Julie Hintz (former StraNdZ Children and Families Enabler) wrote,
"Working with SafeHere, with ready access to resources and templates, as well as personnel records, has made our implementation of safety policy and procedure so much easier. We have teams that work online, and others that prefer to work with printed forms. In either case, everything we need is available and easy to access. In addition, the training modules are easy to use, interactive and engaging. For our Anglican Dioceses, SafeHere is making a big difference in helping to keep our children, youth and vulnerable adults safe!"
Many of the endorsements that follow later on this page date from the early days when the SafeHere branding was not in use as most resources were still printed in Australia with the ChildSafe branding. However, all materials are now adapted for/printed in New Zealand and the SafeHere brand has led to a growing interest from those who struggled with the 'child' aspect of the old brand.
We suggest you first read the testimony that follows of a person trained through this system in the early days - this story is not alone in encouraging us to believe we can make a difference in our communities, training one person at a time!
Dr Thrill says "Training who needs it? I already know everything!"
Testimonial from a New Zealand teacher, who received ChildSafe training when preparing to work as a volunteer at an SUNZ camp for primary aged children. (Permission gained and changes made to ensure anonymity.)
This volunteer felt compelled to write and express his feelings to the person responsible for organising the pre camp trainings he attended a few years ago.
He wrote, “One of the sessions that stuck out for me was what we used to do around the disclosure of abuse etc. One reason why they made such an impression was because I thought they were pointless and that, living in a safe country like New Zealand and working with mainly children from churched backgrounds, we would never be in a situation where we would have needed to utilise the strategies and the information that we were taught.
However... there is always a however.
Now I am a teacher and one day a child in my class came to school late and very visibly upset. After 10-15mins of talking with this child, he disclosed that he had been beaten up by his father in the morning. I was shown the marks that were left by the belt. I was able to utilise the skills that I learnt through the ChildSafe sessions to support the boy so that actions could be taken to ensure that he went home to a safe place that evening. The outcome was a CYFS visit and the father being charged with Assault on a Minor, to which he pleaded guilty.
I have not told many people about this day - pretty much the worst day of my life and a horrible day to be at school. However, I thought that it was poignant to pass on this information and an encouragement that the training that you do is very transferrable and it is good that you continue to have the focus on these sorts of things at future SUNZ camps.
Thank you for running those sessions. It enabled me to remain calm, help the child to feel supported and safe at school and, whilst a tricky situation, I believe that reporting to Senior Management and then on to CYFS and the Police was the right decision for this child. I was also able to remember the things that were discussed on those days to help me deal with a sensitive subject for the boy and be able to let him say the things to me that he wanted to be said.”
We are very grateful for the willingness of this teacher to allow us to use his story. However, we are greatly concerned because, in the New Zealand environment where we are seeking to encourage a better understanding of these issues, we find growing evidence that we fail to adequately train our teachers in matters concerning child protection.
ChildSafe Endorsements and Users
Endorsements from earlier days
‘ChildSafe is one of the most comprehensive training and resource packages available in this field in New Zealand. Organisations and church groups wanting to thoroughly equip and train their workers in safe ministry practice will find this a superlative tool.’
- Sean Pawson (past National Children’s Ministry Consultant, Baptist Churches of NZ)
'There is nothing in New Zealand which comes close to what we need in managing risks in a volunteer context. Other camping organisations are asking us about ChildSafe, and want to apply it in their contexts. Childsafe definitely leads the way.'
- Meredith MacKenzie (past Administration Manager, Scripture Union New Zealand)
‘I hosted the launch of the ChildSafe material at Parliament in 2008 and have continued to be impressed with the comprehensive nature of the material, the breadth of application it can have and with how user-friendly it is. Many organisations who regularly provide activities and services for children and young people are already grabbing this material with both hands, as it saves them re-inventing the proverbial wheel when it comes to ensuring that they have health and safety policies, in regards to their work with children and young people. I look forward to the time when every New Zealand organisation that includes children and young people in their activities operates under a ChildSafe banner.'
