Standard one

Committed leadership, governance and culture

The leadership and governance arrangements of Church entities promote an inclusive, welcoming environment for children and provide the foundation for transparent, accountable and risk-based approaches to ensure child safety

1.1 The Church entity publicly commits to child safeguarding.

1.1.1    The Church entity has a Child Safeguarding Policy that is written in a clear and easily understandable way, and that is publicly available.

1.1.2    The policy is approved and signed by the Church Authority and/or relevant leadership body of the Church entity.

1.1.3    The Church entity publishes a Child Safety Commitment Statement that is written in a clear and easily understandable way, is openly displayed and publicly available.

1.2 Child safeguarding is a shared responsibility at all levels of the Church entity.

1.2.1    Leaders of the Church entity foster a culture of protecting children and upholding children’s rights.

1.2.2    The Church entity appoints a Safeguarding Trustee/Champion at the highest level of leadership who is responsible for advocating on behalf of children.

1.2.3    The Church entity appoints and promotes the role of Safeguarding Coordinator(s), with clearly defined responsibilities for safeguarding children at Diocesan or congregational level. Coordinators are responsible for reporting to the leadership about the entity’s child safe performance.

1.2.4    Leaders of the Church entity ensure that all relevant policies and procedures include appropriate safeguarding approaches, requirements and responsibilities.

1.2.5    The Church entity ensures the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards apply across all its operations.

1.2.6    Church personnel know that child safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.

1.2.7    Church personnel feel empowered to have a say in, and influence decisions about child safeguarding.

1.3 A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for Church personnel on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.

1.3.1    The Church entity provides guidance on appropriate and expected standards of behaviour of Church personnel towards children.

1.3.2    There are clear ways, such as whistle blowing, in which Church personnel can raise allegations and suspicions about unacceptable behaviour towards children by other Church personnel.

1.3.3    Guidance to Church personnel makes it clear that discriminatory behaviour or language in relation to any of the following is not acceptable: race, culture, age, gender, disability, religion, sexuality or political views.

1.4 The Church entity has risk management strategies focusing on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children.

1.4.1    The Church entity has a clearly documented safeguarding risk management plan, as part of its overall risk management strategy, which considers all possible risks relating to children.

1.4.2    Leaders of the Church manage child safety risks effectively, through regular monitoring, reporting and review of risks.

1.4.3    Risk management practices ensure that children are adequately supervised and protected when partaking in all activities and/or projects.

1.5 Governance mechanisms and clearly articulated expectations are in place to manage information sharing and record keeping.

1.5.1    Policies and procedures in relation to record keeping and information sharing are in accordance with Australian Privacy Principles and relevant State legislative requirements.

1.5.2    Church personnel are aware of and understand their obligations in relation to data collection, information sharing and record keeping,

1.6 The Church Authority and entity apply the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and risk management approaches to all ministries and activities, including overseas where relevant

1.6.1    The Church entity has appropriate governance processes in place to assess, evaluate, review and oversee the safeguarding of children participating in, or receiving, ministries including cultural immersions, pilgrimages and solidarity campaigns.

1.6.2    The Church Authority has clearly documented processes in place that demonstrate the application of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards where the Church Authority’s governance includes countries other than Australia.