Pastoral Care Workers (PCWs) - Updates

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5 October, 2018

Pastoral Care Workers provide pastoral care and support for local school communities.

This community ministry is supported by local churches through the Mitcham Hills Inter-Church Council (MHICC), of which we are a partner church, and also through Schools Ministry Group.

See the links for further information.

More From 'Resources'

Screening Checks

What different Screening Checks are there?

There are several different Screening Checks that may be required for people who volunteer or work in the Uniting Church. The most common of these are:

- [Working with Children Checks](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks) (WWCCs)

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

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

How do I know which Screening Check I need?

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 includes details about which Screening Checks are needed when. This information is summarised below:

Working with Children Check (WWCC) - valid for 5 years (portable)

See our [Working with Children Check](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/working-with-children-checks) resource page for information or continue reading to apply for one.

General Employment Probity Check - valid for 3 years (non-portable) and required for:

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

- Church Council members and office bearers

- 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 - valid for 3 years (portable) and 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)

So, how do I apply for these Screening Checks?

Screening Check requests are facilitated by the SA Synod via an application made on the [Safe Church Screening](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/screening) page. Information collected from this application will initiate a Screening Check with the DHS.

Use [this flowchart](https://www.corouniting.org/d/FaeybjdxhLl5IZu5i6ip5N86g) (which refers to the below two information sheets) to follow the process through.

- [Information on the Screening and Authority Process](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/Information-on-the-screening-and-authority-process.pdf)

- [Process for Screening Checks](https://sa.uca.org.au/documents/safe-church/screening/process-for-screening-checks.pdf)

If you have any queries, please contact our [Safe Church Congregation Liaison](mailto:office@corouniting.org) (Sue Laycock).

* Note that if you are under 18 you will still need to go through the first part of this process, however you will be unable to verify your ID online and will need to complete a 100 point check via the DHS website.

* 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.

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Working with Children Checks

What is a Working with Children Check, and do I need one?

A [Working with Children Check](https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks) (WWCC) is a government assessment to check whether or not an individual is safe to work with children.

A WWCC is needed for all people who work or volunteer with children, however given the definition of 'child related work' in South Australia (see [here](https://sa.uca.org.au/safechurch/screening) for details), the Uniting Church has decided that everyone in a role of responsibility within the church (ie. all leaders and helpers aged 14+) must have a valid WWCC.

What about the existing Police Check forms?

The new WWCCs were introduced on 1 July 2019 and are stronger, more effective and more transparent than the previous Uniting Church Screening Checks ('Police Checks').

From now until 30 June 2020 we are in a transition period as the new WWCC process is established. During this time:

- DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearances that are current and valid will be recognised as WWCCs under the law, until they expire, however note below process to register this clearance with the church;

- Uniting Church Screening Checks (ie. the previous 'Police Checks') that are current and valid will be recognised as WWCCs under the law until 1 July 2020 (unless they expire earlier). If you hold an existing check with an expiry date after 1 July 2020, you will need to apply for a new WWCC before May 2020 (to ensure sufficient processing time).

I already have a valid DHS/DCSI clearance... do I need to do anything?

Yes - you need to do two things:

- Inform our [Safe Church Congregation Liaison](mailto:office@corouniting.org) (Sue Laycock) who will make a record of the number.

- Complete [this online form](https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=r0DtqNz2okaIje65rSzlomtw-plBPQ1ItEpJ2qPlNsFUQUpENlNBOTNGWkJUUUlVTVpRVkM2WEtFTCQlQCN0PWcu), entering the number of your valid clearance at Question 13 and continuing to see whether further [Screening Checks](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/screening-checks) are required. This enables the Uniting Church to register an interest in your valid DHS/DCSI clearance.

What's the difference between the old and new checks?

There are several differences, including:

- 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 (previously 3 years) and are now continuously monitored

The new checks remain 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) information sheet.

I think I may need a new WWCC... what do I need to do?

Make yourself a cup of tea and head over to our [Screening Checks](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/screening-checks) resource page for further information.

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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.

See our [Screening Checks](https://www.corouniting.org/resources/screening-checks) resource page for further information.

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.

Food Safety

Refer to the SA Health web page [Charity and community groups and food safety](https://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) for up to date information about food safety.

Everyone who handles food in relation to a CoroUniting church activity must read and sign the below policy and pass this to the [Safe Church Congregation Liaison](mailto:office@corouniting.org) (Sue Laycock) for filing.

- [Health & Hygiene Policy for Food Handlers](https://www.corouniting.org/d/RIrj9sHCPyFitMnk3YwzV3BtY)

Sausage Sizzles and BBQs

Refer to the following two resources that relate specifically to sausage sizzles and BBQs:

- [Sausage sizzles at Coro - what you need to know](https://www.corouniting.org/d/9LpKKAQ5dboUo06Ck13psNe3U)

- [Sausage sizzles and barbeques](http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/safety/faqsafety/pages/foodsafetyfactsheets/charitiesandcommunityorganisationsfactsheets/sausagesizzlesandbar1478.aspx) (Food Standards Australia New Zealand)

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 Congregation Liaison](mailto:office@corouniting.org) (Sue Laycock) 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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