UCA SA Screening & Authority process
I have questions:
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. The current UC Screening checks done prior to 1 July 2019 are no longer compliant with the new legislation.
Everyone in a role of responsibility (Appointed leaders) 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 and the Duty of Care Policy).
We are in a transition period from the previous process and ask all to act on a new screening request ASAP. All current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearances will be recognised as WWCCs under the law, until they expire.
Individuals who have or hold a UC Screening and Authority through the synod office will need to apply for a new screening ASAP. You will need to 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))
While the WWCC is primarily focused on screening for risks for those in contact with children, the Uniting Church by its very nature has contact with those who are aged and vulnerable. Designated roles within Church Council and the life of the church will also require additional checks. See the Duty of Care Policy & information sheets for more details.
How do I get started?
Read the following information sheets:
- Do I need a screening check chart (827 kb PDF)
- Information on the Screening and Authority Process -UCA v2 (618 kb PDF)
- Process for Screening Checks with the Uniting Church SA (477 kb PDF)
The online application and information is available by clicking above.
Use the emailed link to complete your application. To verify your identity, choose online verification or contact your Safe Church Congregation Liaison 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 below).
*Minors (under 18) have different requirements to verify their ID and need consent signed by Parent/Guardian.
100 Point Identity Verification Form (142 kb PDF)
- You and the Synod will receive email advice of your clearance status- ‘update’ and/or finalised.
- You will need to forward the confirmation email to your Safe Church Congregation Liaison for recording on behalf of your Church Council.
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)
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.