There is no need to re-write a child and youth risk management strategy for each congregation. Safe Ministry with Children (SMC) is designed to provide everything you need for compliance with this aspect of the legislation.
To save you additional work, all you need to do is to provide a minute from your church council meeting where you adopt the policy and accordingly your congregation will be taken to have provided your “statement of commitment”. SMC policy, processes and tools have been developed to provide you with the comfort (with less expense of time and money) of knowing it has been:
- checked with Occupational Health and Safety, Human Resources, Insurance and Legal;
- endorsed by the presbyteries, the general secretary and Synod Standing Committee;
- aligned with National Assembly policies and processes, church regulations;
- incorporates Royal Commission findings, current and emerging research and community best practice and;
- provides consistency in the handling of accountabilities, allegations and concerns.
By creating an additional version for the congregation you could be at risk of confusing members and creating the potential to deviate from the original approved child and youth risk management strategy.
The answer is no, but it is good to formally minute the decision so that it can be articulated back to anyone who asks.
For example: “The church council resolves that the xyz congregation will not conduct ministry with children until further notice. Accordingly no church council member will be under obligation to hold a blue card for the purpose of their office.” It is good to review this decision regularly so that you don’t miss opportunities to minister to your community.