by Mary-Ann Carver

LCA congregations have been making important progress in the child safety space over the past few years.

More than 82 per cent of congregations have this year either submitted a Child Safety Plan outlining their commitments for 2023–24, or an assurance that they have no children in regular attendance at their churches.

The plans have been developed in response to the LCA Child Safety Standards for Congregations. Introduced for implementation in all Australian congregations in 2021 and 2022, the standards require that plans are developed, submitted, and implemented by every congregation with children in regular attendance.

This is a promising development for the LCA and we are encouraged that child safety is being prioritised at the congregational leadership level. The progress in this area also pleasingly suggests congregations are embracing their new responsibilities in constructive and positive ways.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER

Please pray for our congregations – almost 250 in total – which have developed their child safety plans and made a clear commitment to developing a child-safe congregational culture.

Please also pray for them as they embrace their child safety challenges and embark upon their implementation journey during the remainder of 2023 and into 2024.

We also ask you to remember that our children are a precious gift from God with unique vulnerabilities requiring special care and consideration. Please pray for all our children, for their ongoing safety and wellbeing, and for their families too.

Mary-Ann Carver is LCA Child Protection Project Officer.

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