Safe Church Screening

Posted in Faith

Often we hear ‘we don’t have any children – so we don’t need Working with Children Checks!’

While the name of this key screening check identifies Children as its primary focus, the definition under the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Regulations (SA) 7:(7)(2) defines ‘child related work’ as any services or activities provided by a religious organisation.

It’s nearly 5 years since the introduction of the Working With Childrens Check (WWCC) became a minimum requirement for those with roles of responsibility within the life of the church. We are aware that there are still many congregations where even those in key leadership roles (e.g. Church Council officers and members) may not have, or that we do not have, any record of active screenings. It is important that we are compliant with this requirement as a key factor in our safeguarding within our church community.

For those individuals who currently have WWCC that was completed through and/or registered through Synod Screening Unit, reminders are being sent to the email address recorded at the time of the check being completed.

Many who have General Probity and/or Vulnerable Persons checks may have already renewed those screenings as they are valid for 3 years. The WWCC is valid for 5 years.

The Department for Human Services recently confirmed it has begun to send reminders as well. We are aware that this may cause some confusion.

To clarify: If you completed your screening request through the Uniting Church, please complete the Step 1 Form to request an application to commence new screenings. If you have recently updated your WWCC through another organisation, please still complete the Step 1 form so we may update our records.

More information regarding Screenings and who needs what screening is outlined in the Duty of Care Policy which can be found on the Safe Church website at this link: https://safechurch.ucasa.org.au/resources/#screening

Do you need further help?
We are aware that it can be a challenge to complete this requirement, especially for those who are not comfortable with online applications and/or using computers. The Safe Church Screening Unit team are happy to offer practical assistance which could include a visit to your congregation to assist a number of applicants. Please email Turn on Javascript! to request this assistance.


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