The Safe Church Training Agreement (SCTA) is focused on helping local church leaders and congregation leaders to fulfil their pastoral, legal (ie duty of care, child protection, due diligence), insurance, risk management, denominational and ethical roles and the responsibilities for the spiritual, emotional and physical safety of all people.
The SCTA is an initiative of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) with both NCCA and non-NCCA churches participating in the agreement. It helps facilitate quality, sustainable, accessible Safe Church workshops for local leaders, both paid and volunteer.
Safe Church Workshops are interactive, awareness raising workshops covering: Christian foundations of safe ministry, duty of care, vulnerable people and child protection (abuse prevention), due diligence in relation to recruitment and supervision of all church leaders and the management of program risks. The SCTA recommends all leaders and those involved in ministry with young people and vulnerable people attend an introduction (full day) workshop in their first year of ministry and a three hour refresher course every three years. The Refresher Workshops provide updates on relevant legislative changes and recommendations of judicial inquiries, compliance requirements and review of progress towards being a safe church.
To help make Australian churches safer, the SCTA provides National Training Standards for safe church programs and workshop presenter training to ensure the quality of workshops and presenters. The SCTA program resources and facilitates the ongoing task of educating leaders in holistic Safe Church ministry so as to prevent abuse and misconduct.
The SCTA provides
- National Standards for Safe Church programs and presenters
- A Co-endorsement process for Safe Church workshop presenters
- National coordination of Safe Church workshops via the SCTA Calendar
- National registration of SCTA Endorsed Trainers and attendees
- A SCTA Workshop Manual (currently being updated and to be available towards the end of 2015)
- Resources (on our website)
- Regular updates to SCTA members on relevant legislative changes
- The protection of the rights of and flourishing of all people is the shared commitment in our promotion of safe church and ministry environments.
- Protection of children and vulnerable people in the community is an imperative of our shared Christian faith.
- Inter-church training expresses our "serving together in ministry" that is safe for all people.
- Safe ministry recognises and respects the differences between our Christian traditions and State and Territory legislation and compliance.
- Common National Standards of good practice are the basis for holistic Safe Church ministry.
- Training and professional development focussses on leaders having a Christ-like attitude and behaviour in Christian ministry at all times with all people.
To make Australian churches safer places the SCTA aims to model:
- HIGH QUALITY: by providing National Standards for holistic Safe Church ministry programs and training of workshops presenters.
- SUSTAINABILITY: by resourcing and facilitating the ongoing task of educating leaders in holistic Safe Church ministry.
- ACCESSIBILITY: by resourcing and facilitating the training of greater numbers of church and ministry leaders so as to minimise the risk of the potential for, and intensity of, failures in duty of care and cases of physical, sexual, emotional, financial and spiritual abuse.
- RESPONSIBILITY: by increasing the awareness of 'every person' involved in Australian churches and Christian ministry of our shared responsibility in holistic Safe Church ministry.