Code of Conduct Safeguarding Children and vulnerable People, outlining conduct expected of employees, clergy, volunteers, contractors. Copy is displayed in the narthex
• Implemented a Parish Statement of Commitment – Copy is displayed in the narthex
• Established a Safeguarding Committee – (which meets monthly), to promote the importance of safety of children and vulnerable people, monitor compliance with policies, address concerns and ensure that a culture of child safety is embedded across our parish community.

Our work in progress:
• Complete a Parish Risk Assessment – now in progress
• Developing a set of guidelines/codes that children can read and understand – in progress
• Complete an Audit Self-Assessment of Compliance with the Child Safe Standards – a measure against 111 standards with reporting annually to the Archdiocese – now in progress.
• Code of Conduct Declaration Safeguarding Children and Young People – required to be completed by all volunteers engaged in the parish on an annual basis. This is a commitment by volunteers to uphold a duty of care, protection and support to all children and vulnerable adults. Documentation will be forwarded shortly to all parish volunteers for completion and return to the parish office.
• Developing training modules for all parish volunteers to undertake

Working with Children Check (WWCC) and Police Checks (PC) for all Volunteers:

All volunteers and those in a ministry are required to maintain a current WWCC and in some cases a PC throughout their involvement in the parish.

Now is an ideal opportunity to check and renew your checks. Check the expiry date on your WWC card.
If you need to apply or renew a card, use the following link:
https://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/individuals/applicants/how-to-apply

You are welcome to contact the parish office (when we open again) if you need assistance with the online application or renewal. Volunteer Checks are free. If you have a WWCC card and haven’t provided details to the parish office please do so at greythorn@cam.org.au

Police Checks are required for all volunteers handling money and anyone who may have a key to church property. PC’s are only valid for three years. Check the date of your last check, and if expired please apply for a new one. Volunteer PC’s are at a reduced rate, if you require reimbursement please forward your receipt to the Parish Office.

Feed back is welcome, please forward any comments to the Childsafe Committee via email to the Parish Office on greythorn@cam.org.au