A commitment to safety

30 Nov 2022

By Ross Stewart

Earlier this year, the NSW Government made an amendment to the Children’s Guardian Act (2019) to clearly articulate the obligations of the head of each Child Safe Organisation (typically the chair of elders/board or the senior minister, for churches). These can be found in Section 8D – Systems, policies and processes

Pleasingly, most of our churches have already complied with most of these requirements simply by adopting and implementing the Safe Church Package that we have previously made available. (If your church does not have safe ministry policies and procedures in order, your church leaders can find them in the Ministry Portal under Safe Ministry.) 

Notably, one new addition to the legislation is the expectation that each Child Safe Organisation has a statement of commitment to child safety. As Christians, however, our concern is to ensure all people are safe. With that in mind, a “statement of commitment to safety” is more appropriate. Such a statement will include the following elements: 

  • We uphold the basic human rights of all people, including children;
  • We will actively seek to listen and empower children;
  • We will have a zero-tolerance to child abuse;
  • We will have systems to protect children from abuse;
  • We take all allegations very seriously and will respond to them consistently;
  • We are committed to promoting a safe environment for children from culturally diverse backgrounds and for children with a disability;
  • We respect the right to privacy for all people. 

It is strongly encouraged not to ‘copy and paste’ a statement from elsewhere, as church leaders must own their statement. Once a statement has been drafted and approved by the local church leaders, it should be inserted in the Safe Church Policy and made public (either in newsletters, on your website, or included in posters and social media). 


If you have any questions regarding your statement of commitment to safety, feel free to reach out to Ross Stewart (Safe Ministry Practices Leader) via Ross.Stewart@ccnswact.org.au. 


Read more stories from churches of Christ in NSW & ACT HERE