- Judy Turner (ex MP) President, UnitedFuture New Zealand
'What is unique about the program is that it can work for schools, for churches etc. I haven’t seen anything else that has the crossover from a risk management perspective, into different parts of the community.The Salvation Army is delighted with Childsafe. It means we have an appropriate level of professionalism and accountability.'
- Sonia Jeffrey Assistant Territorial Youth Secretary, The Salvation Army Southern Territory
‘In our view, ChildSafe is an excellent generic risk management system for organisations to adopt and implement their delivery of programs and services to children and young people. We commend ChildSafe Limited, and have no hesitation in recommending the use of ChildSafe by organisations that deliver programs and services to children and young people. This recommendation is informed by our recent detailed review of and input into the Team Members Pocket Guide and Team Leaders Guide. This review considered general risk management and child safety principles within the Australian context (but did not include specific State or Territory based legislative obligations).'
- Andrew Lind Partner, Corney & Lind Lawyers 17 Oct. 2007
‘I commend ChildSafe for making a positive contribution to making child-safe, child-friendly organisations a reality. I encourage all organisations that work with kids to take steps to become child-safe and child-friendly. Kids are safer from abuse and harm when organisations adopt good risk management practices and build a culture that respects, values and includes children and young people.’
- Gillian Calvert NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People
'Whilst our churches had been addressing these issues already, Childsafe takes us to another level. It adds a discipline to the risk management process. It completes the thoroughness of the system, providing uniform checks and balances. It is a fantastic system which I have already recommended to a couple of other NFP organisations.'
- Keith Booker General Secretary, Presbyterian Church of Queensland
In Victoria , the Commission for Children and Young People lists ChildSafe under the heading ‘Suggested helpful organisations and resources’ within their publication ‘A Guide for Creating a Child-safe organisation’.
The National BreakAway Manager (PFNZ Community Family Care) wrote,
"The Phineas & Ferb camp has been dubbed our most successful camp, because it was fraught with challenges and difficulties to overcome. However, it was out of these difficulties that we saw just how effective the safety planning (ChildSafe/SafeHere) and the emergency response plan was. Those difficulties created an atmosphere of honesty, taking responsibility and repentance, as well as the campers learning first hand in an experiential manner how to safely handle their anger. Some of our campers that are almost 15 years of age have expressed a desire to become leaders in the future, which presents us with an opportunity to work closely with them to develop them. What a privilege this is."
ChildSafe/SafeHere has been particularly well received within the Christian sector, where over 3000 churches are either using ChildSafe or are getting ready to use it. Others are now exploring its use in other sectors and realising that it has real relevance when working with other age groups too.
Scripture Union movements around Australia and New Zealand use ChildSafe/SafeHere. Over 10,000 volunteers and staff within Scripture Union are using ChildSafe/SafeHere.
A range of smaller groups and individual churches have bought the ChildSafe/SafeHere materials. They span every state and territory of Australia, with growing numbers in New Zealand, including groups using ChildSafe/SafeHere to successfully enable them to meet OSCAR standards of approval.
A range of larger church organisations and other groups use/have bought into our safety management system (with or without SMO) including:
- Scripture Union in New Zealand
- StraNdZ (Anglican Children and Families Ministry Aotearoa New Zealand)
- Prison Fellowship New Zealand
- The Lutheran Church of New Zealand
- The Methodist Church of New Zealand
- The Anglican Diocese of Grafton
- The Apostolic Church of Australia
- The Baptist Union of Western Australia
- Churches of Christ Queensland
- Churches of Christ South Australia / Northern Territory
- Churches of Christ Western Australia
- The Lutheran Church of Australia
- OAC Ministries
- The Presbyterian Church of Queensland
- Queensland Baptists
- The Salvation Army Southern Territory
- Scripture Union ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia
ChildSafe is supported and recommended by:
- Ansvar Insurance
- Australian Evangelical Alliance