17 September, 2019

Duty of Care at CoroUniting

As a church community, CoroUniting fully embraces the SA Synod [Safe Church Policy](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/sc-policies/Safe-Church-Policy.pdf) as an integral part of our Duty of Care. An important part of this relates to children in our care and is covered in detail on our [Child Safety at CoroUniting](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/child-safety-at-corouniting) resource page.

Other aspects of our Safe Church Duty of Care are:

Authorising and Appointing Leaders

When appointing leaders to positions of trust, influence or authority, we adhere to the 'Safe Church Authorisation and Appointment process' detailed in the SA Synod [Duty of Care Policy](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/sc-policies/Duty-of-Care-Policy.pdf). This includes applying the six-month rule, ensuring successful screening and interviewing and checking references.

All volunteers and lay leaders are also required to complete a [Code of Conduct for Volunteers and Lay Leaders](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/sc-docs/Code-of-Conduct-for-Volunteers-and-lay-leaders-0518.pdf) and [Confidentiality Agreement](https://www.corouniting.org/d/CGN1qOUFQQdrtMaQWVHhEeMKb).

Screening Checks

In addition to the new [Working with Children Check](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks) (WWCC), additional checks are required for those volunteers or staff who deal with money, drive people to/from church activities or engage in intentional pastoral care on behalf of the congregation.

These checks are valid for 3 years and are free for all volunteers. The [Information on the Screening and Authority Process](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/Information-on-the-screening-and-authority-process.pdf) sheet gives full details about which check is needed for various different roles.

[General Employment Probity Check](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/general-employment) - required for...

- Ministry Agents in active service (eg. Ministers and Pastors) and employees in the church

- Church Council members and office bearers (incl. Privacy Officer, Property Officer etc)

- Anyone who is rostered or requested by a church leader to drive members to/from church activities

- Anyone who deals with or handles money

[Vulnerable Person Related Employment Check](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/vulnerable-people) - required for...

- Ministry Agents in active service (eg. Ministers and Pastors) and employees in the church

- Anyone who undertakes intentional pastoral care on behalf of the congregation

- Anyone who leads or assists with worship services in aged care facilities or hospitals

- Anyone who works with refugees or migrants

- Anyone offering social support services (eg. counselling, financial support, soup kitchen)

Event Planning (incl. Risk Assessment)

There are a lot of factors to consider when planning an event, especially with the Work, Health and Safety Act of 2012 in SA.

You can use [this Event Planning Guide](https://sa.uca.org.au/event-planning-guide/Event-Planning-Guide.pdf) (incl. checklist) to help you through the process. This is a fillable PDF with links to the various forms including:

- [Hazard Management: General Risk Assessment Form](https://sa.uca.org.au/human-resources/workplace-policies/hazard-management-policy-and-procedure)

- Incident Management: Incident Report Form (see below)

- [SA Government Food Safety for Charities](http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/Protecting+public+health/Food+standards/Food+industry+sector+information/Charity+and+community+groups+and+food+safety)

Incident Reporting

This [Incident Report form (CoroUniting)](https://www.corouniting.org/d/M6hUbjvJoqRhQ5VaMJ3XwAu1K) is to be used to report all accidents/incidents and near misses (as defined in the [Incident Management Policy & Procedure](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/human-resources/workplace-policies/Incident-Management-Policy-and-Procedure.pdf)). This will then be passed to the [Church Council Secretary](mailto:secretary@corouniting.org) who, if required, will then complete the official [Incident Report form](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/whs/Incident-Report-V3.pdf) and immediately pass this on to the SA Synod office to ensure SafeWork SA can be notified, where required, as per the Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Code of Ethics Training

This [training course](https://unitingcollege.edu.au/code-of-ethics/) introduces a code of ethics that includes training on the awareness of the prevention of sexual misconduct. It is mandatory for all Ministers and Pastors with a 3-hour refresher course to be held annually.

Called to Care Orientation Sessions

Called to Care Orientation Sessions promote and assist the Uniting Church community with relevant information about ensuring a safe physical, emotional and spiritual environment. In order for our ministry to be effective we need to incorporate safe and best practices in leadership, in our programs, our actions, our behaviours and within our facilities, and this session looks at people-centred solutions to:

- Pastoral care

- Risk management for People and Property

- Healthy governance

- Up to date employment/volunteer practices

More information, including training dates can be found on the SA Synod [Safe Church Training Courses](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/training-courses) web page. We will cover the cost of anyone working or volunteering with children within the church who would like to undergo this course. Please contact our [Safe Church Officer](mailto:office@corouniting.org) to make the necessary arrangements.

More Information

Reporting concerns and matters of abuse

Current situations: If you believe a child or adult is in immediate danger please call SA Police on 000.

If the concern relates to a child at risk of harm or potentially at risk call the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) on 13 14 78.

If any of the above involves any person in a leadership / role of responsibility within the church please notify the Safe Church Committee by telephoning (08) 8236 4268 or by [email](mailto:safechurch@sa.uca.org.au).

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17 September, 2019

Child Safety at CoroUniting

As a church community, CoroUniting takes the safety of the children in our care very seriously. The screening checks that need to be undertaken for anyone in a role of responsibility with children are an important part of this.

