Duty of care
"Duty of care requires that everything reasonable and practicable is done to protect the health, safety and well being of others,"
- Linda Vinall, Called to Care, Training and Development Officer.
This is our index of policy details, and online resources for Uniting Church SA's Duty of Care and Privacy policies.
UC Reference ID look up tool
Is your UC Ref ID current?
Have you mislaid your confirmation letter?
You can now, via the online Can't find ID, request your Screening and Authority Request reference ID to be sent to your email, if it is already on our files or as a SMS to your mobile. You can also request a hard copy of your confirmation letter to keep safely on file.
You may also choose to download a hard copy of the form and upon completion send to the Duty of Care - Screening Services Unit for processing.
Child Safe Environments
Recent changes to the Children's Protection Act have seen the introduction of regulations upon which organisations which provide services to children must comply with.
A compliance audit response was sent to the Department for Families SA in Feb 2011. The response for the Uniting Church SA was coordinated by the Called to Care, Training and Development Officer.
Congregations will not have to individually respond.
As an organisation who provides services to children/ young people, we have polices and practices that help us to provide safe environments. One of the legal responsibilities is being a Mandated Reporter of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Who is mandated to report Child Abuse and Neglect?
Under section 11(1) and (2) of the Children's Protection Act 1993, any person who is an employee of, or volunteer in, an organisation formed for religious or spiritual purposes (i.e. the church) are obliged by law to notify the Department (Families SA) if they suspect on reasonable grounds that a child/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 (13 14 78) must be made of that suspicion as soon as practicable after he or she forms the suspicion.
Part of our existing practices and policies is to provide training to enable people to understand their legal responsibility for Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect. Training courses are currently being conducted around the state.
See more information about Child Safe Environments - Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect Training for dates and further details.
Duty of Care (leadership) Policy
It is the policy and practice of The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (S.A.) (Uniting Church SA) that "all persons who have a responsibility through their role within the Church (whether paid or voluntary) and/or have the potential to have one to one contact with children, youth and vulnerable people" undergo a Screening and Authority Request. An integral part of this process is completing a Screening and Authority Request which includes a national criminal history check.
The Duty of Care policy requires that before appointing a person to a position of leadership, church councils must adopt a policy of screening and approving applicants for all leadership positions regardless of whether or not it is a paid or voluntary appointment.
This will involve:
- applying the six month rule. (i.e. not appointing persons to voluntary leadership roles if they have worshipped at your church for less than six months);
- arranging for a request (National Criminal History Record Check) to be conducted through the Presbytery and Synod Office;
- interviewing applicants;
- requesting and checking references.
It is important that leaders who care for children and young people are appropriately selected and adequately trained to work with the age groups for which they have responsibility.
The Uniting Church SA has produced a Privacy Manual as an aid to handling personal information in compliance with the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000. It has been prepared for the presbytery and synod, congregations and agencies of Uniting Church SA.
The purpose of this manual is to assist Uniting Church SA congregations and employees to ensure that their procedures and policies on collecting, storing, using and disclosing personal information complies with the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 (referred to in this document as "the Privacy Act").