Child Safety Self-Assessments and Plans now only need to be completed on a biennial basis (once every two years) instead of annually.
The General Church Board approved the change at its August meeting, in response to feedback from congregations and districts.
‘We hope this change will assist congregations to meet their child-safety obligations and also help them to keep their workload manageable’, said LCA Child Protection Project Officer Mary-Ann Carver. ‘Importantly, it will provide congregations with a two-year period to implement their child safety initiatives.’
In addition to providing congregations with more time to implement their child safety plans, the extended timeframe gives the church’s child protection support staff more time to raise awareness across the church about the importance of child-safe cultures and more opportunities to support congregations requiring assistance.
‘This means that if you have already completed your Child Safety Self-Assessment and Child Safety Plan for 2022, you do not have to do this again until mid-2024’, Ms Carver said. ‘Instead, you can focus on implementing your Child Safety Plan and reviewing your progress.
‘If you have already completed your Child Safety Self-Assessment but are still developing your Child Safety Plan, once your plan is endorsed by your church council or leadership team, you will not have to undertake another Self-Assessment or develop another Child Safety Plan until mid-2024.’
A suite of resources is available on the LCA website to assist congregations as they prepare their Child Safety Self-Assessment and Child Safety Plan. Go to the Child Safety Standards landing page and follow the links.
READ MORE STORIES ABOUT Child Safety Standards