Protecting these in our care

The Boys’ Brigade Australia does not tolerate any acts of abuse, physical or mental, towards children or adults and will actively seek to prevent its occurrence. It is important to be particularly watchful about this matter, not only to ensure the prevention of these acts, but to also ensure no false accusations about leaders can be made. It is every leaders’ responsibility to watch out for, and keep other leaders accountable in these areas. Where such an incident is found to have occurred the action taken may include:

  • reporting to the Church Governing Body
  • reporting to the Police and/or the Department Of Community Service
  • or other disciplinary steps as may be appropriate.

Who to contact if you suspect a problem
When dealing with people’s credibility, discretion and due privacy must be observed.
Your first contact should be the Company Church Minister AND the Executive Officer of The Boys’ Brigade Australia who will commence the appropriate action.
Be aware of adults (or boy helpers)

  • who appear to be exercising too much control over children (includes youth)
  • organise activities when they are the only leader present
  • manipulate situations to provide one to one situations with children
  • who offer gifts or bribes to children
  • who insist that they are the only one to deal with a particular child
  • who personally escorts children alone to the toilet
  • who organise sleep-overs at their home with no other leaders present
  • who offer private tuition only at their premises or location that only they can approve
  • who behave in such a way as to raise your suspicion.

How to prevent abuse or false allegations
When leaders are appointed, the Captain and the Church leadership need to be aware of their past. Each person should supply at least two references of people that they have worked with previously in children’s ministry.
When the Church Governing Body approves a leader to work in a Company they must be aware of the applicant’s past, spiritual life, family situation, motivation to work in this ministry and the applicant personally.
ALL Leaders who work with children MUST be presented and approved (this includes all helpers and ancillary workers).
All leaders (both new and existing) must attend a Brigade Duty of Care – Code of Conduct Training Session.

In Western Australia you must have a current Working With Children Card before working with boys.

Although no system is foolproof, we need to ensure we do all we can to minimise risk. Remember it is every leader’s responsibility to watch out for Boys and keep other leaders behaving appropriately always.

What to do if you discover abuse
Abuse damages people if not dealt with. If you are aware of acts of abuse, they need to be dealt with appropriately.
Again, your first contact should be with the Company Church Minister AND the Executive Officer of The Boys’ Brigade Australia.
Abusers keep on abusing, manipulating and preying on children. Unless the matter is dealt with, abuse will continue. Although the individual in question may go away, it will not stop abuse, it will just move it.
If any case arises, no leader should every publicly speak on the matter except for: “I am not authorised to speak on this matter, please refer all enquiries to The Executive Officer of The Boys’ Brigade Australia.”

The best possible care
The Boys’ Brigade Australia is committed to providing Boys with activities and personal development programs within a safe caring environment. A Boy attending Boys’ Brigade should find caring Leaders; find a loving safe and caring environment; feel safe at all times; and should not receive any forms of abuse.