A new system
In Australia as of 15 June this year, there are new requirements for working with children. This is a thoroughly good idea, that will involve rigorous checks for anyone working with kids – including in churches.
“A Working With Children Check involves a national criminal history check and review of reported workplace misconduct, and the result is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. If the outcome is a clearance, the Check can be used for any paid or unpaid child-related work in NSW.”
The process is different in each state, but here's an overview what's happening in NSW. The new process is being rolled out in phases, and churches are the first phase to be brought into the new system.
Harnessing the member database
At Church by the Bridge, we use Elvanto as our member database, and one of the great things about Elvanto is its flexibility to record information. You can create whatever fields you like to store whatever information you need.
I've been working with the team here to understand the government and Diocesan requirements, and how we can use Elvanto as one part of a process of keeping our kids safe.
Below are the fields that I've created in Elvanto in a new section on our database called ‘Working with Children':
Please note: this is a work in progress and we are still confirming the requirements. However, I hope it gives you can idea of what is possible.
Another great feature of Elvanto is its ability to generate reports based on any data that has been recorded. For example, I could create a report to tell me everyone who is working with children, who we don't have a signed ‘working with children' declaration form:
This is just an example, again to illustrate what's possible. We're still working out what's best to report on in order to care for our kids.
As I said (and stress), this is a work in progress and we haven't figured it all out yet.
I share this with you to encourage you by showing you what's possible with technology, and how we can use technology to care for the kids in our churches.
If you've done some thinking on this, please share it with us.