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Safeguarding Children in the Religious Sector (EL010)

This course is for any professional or volunteer who engages with children in a religious setting. For those outside the religious sector but who work in violence and abuse prevention and intervention, this course will provide a greater understanding of the nuanced nature of violence and abuse in religious settings and in the lives of those who affiliate with a religion.

Through the Safeguarding Children in the Religious Sector course you will learn what you can do to help create a child-safe organisation and gain the knowledge and skills to identify, respond and report child abuse and neglect. Help contribute to creating positive change for the children and young people of Aotearoa New Zealand.

What will I learn?
• Understanding interpersonal violence – different settings it occurs in, by whom and types of abuse. This includes spiritual abuse.
• Understand why protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect is important.
• Learn the unique role and mandate of the religious sector and the implications of this in the preventing and responding to violence and child abuse.
• Consider the potential of religious institutions, communities, and congregations to help prevent and respond to violence and child abuse.
• Consider the structures and cultures within religious settings which can enable violence and child abuse.
• Learn what religious institutions, communities and congregations need to do to create child-safe settings.
• Be able to recognise signs of potential abuse and neglect.
• Know how to respond, for example, be able to handle a ‘disclosure’ (where a child or young person gives you signs, they are at risk).
• Learn how to report your concerns, and to whom, and how to document them.

Who is this course for?
This e-learning is for all those in the religious sector who work with children and young people.


Group training and content warning
It is not recommended to complete this eLearning in a group environment as some course content may be triggering for individuals who may have experienced childhood trauma. We recommend wearing headphones. To ensure your wellbeing, trigger warnings are given throughout our course with support guidance provided.

Duration: 2.5-3 hours

  • Course introduction
  • Course information
  • Nau mai haere mai
  • Understanding the issue
  • Statistics and impact
  • Interpersonal violence explained
  • Preventing violence and child abuse
  • The importance of safeguarding in religious settings
  • The role of the religious sector
  • Challenges you may face
  • How to create child-safe religious institutions
  • Child-safe organisations
  • Defining violence and child abuse
  • What is child abuse?
  • Vulnerability: risk and protective factors
  • Types and nature of violence and abuse
  • Quiz 1
  • Recognising signs of violence and abuse
  • Recognising abuse and neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Spiritual abuse
  • Types of spiritual abuse
  • Spiritual abuse at home
  • Spiritual abuse in secular organisations
  • Religious abuse
  • Quiz 2
  • Grooming
  • Definition
  • Positions of trust in religious settings
  • Power and control in a religious setting
  • Not speaking out
  • DARVO Model
  • Quiz 3
  • Responding
  • Information sharing
  • Responding to disclosures
  • Responding to barriers
  • Reporting and recording
  • Reporting
  • Recording
  • Quiz 4
  • Conclusion
  • Conclusion
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: 2 years