The Uniting Church in Australia believes that a safe Church is who we are called to be. A safe Church is the way we physically, emotionally and spiritually care for each other.
In the years since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the Church has engaged in deep reflection on our theology and recognition of children and their safety, in the life of our Church. In response to the lessons learnt and the Commission’s recommendations we have taken action.
The National Safe Church Unit was created as part of the Uniting Church’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is an expression of the whole of Church commitment to ensuring that all parts of the Uniting Church are places where all people can feel safe. This commitment spans ministry and mission contexts, including congregations, agencies, hospitals and schools.
The National Safe Church Unit is a collaboration of all of the Synods and the Assembly.
The Unit develops evidence-based policy frameworks, governance resources, education and training materials for use across the life of the Church. The Unit works in collaboration with representative groups and individuals from the Church and, where appropriate, experts and ecumenical partners.
The frameworks and tools complement the good practice and processes already in place and are designed to create national consistency in these processes, enhance education and training and increase sharing of information to strengthen the checks and balances that the Church needs to ensure safety.
Many of the tools and resources have been designed to enable local branding so that they can be added into existing training toolkits and resources.