The BUV aims to empower churches with resources and advice that will help them to make their church a safe place for all.
These resources are designed to assist churches to provide a safe, loving and ethical environment in which to run their ministries, and to provide support for churches in the event of allegations or incidents within their church.
Please browse through the resources available below, or contact our Administration department on 03 9880 6111 for advice on specific issues relating to your church.
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Elder Abuse is the mistreatment or exploitation of an older person by someone they know and trust such as a family member or friend.
It can include financial abuse, psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, social abuse, or neglect.
For information on Elder Abuse, please see the following links:
Seniors Rights Victoria provides information, support, advice and education to help prevent elder abuse and safeguard the rights, dignity and independence of older people.
The Victorian State Government provide online training for people working with older people and anyone interested in learning more about elder abuse prevention. Learn more at the e-learning portal or contact the Department of Health & Human Services.
Carers Australia - short-term counselling and emotional and psychological support services for carers and their families in each state and territory.
Family and domestic violence is any violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviour that occurs in current or past family, domestic or intimate relationships. This includes not only physical injury but direct or indirect threats, sexual assault, emotional and psychological torment, economic control, damage to property, social isolation and any behaviour which causes a person to live in fear.
If you need help there are a number of telephone numbers you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or services you can visit:
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the Police on 000.
1800 Respect: National counselling helpline, information and support 24/7
Department of Health & Human Services: provides resources in a variety of languages.
MensLine Australia: a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.
For Baptist churches looking learn more about how we as a church can support and respond to the issue of Family Violence, please see the public issues page of our website. You will find discussion papers and other resources including the White Ribbon e-learing module on Family Violence.
Hospitality and fellowship involving food is commonplace in churches.
Often it is simply a cuppa and a biscuit after church or the serving of communion.
At other times churches hold sausage sizzles, pot luck lunches, formal dinners, casual meals at bible study groups, run cake stalls, serve meals to the wider community, sell food as a fundraiser, or run a food bank for those in need.
Safe food handling practices are required at all times.
If your church is selling food in any capacity, please be aware that the the Food Act 1984 provides the regulatory framework you must follow to ensure that food sold in Victoria is safe, suitable and correctly labelled.
For more information, please see the resources below, contact your local municipal council or go to https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/food-safety.
The BUV recommends churches to do a National Police Record Check (aka a Police Check) for all leaders prior to commencing in their role and periodically thereafter. This includes those leaders who also have a Working With Children Check.
The Victorian Police fees (effective from 1 July 2015) are:
· $44.90 for a National Name Check
· $16.90 for a National Name Check for a volunteer for an authorised organisation
It is well worth your church becoming an ’authorised organisation’ so that your volunteers can pay the reduced rate! Please note that the BUV no longer provides this service and we request each church to obtain its own CVF number. To sign up for a Community Volunteer Fee number or for more information on National Police Record Checks please visit the Victoria Police website at www.police.vic.gov.au or view the following links:
If you have any questions regarding the National Police Record Check, please contact the Victoria Police:
Public Enquiry Service
GPO Box 919
Melbourne Vic 3001
Office hours are from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Phone: 1300 881 596
Personal information is information or an opinion that identifies or could reasonably identify an individual. Some examples include name, address, telephone number, date of birth, gender, medical records, bank account details, and commentary or opinion about a person.
The recommended adult/child ratio is:
Minimum Staff: Have at least 2 adults with children to allow for an emergency - one with suitable experience and at least one person over 18 years.
The Redbook is a free self-auditing system for Victorian and Tasmanian Baptist churches, which covers Building Code compliance, Work Health Safety and Safe Church practices.
Each Redbook is tailored to your church property and ministries, and is designed specifically for use by laypeople acting as:
It is provided as a hard copy binder but is also available as a pdf for easy circulation amongst your leadership team. A new edition is provided each year by the BUV. Whilst this is primarily a self-auditing resource, the BUV does require a copy of the Annual Essential Safety Measures Report or completed Schedule each year for insurance purposes.
If you would like further information about the Redbook, Building Code Compliance issues, or Safe Church Practices, check out our online resources or call the BUV Administration Dept on 03 9880 6111.
If the person responsible for looking after the Redbook at your church has changed, please advise the BUV office as soon as possible. Please use our Details & Consent Form for Church Leaders.(insert link to document)
For more information on Redbooks in your State:
If you would like further information about the Redbook or any Duty of Care or Building Code Compliance issues, check out our online resources or call the BUV Administration Dept on 03 9880 6111.
Risk is the exposure to the possibility of such things as economic or financial loss or gain, physical damage, injury or delay, as a consequence of pursuing or not pursuing a particular course of action. In any church community the variety of activities and participants exposes the church to risk.
Risk Management is the process by which risks are identified, evaluated and controlled.
Outlined below are the elements of the Risk Management process (derived from Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines):
Please refer to the Baptist Insurance Services website for more information around Risk Management plus some helpful tools for assessing and registering risk at your church: http://baptistinsurance.com.au/Risk-Management-For-Churches
For more assistance with risk management at your church, please call BIS on 03 9880 6166.
You may also find the resources below helpful.
The following resources are available to churches to have participated in Safe Church Awareness Workshops.
More resources can be found at the National Council of Churches, Safe Church Training Agreement website www.ncca.org.au/safe-church-resources.
Increasingly our community’s care for children is being expressed in Government regulations designed to enhance and enforce the safeguarding of children.
From 1 January 2017, the new Child Safe Standards will be mandatory for all organisations working with children, including churches.
Below you will find resources to assist you in understanding what the 7 Victorian Child Safe Standards are and some samples you might like to use as the basis for creating appropriate polices and procedures at your church.
Please note that the Safe Church Awareness Workshops are in line with the new standards, and churches who are participating in this training and implementing its recommendations are well on their way to being compliant.
For more information on the standards and online training resources for faith organisations please go to: www.childsafestandards.org.au.
If you have any questions specific to your local Baptist Church, please contact Brenda Williams (BUV Professional Standards Consultant) via email@example.com or 9880 6103 or Kylie Kendall (BUV Safe Church Coordinator) via firstname.lastname@example.org or 9880 6113.
The Working with Children Check (WWCC) helps protect children from physical and sexual harm. It does this by screening people’s criminal records and professional conduct history and preventing those who pose an unjustifiable risk to children from working with or caring for them.
If you are doing or intending to do child-related work and do not qualify for an exemption, you need a WWCC.
Churches need to:
The WWCC is just a starting point. It screens a person’s criminal records and any reports about professional conduct. The WWCC does not assess a person’s suitability to work with or care for children in a particular role. It is the responsibility of your church to assess if a worker is suitable to work with children and continue monitoring their behaviour around children.
For more information on the Working With Children Check please see the resources below or visit their website at www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au.