Child safety applies to everyone

All synod staff will be required to complete safe church training over a five-week period ending in April.

Safe church educator Josh Tuhipa-Turner said the training is only a part of what the church is doing to make sure children are welcomed and protected in all its environments and activities.

“Our commitment to making the synod child safe is absolute,” he said.

“Part of that is holding synod operations to the same high standards we are asking and requiring of congregational-appointed leaders and volunteers.

“We have made significant steps forward on both the congregational and operational sides of the synod, and it’s concrete evidence of us experiencing cultural changes that will continue to be an enriching and life giving aspect of

our work.”

Mr Tuhipa-Turner said the training sessions have so far been well received by staff.

“The response has been positive and the conversations highly relevant and constructive,” he said.

One outcome has been that the training has encouraged and equipped units to think about how Child Safe Training applies to their work even if they have minimal contact with children.

“Uniting AgeWell is a good example,” Mr Tuhipa-Turner said.

“Staff have started considering how they can apply standards to the services they provide to ensure it is safe, and more importantly, enriching to the elderly person and the visiting child.”

Synod operations staff are also required to adhere to a Code of Conduct, obtain positive Working with Children Checks and adhere to reporting requirements.

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