Championing a Safe Church Culture!
Churches of Christ in WA takes seriously the Bible’s teaching regarding all people in our society, in particular the concern for the vulnerable and children. The purpose of Safe Training is to equip and encourage Church and ministry leaders of the importance of implementing policies and procedures that protect staff, volunteers, members/visitors, minors and the vulnerable. Is is about promoting and championing a safe church culture!
COCWA Safe is based on materials originally developed by the Childsafe organisation. We acknowledge Childsafe for their pioneering work in promoting safe practices in churches.
Over time, we’ve developed our own training materials. We chose the name “COCWA Safe” because we think that the principles of ensuring safe behaviours and safe environments applies to any volunteer and staff member serving in churches or ministry activities.
Each of our Churches are different and unique, therefore we have developed our training package to assist you with adapting the areas covered to your own church setting and environment.
We know that it’s a struggle to run training sessions that go beyond 90 minutes. We know that it’s a challenge to ensure that ALL volunteers engage with this training. Since Childsafe was first implemented across our Association in WA, we believe that keeping the face to face training to a minimum and asking Volunteers to be responsible for their own training experience has been effective in generating a healthy benchmark culture in small, mid and large size churches.
We love feedback! Please pass on any questions, comments or suggestions that emerge from your training experiences.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any information regarding this training package.
It is recommended that Churches conduct Safe Training to the their team every three years. It is also important to keep up to date with latest news and information relating to child safety requirements.
It is recommended that ALL volunteers go through this training with their Ministry Leader. This includes people who may be health or education professionals. Including all volunteers ensures that every person serving is aware of the practical details of your ministry setting, including your own policies and processes relating to safe behaviours and safe environments.
COCWA Safe Training
Safe Culture- promoting and championing best and safest practices
Safe Teams- volunteer screening (Working with Children Checks and National Police Checks), volunteer application forms, induction & orientation, ongoing training, recruiting safe leaders, supervision
Safe Environments- 1st aid kits, emergency evacuation procedures, incident reports, activity risk assessments, safety in numbers, sign in/sign out systems, child to adult ratio, open rooms, never one-on-one with a child
Safe People- responding appropriately to abuse; responding to ministry misconduct
- To assist Churches and organisations associated with COCWA to foster and maintain an overall culture of welcome and care through all activities.
- To ensure that volunteers can serve in a ministry setting with confidence in the event of an accident, incident, disclosure or when an issue of concern occurs.
- To assist Churches and organisations associated with COCWA in the communication of the policies and procedures related to safe behaviours and safe environments in their local setting.
Why COCWA Safe Training is Important
Many people receive training around safe behaviours and safe environments in their workplaces. So why is it important that all volunteers and staff (including teachers, childcare workers and medical professionals) attend a COCWA Safe Training event?
- So that in the event of an accident, incident, disclosure or when any other kind of undesirable event happens, you know what do to and who to go to. (Pull the lever rather than pushing the button.)
- So that every person, regardless of their age, gender, race or ability can be received with Christ-like welcome and care.
- Fostering a community around common values and practices (our personal values and practices may be different).
COCWA offer training to church and ministry leaders who can then go back to their church and/or ministry and train their team on how to be a safe church environment. We offer two courses in the year, or we can come out to your church and conduct the training upon arrangement.
If your church has already had a Safe Training session and would like to conduct your own session in-house, resources can be found on our Resources Page.
Upcoming Training Dates:
It is a legal requirement in WA for Ministers of Religion (Accredited Ministers) to report child sexual abuse to Communities’ mandatory reporting service. Complete the online training here.