Church culture must ‘never be complacent’ on child safety

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The Archdiocese of Sydney’s Safeguarding agency is just one of the many in the Archdiocese where roles are filled by women. Photo: Giovanni Portelli
The Archdiocese of Sydney’s Safeguarding agency launched digital resources for children and young people. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

Last Sunday the Archdiocese of Sydney’s Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office launched new resources for children and young people to mark the first day of 2020’s National Child Protection Week from 6-12 September.

Through a specially-designed digital Child and Young People Resource Button on the Archdiocesan Safeguarding and Child Protection website, children and young people can now access a range of new child-friendly resources to give help to kids who need it.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said that National Child Protection Week is a “timely reminder to all of us of the need for vigilance for the care and protection of children”.

“Jesus calls our Children to ‘come, follow him’ and become his disciples,” said the Archbishop. “Sending them out to be young missionaries to our world.”

A poster that belongs to the raft of new resources to help teach children safety awareness.

“The ‘Child and Young People Resource Button’ has material that has been created by children and young people, for children and young people and I’d encourage children, parents and career to jump online and access it.”

“We must never be complacent when it comes to ensuring a child-safe Church and community,” continued the Archbishop. “It is our legal, moral and spiritual responsibility to create a safe and nurturing environment for children.”

Director of the Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office Karen Larkman said that the office was pleased to take the opportunity of the 30th National Child Protection Week to raise awareness within parishes and communities on the importance of caring for and listening to children.

“To reach their full potential, children need access to shelter and care, they need to feel listened to and feel safe and loved,” said Karen Larkman. “Child protection week provides a platform for us to highlight the great work that is taking place in our parishes and communities in putting children front and centre every week of the year.”

“I hope you enjoy the new resources available on the Safeguarding website developed by children of the Archdiocese for children of the Archdiocese.  A big thank you to all of those children and parents who helped us develop these resources.”

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP reflects during Mass in St Mary's Cathedral. Archbishop Fisher has "with a heavy heart" ordered the closure of all churches in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said there is no room

The resources are available by clicking the Child and Young People Resource Button and include information handbooks, posters on online safety, seeking help, behaviour codes and the rights and responsibilities of children.

This is the fifth year that the Archdiocese of Sydney has participated in the National Child Protection Week, organised by the National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) founded in 1987.

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