It is the Church's Policy across Australia and New Zealand that a person with a conviction for an offence of a sexual, pornographic or violent nature against a child or young person must enter into a Safety Agreement. A Safety Agreement outlines the safeguards that the Church and applicant agree to adhere to in order to ensure that participation in the life and activities of the Church is safe for all parties.
It is also the Church's Policy that a person with a conviction for such offences must never volunteer or work in child/youth-related roles ever again. In many instances, such applicants will be prohibited/disqualified from working in child/youth-related roles by Working With Children checks anyway.
A Safety Agreement is introduced after the Church (Conference-region Safe Place Committee) conducts a Risk Assessment in conjunction with Safe Place Services. The Risk Assessment considers both (a) the applicant's risk of reoffending (evaluating both static and dynamic variables) and (b) the situation in which it is proposed the applicant attend Church or Church-activities. If a situation is assessed as High Risk, an applicant will not be permitted to attend a particular Church or Church-activity. If this occurs, alternatives will be explored with the applicant for them to receive ministry from the Church. It may also be the case that an applicant will be requested to attend a recognised group-based treatment program in order to reduce their personal risk of reoffending as a condition of a Safety Agreement being introduced. If an applicant does not cooperate with either (a) a risk of reoffending assessment, or (b) recommended treatment if stipulated, then a Safety Agreement cannot proceed. If these situations the applicant is not welcome on property owned, rented, or held in trust by the Church as a place of worship until they cooperate with the Church's requirements
If an applicant is exiting from prison or parole, or serving other Court-imposed sanction or orders, the Risk Assessment process needs to be completed before they can commence (or resume) attending Church.
If an applicant is already attending Church regularly, and it comes to light that they have a relevant offence history, they are usually permitted to continue attending on the provision that they cooperate with the Risk Assessment process until a decision and recommendations are made.
A Safety Agreement is a support and accountability tool that intended to safeguard all parties. It is not a punative measure. A Safety Agreement commences once the local Church Board endorses the Agreement, and provides the specified 'Support Monitors' as outlined in the Agreement. The goal of Safety Agreements is to encourage an applicant in their decision to live a non-offending lifestyle in the community (Church) setting recognising that externally-set limits and boundaries are an essential aid to such rehabilitation.
For the brochure about Safety Agreements see the Resource section and select the Local Church Brochures menu.
Do you believe someone should be subject to a Safety Agreement?
To submit a Person of Interest (POI) form, if you believe someone should be subject to a Safety Agreement in accord with Church policy, visit the 'Allegations' section of this site.