Almost 140 Adsafe compliance assistants from local churches across Australia and New Zealand took part in an online forum conducted by Adsafe staff on November 21.
Adsafe general manager Ann Beaumont opened the inaugural Adsafe safeguarding forum, highlighting the important role that Adsafe compliance assistants undertake in ensuring that churches are as safe as possible for children and vulnerable people.
“Abuse has no place in a safe Adventist community,” said Ms Beaumont, emphasising Adsafe’s vision statement.
Various presenters unpacked Adsafe’s functions in relation to survivor services and redress, risk management and investigations, policy and safeguarding training. The presentations addressed questions submitted by participants prior to the forum, thereby offering targeted information.
Of particular interest was Murray Chapman’s presentation on policy, which led to the Zoom chatline buzzing with activity. One participant commented: “Murray this is wonderful! I already feel as though my education has been improved around all of this. Many thanks!”
It is planned to hold two further forums in 2022 for all Adsafe compliance assistants.
“These forums will be held shortly after officers take up their positions so that new Adsafe compliance assistants in particular can be given support in their role,” explained Emilda Lanka, Adsafe’s Australia/NZ Learning and Development officer.
“Further forums targeting particular jurisdictions will also be held to address differences in legislation and requirements across states and countries. Adsafe compliance assistants, pastors and conferences will be advised by Adsafe of upcoming events.”
Participants expressed their appreciation to Adsafe for hosting the forum and for their support. “It is great to know that we are not alone in implementing this important role in our churches” and “Thank you for the outstanding work (often unseen) that you all do. It felt very daunting to take on a role that impacts every church in such a crucial way” were two comments shared in the chatline.
Safeguarding resources are located on the Adsafe website: https://www.adsafe.org.au/safeguarding
To contact Adsafe: 1800 220 468 (Australia) or 0800 442 458 (New Zealand).