The Catholic Church in Australia marks Safeguarding Sunday (formerly Child Protection Sunday) on the second Sunday of September each year – at the conclusion of National Child Protection Week.
On Safeguarding Sunday we pray for those who have been abused, their families and supporters. We recognise and apologise for the harm done by priests, religious and lay people in Church settings. Rebuilding trust and confidence in the Church requires constant work and vigilance.
We recommit to practices that support survivors and make the Catholic Church and its ministries the safest possible place for children and people at risk.
In 2022 Safeguarding Sunday fell on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of September. The theme for that year was Safe and Supported. The Gospel of the day reminded us how attentive we should be to people in need, including those who have separated themselves from the community. It indicated, too, the level of care we ought to have for children in the Church and the seriousness with which we should observe the safeguards.
You can find resources for Safeguarding Sunday and more about the Church’s work in this area at:
National Child Protection Week looks more broadly at the need of children for protection. Its theme in 2022 was “Every child in every community needs a fair go”. It asked us to reflect on the support that children need to grow into confident and trusting adults, free from abuse of every kind.
Children and young people thrive when they grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture. They have the right to grow up in environments that support them according to their needs, now and into the future. Let’s consider how we create a supportive environment for every child within our Church.
As a Church we must make safe the environment in which children and vulnerable people live and participate in. We can do this by ensuring that they are listened to, are accompanied, that they are not vulnerable to predators and that protocols of conduct with children and vulnerable people are strictly observed.
The National Child Protection Week webinars explore what works to keep children safe and supported; what children are telling us; what families are telling us; what the evidence is telling us and how to translate this knowledge into action. These are free and will be recorded so as able to be accessed any time during the year. Click here to register for the free webinars
Please click here to access the Children’s Activity Book for National Child Protection Week.
Use the link below to learn more about the 2022 National Child Protection Week: