Responding to Persons of Concern
In line with the Synod’s adoption of the General Synod Safe Ministry to Children Canon 2017 the Diocese has in place the Policy for Safe Ministry in a parish where there is a risk of sexual abuse by a Person of Concern. This policy helps to ensure the safety of adults and children where a Person of Concern (POC) is currently participating or wishes to participate in the life of a parish, and outlines in detail the process to be followed. A POC is defined as a person whose presence constitutes a risk of sexual abuse to people in the parish and may include one or more of the following:
a person who has pleaded guilty to, has been convicted of, or has admitted to having committed, a sexual criminal offence; or
a person who is currently charged with a sexual criminal offence; or
a person who has been disciplined or had other action taken against them under a disciplinary
or professional standards process of the Church because of Sexual Misconduct, or who has been refused ordination, employment or appointment in the Church because of an adverse risk assessment arising from Sexual Misconduct; or
a person against whom allegations of Sexual Misconduct are currently being dealt with under a disciplinary or professional standards process of the Church; or
a person who has been disciplined by an organisation other than the Anglican Church of Australia for Sexual Misconduct; or
a person who, as a result of Sexual Misconduct, has received an adverse risk assessment from a professional with appropriate qualifications and experience in accordance with the requirements of another church or a statutory authority; or
a person who has received or is receiving treatment for disordered sexual behaviour.
The Professional Standards Director (PSD) exercises major responsibility in the implementation of this policy, is responsible for managing the assessment of risk and must be involved in decisions about the POC. It is imperative that as soon as practicable after you suspect or know that a POC is participating or wishes to participate in the life of your parish, you notify the PSD. If you are unsure whether a person is a Person of Concern, or require further information or advice, please consult the PSD.