Safe Churches

About Safe Churches

Safe churches begin and end with the knowledge that God’s love is for all people. We are called to love all others, but God also has a special concern for the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed.

Safeguarding is both an individual and a corporate responsibility. The Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 and the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulation 2011 have certain requirements that relate to churches.

The Safe Church Policy addresses the obligations and responsibilities of churches to provide safe environments for all people that they engage with.

A suite of tools and resources is provided on this site and updated regularly, to assist in the implementation of the Safe Church Policy.

CofC has developed the 3 Whats Framework that guides all our interaction with children and young people and reminds us that we are all guardians: we are all responsible for keeping kids safe.
We also know that child safety can be a difficult topic for many, so we have developed a list of Child Safe Support Services that you can reach out to or refer others to for support:

Screening and Training Staff, Volunteers and Leaders

Having a commitment to good practices in selecting, screening and training of all staff, leaders and volunteers is key to creating a safe environment within a church. This is especially important for those who are entrusted with working with or making decisions about ministry to children and vulnerable people.

Safe Ministry Check

Churches of Christ provides affiliated churches with access to Safe Ministry Check. Developed in partnership with Ansvar insurance, Safe Ministry Check (SMC) is an online program that provides a process and record of screening and training of volunteers, leaders, staff and board members. Safe Ministry Check focuses on promoting a safe culture and helping leaders and volunteers understand their responsibilities for keeping people safe. It also helps churches meet many of the obligations in relation to insurance coverage, and compliance with legislation and the CofC Safe Church Policy.

Please contact [email protected] or 1800 193 438 for more information.

Forms and resources

External resources and training


Creating a safe church includes ensuring the physical environment (buildings and equipment) is well maintained and that the spaces and equipment are suitable for the activities being conducted and the capabilities of those attending. Processes must also be in place to ensure hazards and damage can be made safe and repaired promptly. 

Forms and resources

External resources


The leadership of the church are responsible for reviewing and approving planned activities and programs prior to their commencement and ensuring all appropriate safety measures and contacts are in place. This is done via a risk assessment, which involves ensuring those who are supervising and leading programs and activities have asked and answered these questions:

  • What do we want to do?
  • Where will we do it?
  • What will be used (equipment, resources etc)?
  • Who is involved?
  • What could go wrong?
  • What do we need to do to keep it safe?
  • What will we do if something goes wrong anyway?

Forms and resources

External resources

Complaints, concerns and disclosures

The church leadership should encourage and provide ways for all complaints and concerns regarding any person, the church facilities or programs/ministries to be raised and addressed promptly. Where disclosures of abuse or complaints regarding child safety be received, regardless of whether they involve people connected to the church, these should be escalated appropriately and reported to the appropriate authorities. All records must be collected, used and stored in accordance with the Privacy Policy of the Affiliated Church.

Forms and resources

External resources

Persons of concern

Use the Concern Reporting Form if you become aware that someone connected to the church may be or is considered a Person of Concern as defined in the CofCQ Persons of Concern Policy. Return the form to [email protected] within 48 hours of becoming aware. If in doubt, report and the Safeguarding Response Group will work with you to determine the next steps. The presence of a Person of Concern must also be reported to police, even if the offense or allegation is historical.

Forms and Resources