Screening (Working with Children) Checks

All those in a role of responsibility (ie. all leaders and helpers aged 14+) are required by law to have a valid [Working with Children Check](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks) (WWCC) through the Department of Human Services (DHS). This is applied for via the [Uniting Church Screening & Authority process](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/screening) and is explained in detail on [this information sheet](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/Information-on-the-screening-and-authority-process.pdf).

The WWCCs were introduced on 1 July 2019 and are a stronger, more effective and transparent system than the previous Uniting Church Screening Checks. From now until 30 June 2020 we are in a transition period as the new WWCC process is established. During this time:

- If you have a current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearance, this will be recognised as a WWCC under the law, until it expires.

- If you have a current, valid Uniting Church Screening Check (ie. the previous 'Police Check'), this will be recognised as a WWCC under the law until 1 July 2020 (unless it expires earlier). If it expires after 1 July 2020 you will need to undertake the new process before May 2020 (to ensure sufficient processing time).

For the purposes of working or volunteering within the Uniting Church, a valid WWCC is either:

- A current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearance, or

- A current, valid Uniting Church Screening Authority, ie. either one of the old 'Police Checks' (valid until it expires or until 1 July 2020 at the latest), or a new WWCC as per the [Uniting Church Screening & Authority process](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/screening).

Why the Change?

There are several differences between the old and new schemes. Some of the more obvious of these are:

- The new checks are portable, in other words WWCCs from another organisation are now able to be recognised by the Uniting Church, ie. there is no longer a need to complete a specific Uniting Church check if you already have a valid WWCC through another organisation (eg. via the Education Department)

- The new checks are valid for 5 years and are continuously monitored (instead of a 3 year validity)

- The new checks are more expensive... but are still free for all volunteers

For more FAQs see pp.5-6 of the [Information on the Screening and Authority Process](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/Information-on-the-screening-and-authority-process.pdf) document.

Quick Steps for Screening Checks

The [Process for Screening Checks](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/process-for-screening-checks.pdf) is below and should be completed via the [Uniting Church Screening & Authority process](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/screening) web page.

- Apply for a screening with the Uniting Church

- * Use the emailed link (note the link is not necessarily emailed immediately) to complete your screening request with the DHS

- Notification of your screening status will be sent to the Synod office and to the email you provided in your application

- Forward this information to our [Safe Church Officer](mailto:office@corouniting.org) for evidence that you have completed the screening and keep a record of the number for your own records

* Note that if you don't have an Australian driver's licence and an Australian passport (acceptable even if expired for up to two years) or a numbered Australian birth certificate or a numbered Australian citizenship certificate, you will need to complete this [100 Point Identity Verification Check](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/100-point-form.pdf) instead of using the online DHS process.

Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect

Any person who works or volunteers in a church is obliged by law to notify the [Department for Child Protection](https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/) (formerly Families SA) if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child or young person has been or is being abused or neglected and the suspicion is formed in the course of the person's work (whether paid or voluntary) or in carrying out official duties.

Notification to the [Child Abuse Report Line](https://www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/reporting-child-abuse) (13 14 78) must be made as soon as practicable after the person forms the suspicion.

Part of the church's ongoing best practices is to provide training opportunities for people to understand their legal responsibility for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect. We offer the “Safe Environments – Through their eyes” training course. This is the standard accredited package with all trainers approved by the department to deliver this content, however please note that this is not the DECD RAN version of the course. This educative awareness training is for anyone who has contact with children and vulnerable people and covers:

- What is child abuse and neglect?

- How to identify it

- Why, when and how to make a notification

- How to respond, support and protect a child or young person who has been abused

More information, including training dates can be found on the SA Synod [Safe Church Training Courses](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/training-courses) web page. We will cover the cost of anyone working or volunteering with children within the church who would like to undergo this course. Please contact our [Safe Church Officer](mailto:office@corouniting.org) to make the necessary arrangements.

More Information

Reporting concerns and matters of abuse

Current situations: If you believe a child or adult is in immediate danger please call SA Police on 000.

If the concern relates to a child at risk of harm or potentially at risk call the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) on 13 14 78.

If any of the above involves any person in a leadership / role of responsibility within the church please notify the Safe Church Committee by telephoning (08) 8236 4268 or by [email](mailto:safechurch@sa.uca.org.au).

Can't find your ID?

If you have a current, valid Uniting Church Screening Check (ie. the old 'Police Check') and you can't find your ID you can recover this via this [online portal](https://portal.sa.uca.org.au/Portal/pub/Forms/recoverScreeningID.aspx).

Additional checks and resources

Certain roles within the life of the church require additional checks as detailed on our [Duty of Care at CoroUniting](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/duty-of-care-at-corouniting) resource page.

See the linked documents and website for further details including links to:

- [Child Safe Policy](https://www.corouniting.org/d/CF5rwtrapZb1YuP5S4Vcq7iaI) (2018)

- [Safe Church Policy](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/sc-policies/Safe-Church-Policy.pdf)

- [National Child Safety Policy Framework](https://assembly.uca.org.au/images/resources/royal-commission/National_Child_Safe_Policy_Framework.pdf) (2017)

- [Tools for Listening](https://assembly.uca.org.au/tools-for-listening) (Consultation Draft - July 2019)

For further information, please contact our [Safe Church Officer](mailto:office@corouniting.org) or email [Called to Care](mailto:calledtocare@sa.uca.org.au) in the Synod office.

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