Adding our voice: National strategy to prevent abuse
Ideas and concerns from across the Uniting Church have formed part of a UCA submission to the Australian Government as part of final consultations towards a nationwide strategy to prevent child abuse.
“As a Church, we are committed to keeping children safe and creating safe, nurturing and welcoming spaces for children and young people, ” says Rev John Cox, National Director, National Safe Church Unit.
“Contributing to this whole-of-nation approach to preventing and responding to child abuse is an important part of the action we take together to keep children safe.”
Safe Church Leads in Synods worked with the National Safe Church Unit on the written response to the Consultation Paper released by the National Office for Child Safety.
Creating a national approach to preventing child abuse was a key recommendation of Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It will focus on preventing abuse in all settings including in institutions, within families, and online.
This approach includes changing culture and attitudes around child sexual abuse through education and awareness raising, supporting children who show harmful sexual behaviours, offender prevention interventions, and giving victims and survivors of child sexual abuse access to the right supports at the right time.
The National Strategy will also consider the unique needs of particular groups, including: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, people with a disability, people who identify as LGBTIQA+, children (including youth in out-of-home care), and regional, remote and very remote communities.
The National Safe Church Unit was created as part of the Church’s response to the Royal Commission and its commitment to ensuring all people can feel safe in all parts of the Church.
Information about the National Safe Church Unit and Safe Church Leads in each Synod can be found here.
Read more about the National Strategy here.