UCSA Screening & Authority process

Included below: 
UCSA Screening and Authority Process>
Safe Church Congregation Liaison Updates>
Selection of leaders>

UCSA Screening & Authority process

Stronger, more effective and transparent screening laws for people working or volunteering with children have been introduced in South Australia. The Uniting Church in South Australia is adopting this as a part of our existing Screening and Authority Process.

The new laws mean that, from 1 July 2019, everyone working or volunteering with children must have a valid child-related check. Everyone in a role of responsibility with the Uniting Church will need a Working With Children Check (WWCC). A WWCC is valid for five years and is portable across roles and organisations throughout South Australia. For those who have a WWCC with another organisation, the Uniting Church is now able to recognise it. We still may require additional checks dependant on your role. (See information sheets below)

There will be transitional arrangements to make it easier for people to move to the new scheme. All current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearances will be recognised as WWCCs under the law, until they expire. National Police Certificates assessed by organisations are valid for working with children until 1 July 2020.

  • If your current Screening and Authority expires before 1 July 2020, you will receive advice to renew your Screening Checks through the new process.
  • If your current Screening and Authority doesn’t expire before 1 July 2020, you will need undertake the new process before May 2020.

The Child Safe (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 of South Australia (Part 3: 6(b))defines “Child related work” as: services or activities provided by a religious organisation.

The South Australian Regulations 7:(7)(2) define ‘child related work’ as services or activities provided by a religious organisation where a  person would have or could be expected to have contact with a child.  ‘Contact’ means: “has close physical proximity or communications with the child (orally, written, electronic, etc).” (Regs 7:(7)(6))

How do I get started?

Read and understand the two information sheets:

Step 1 - Apply for a screening with the Uniting Church, Synod SA

The online application and information is available by clicking above.

Step 2 - Complete screening request with DHS

Use the emailed link to complete your application. To verify your identity, choose online verification or contact your Safe Church Congregation Liasion for assistance. Volunteers will receive these checks for free. Ministers and employees will need to pay to complete the submission.

If you tick "Requesting Organisation" to verify your identity, please download the 100 Point Identification Form below and complete with a Minister, member of Church Council, or member of ministry/office staff (more information is available on the form itself).

Step 3 - Receive notification of your status

  • You and the Safe Church Unit will receive email advice of your clearance status- ‘update’ and/or finalised.
  • Forward this information to your Safe Church Congregation Liaison for recording by the Church Council.

Safe Church Congregation Liaison Updates

 Safe Church Congregation Liaisons have been emailed the following updates:

Safe Church - New Screening Checks (1) (26 June 2019)

Safe Church Screening Changes Update (2) (13 August 2019)

Selection of leaders

No one should be considered for a voluntary leadership role unless they have been part of the congregation for at least six months. The six month rule allows members of the congregation and the individual to get to know one another. Individuals being considered for leadership/role of responsibility should first be approached privately to ensure they are willing to participate in the screening process.

Selection of leaders should take into account the applicant’s:
• relevant leadership skills and experience
• personal standards and character
• ability to develop appropriate relationships
• maturity in faith
• awareness of and willingness to work within the Uniting Church ethos and code of conduct.

Can you be “too young” to be a leader?

A leader must be 18 years or older if they are to be part of a leadership team with a significant responsibility.

A young person being apprenticed into leadership roles should be at least 15 years of age and only work under the direct supervision of an adult leader.