Code of Conduct
The Unions across Australia and New Zealand, along with each Conference-region, require that all staff and volunteers who work with children and young people in the Church and its environments adhere to a Code of Conduct.
The Code of Conduct makes it clear what practices (actions) are supported and what pactices are NOT condoned.
The Code of Conduct is not exhaustive, and does not foresee every set of circumstances that may arrise across the varity of Church events and activities.
The Code of Conduct should be viewed as an educative guide to the principles that help inform what is appropriate conduct with children and young people.
The Code of Conduct values the social, relational, and interpersonal safety and wellbeing of children and young people. The Code of Conduct also values the role of leaders and mentors in the lives of children and young people by promoting transparent, accountable relationships that promote trust and confidence in the Church and its programs.
All volunteers and staff in the Church and its environments across Australia and New Zealand are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct as outlined in the local Church template. The template is revised from time-to-time. Ongoing acceptance or future reappointment to a child-related position is considered a indicator of person's agreement to the version of the template in force at that time.
Volunteers and staff can submit an on-line Pledge to adhere to this code by going to the link 'Online Pledge - Children's Workers' under the 'Safeguarding Churches' menu or by clicking here. A hard-copy of also available in the Resources section of this website in the local Church policy documents area.
The template Code of Conduct reads as follows:
- Reflect the ethos of the Adventist Church and its organizations in Australia and New Zealand.
- Behave as a positive role model to children and young people.
- Greet with a handshake, or ask before giving a hug, in situations where it is appropriate to do so.
- Treat all children with respect without showing favoratism.
- Use positive and affirming language toward children and young people.
- Intervene when children or young people are engaging in inappropriate bullying behaviour towards others or acting in a humiliating or vilifying way.
- Help provide an open, family-friendly environment for children to worship, interact, and socialize within where children have a voice in an age appropriate way.
- Alert someone if I see an apparent breach of this code.
- Report suspicions of child abuse or neglect to a trusted leader or someone in authority, such as the leader, church pastor, or local Church Safe Place Coordinator.
- Seek advice about suspicions and disclosures of child abuse or neglect by contacting relevant State, Territory, and Country Child-protection Services in my region and reporting apparent alleged criminal conduct to Police.
DO NOT …
- Engage in inappropriately rough physical play with a child or young person (not your own).
- Use physical means or corporal punishment to discipline or control a child, other than reasonable restraint such as by holding a child to mitigate injury.
- Hold, kiss, cuddle or touch a child (not your own) in an age/culturally inappropriate manner OR in a manner considered inappropriate by reason of the nature of the occasion/program/activity/event, except for appropriate touch (for example to comfort distress).
- Assist a child (not your own) do things of a personal nature that they can do for themselves.
- Spend time alone or remain in a confined or secluded space with a child or young person (not your own) on Church property or other venues.
- Make sexually suggestive comments to a child or young person.
- Make offensive or inappropriate comments to a child/ren regarding their apperance, abilities, or sexuality.
- Give personal gifts or favors that target a particular child (not your own).
- Cultivate online and social media 'friendships' with children and young people (not your own) without parental/guardian permission for communication and parents/guardians/leaders being included on messaging lists. Any private messaging to a child or young person should be sent/returend during pre-approved times.
- Show or share sexually suggestive material to a child in any form such as e-mail, text, movie, sound, or picture file.
- Use profane language near or around children.
- Take a child or young person (besides your own) to your home/residence, or encourage private meetings outside of church-sponsored activities, unless authorized to do so and suitable guidelines are in place.
- Take unauthorized photos, movies or recordings of a child on church property, or at church activities, without church authorization and the parental/guardian consent.
- Publish unauthorized photos, movies or recordings of a child or young person, including online, without parental/guardian consent, nor post online unauthorized private information about a child or young person that may identify them such as their: full name; age; e-mail address; telephone number; residence; school; or details of a club or group they may attend.