LCA members are being invited to contribute to consultations as part of the church’s commitment to developing a child-safe culture.
The consultations are part of the LCA Child Protection Project, which was established to oversee the implementation of recommendations from the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission made more than 400 recommendations, about 70 of which relate directly to institutions such as the LCA, its entities, services, programs and congregations.
LCA Child Protection Project Officer Mary-Ann Carver has been briefing district church councils and will next month commence the churchwide consultations. She will speak with pastors, church workers, district staff, congregational leaders and members, including children, young people and their families.
The Royal Commission recommended that all organisations with child-related responsibilities, including churches, implement 10 principles endorsed in February this year by the Council of Australian Governments. It also recommended that adherence to the principles be both mandatory and government regulated. While this will be a major change for churches, particularly at the congregational level, Ms Carver said it was important that LCA members did not view this ‘simply as a new compliance framework with implications for increased paperwork and increased burdens for our church volunteers’.
‘Instead, we should try to embrace this change as a genuine vehicle for enhancing child safety within the church and for encouraging increased participation of children and young people in worship and other church activities’, she said.
Members interested in being involved in the consultations should contact Ms Carver on 08 8267 7384, or 0490 281 727, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org