Church Safety

Whenever people connect with us they should be safe and feel that they are in a safe and caring environment. We can demonstrate our care for others by planning for safety, and addressing issues that might give rise to harm.  

There are a wide range of measures in place so that we can be a church of safe people in safe places. Our approach includes the Safe Church framework operating together with work health and safety (WHS) systems so that we can be protective, careful and confident about the safety of our people. 

As a church we care for the safety of others in a number of ways.  The different teams such as Safe Church and Risk, all work together to support a safe church for all people. There are laws that govern the processes we need to adopt; these apply to both WHS and to how we specifically protect anyone with additional vulnerability including children – as part of ‘safe church’.  

We look at these things together to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep people safe and show how we are doing this. To help in understanding this complex area, the legal requirements for the various aspects of church safety are outlined below. 

For health and safety, there are WHS Acts and Regulations, as well as workers compensation and injury management laws. 

To be a safe church for all people we need to embrace a culture of safety paying particular attention to; 

her to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep people safe, and show how we are doing this. To help in understanding this complex area, the legal requirements for the various aspects of church safety are outlined below. 

For health and safety, there are WHS Acts and Regulations, as well as workers compensation and injury management laws. 

For Safe Church, we work to fulfil a range of requirements; 

  • Child Safe Principles (or ‘child safe standards’ in NSW legislation). As a child safe organisation the implementation of each standard needs to be clearly demonstrated.
  • Mandatory Reporting (NSW and ACT legislation covering our responsibilities to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities) 
  • Reportable conduct (NSW and ACT legislation covering the requirements for our response to an offence, conviction or allegation of child-related misconduct by a Synod worker) 

All these things aim to embed a culture of church safety and to keep everyone in our care, safe. 

Health and Safety (‘WHS’) – Current Focus 

Congregations are encouraged to adopt a Health and Safety Policy Statement an example of which may be found here which articulates the Congregation and Church Council’s commitment to safety. It also sets out the approach that will be taken to provide a safe environment, equipment and activities at church. 

Commit to action 

  • Click here to access the manual on how a church council can commit to health and safety by developing a Health and Safety Policy Statement
  • Consult with staff and other workers about the policy statement 
  • Display the agreed policy statement in a prominent place. 

Resources 

To access a comprehensive suite of health and safety materials and a step by step approach to managing safety, see the Health and Safety Toolkit for congregations.