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Safe Church - Presbyterian Church of Victoria


In the life of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria (PCV) the Church is committed to ensuring that all of our congregations and organisations are safe in every respect for everyone within them. Safe Church PCV is the PCV’s expression of this commitment. Further, the Safe Church Policy and Code of Conduct form the foundation of this commitment. Finally, Safe Church procedure and practice are our practical outworking of this commitment. Safe Church applies to every individual, congregation and organisation within the PCV.

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Safe Church - Presbyterian Church of Victoria


In the life of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria (PCV) the Church is committed to ensuring that all of our congregations and organisations are safe in every respect for everyone within them. Safe Church PCV is the PCV’s expression of this commitment. Further, the Safe Church Policy and Code of Conduct form the foundation of this commitment. Finally, Safe Church procedure and practice are our practical outworking of this commitment. Safe Church applies to every individual, congregation and organisation within the PCV.

Our Mission Statement

In establishing and living out Safe Church Policy the PCV seeks to:

  • Honour God in thought, word and deed
  • Minister the Gospel and fellowship together in obedience to Scripture 
  • Protect and care for the young and the vulnerable in our church
  • Care for the victims of abuse and hurt in our community
  • Provide a loving Christian witness to those around us
  • Comply with the laws of the state of Victoria.
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Who We Are


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Who We Are


In 2013 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria agreed to establish the Safe Church Unit (SCU). The SCU commenced operations in 2014. The SCU is committed to providing all PCV congregations, presbyteries, organisations, and committees with the best possible support, advice and resources in relation to Safe Church matters, including prevention and response to child abuse and adult abuse-related issues.

The Clerk of Assembly, Reverend John Wilson, is responsible for the management and supervision of the Safe Church Facilitator.

The Safe Church Facilitator, Mrs Fiona Bligh, is responsible for

  • training and training support
  • Safe Church best practice support and advice
  • Safe Church reports and concerns
  • case management
  • record keeping
  • Safe Church support and advice for PCV ministers, elders and other leaders

The Safe Church Compliance & Administration Officer, Mr Ian Atkinson, works Thursdays 9am - 5pm and is responsible for

  • Working With Children Checks and Compliance Audit Schedule enquiries and compliance
  • compliance accreditation for PCV churches, organisations and individuals, including issuing of certificates
  • training compliance enquiries and support
  • administering Volunteer Approval Process applications 
  • handling Safe Church material requests, including requests for manuals and brochures

The Safe Church Panel of Reference, a Committee of the the General Assembly of Victoria, provides oversight and supervision for the Safe Church Facilitator and consults in reference to particular complaints and related procedure whenever required. 

 

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Services We Provide


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Services We Provide


We can help you with:

  • Implementing Safe Church Policy
  • Reporting requirements, including: 
  1. child abuse and/or concerns of child abuse
  2. risk of significant harm/danger to children and adults
  3. reportable conduct
  4. sexual misconduct
  5. conduct that breaches the Safe Church Code of Conduct.
  • Compliance auditing
  • Case management and case assessment
  • Risk prevention and management in relation to abuse
  • Safe Church Training for all those in authority or working with children under 18 in any capacity within congregations and organisations within the PCV
  • Assistance for personnel, congregations and organisations within the church in relation to Safe Church matters, including the provision of resources, confidential help in relation to the Victorian Department of Human Services Child Protection and civil authorities, and an effective “help line” for support when dealing with these matters
  • Referral to a counselling service appropriate for people affected by abuse within the church
  • Interdenominational cooperation on abuse issues
  • Historical abuse reporting and resolution - the PCV welcomes historical complaints and understands that the denomination has a moral responsibility in such cases and seeks to work with complainants towards resolution and healing
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Compliance


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Compliance


For a PCV church to be Safe Church Compliant the church must have:

Compliant churches are able to be issued with a Compliance Certificate which may be displayed at the church. Email the Safe Church Unit for details.

The Victorian Child Safe Standards

From 1 January 2017 all organisations in Victoria that work with children must comply with the Child Safe Standards. The PCV complies with the Victorian Child Safe Standards. For further information please contact the Safe Church Facilitator, Mrs Fiona Bligh.