How active are local churches in caring for people with disabilities?
According to our research in 2016, around one in six churches had provided social services or social action activities to care for people with disabilities, in the past 12 months.
These activities and services included such things as skills training, respite or home care. Some 11% of churches said they had provided such services occasionally and another 5% did so more frequently, on a monthly, weekly or daily basis.
In the 2016 National Church Life Survey, participating churches were asked how often they ran social services or social action activities, specifically in care for people who were disabled, e.g. skills training, respite or home care. While 11% of churches said they had provided such services occasionally, another 5% were more frequently active, doing so monthly, weekly or daily. The substantial majority of local churches (84%) however had not provided such activities.
Running activities and services to care for the disabled differed between churches by the size of the church, the denomination and the year they were founded.
Many churches are actively engaged in being a place of inclusion and provision for people with disabilities. More information on these provisions and commitments are available in the articles below, and in the research paper 'Disability inclusion, provision and care in churches'.
A range of infographics are available for download on disability provision, inclusion and care in churches.
Gan, C. Pepper, M. & Powell, R. (2018). Disability Inclusion, Provision and Care among Local Churches in Australia. NCLS Research Occasional Paper 29. Sydney: NCLS Research.
Pepper, M., Powell, R., & Hancock, N. (2017). Commissioned Report No. 2017.04: Disability Inclusion – Church Attender Views and Experiences. Sydney: NCLS Research.
Many churches provide for disabilities, from ramps to an inclusive culture