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All Uniting Church in Australia entities are welcome to use these resources, especially those with child-related services or activities.

Why is a focus on Child Safety theologically important for the Uniting Church in Australia?

Concern for the safety and wellbeing of all, including children and young people, is part of our call to respect and value all people universally.

Jesus’ teaching crystalised a biblical theme of care for those of us humans who are in particular need—a call to feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned, bring sight to the blind, to care for the widow and the orphan. (e.g. Is. 61:1, Luke 4:18, Matt 25: 31-45, James 1:27)

This emphasis on care for the vulnerable leads us to take note of times when our systems and processes are vulnerable to enabling abuse or mistreatment of members of our community, especially those who may have less power or ability to protect themselves.

Jesus blessed children and held them up as exemplars to which others should look, calling his disciples to receive the Kingdom of God “as a little child”. He praised children as examples of humility and those who become like children as “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

In Jesus’ teaching that welcoming a child is welcoming Christ, we powerfully see the responsibility to care for children and that mistreatment of a child is unacceptable (Matt 18: 5–7)

This strengthens our commitment to be a Safe Church for all people.

The National Safe Church Unit and Uniting Church Redress hosted an online forum to discuss the work the Uniting Church is doing to ensure we are a Safe Church for all People. If you missed the forum, and would like to hear the conversation, click here.

Tools for Listening is a practical guide to engaging children and young people in your community on decisions that affect them.

It has been developed by the Uniting Church in Australia to enable the implementation of:

  • Principle 2 from the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations: “Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously”.
  • Recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse:
    • That children and young people are involved in the strategic development, design, implementation and evaluation of initiatives
    • That children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
    • That families and communities are informed and involved

Tools for Listening will assist you in the process of consulting, involving and collaborating with children, young people and adults on programs and activities in any Uniting Church entity.

You can use Tools for Listening when planning or reviewing your programs and activities to:

  • Consult with community members, families and children when planning a new program or activity
  • Include and consider feedback when reviewing a program or activity
  • Inform people new to your program or activity about codes of conduct and the feedback process.

Tools for Listening – explanatory notes

Tool 1 – Foster genuine engagement

Tool 2 – Plan for Safety

Tool 3 – Tips for Listening

On this page you will find helpful resources to be used alongside your Synod’s safeguarding policies, practice and tools.

Resources specific to Synods can be found on individual Synod websites.

We are constantly adding resources. If there are areas or topics you would like to see added, please contact us.

A safe Church is who we are called to be

As a community of faith, the Uniting Church in Australia is committed to providing safe environments for all people including children and young people, so that they may live life in all its fullness. Read more here

Theological basis for safe church

See Theological Foundation on this page

Safeguarding advice and support

  • National Safe Church Unit – works collaboratively with Synods to support the Church in growing and sustaining a culture of safety, so all parts of the Church are places where people feel safe. The Unit’s work spans ministry and mission, including the Church’s congregations, agencies, hospitals and schools. More here
  • Synod Safe Church Contacts
  • UCA Redress Limited – the national body for the Uniting Church responding and supporting children and vulnerable persons who have experienced  abuse.

Responding to concerns about safety of a child or young person

If you are concerned about the safety of any person, speak up.

Contact your Synod or the National Safe Church Unit.

Safeguarding training

National Child Safe Training

This training supports everyone across the Church in understanding what being a safe Church means, and what is expected from each of us in living this commitment to safety. Synods are rolling out the training to in the best way for their members and operations. Contact your Synod Safe Church Lead about  how you can access the training in your Synod.

Webinars and forums

NSCU runs webinars and forums for adults in the Church. See the News section for current options.

Safer recruitment

Staff and volunteers – national policy framework

Refer to your Synod for their policy and practice.

Safeguarding resources

Posters – displaying information in UCA churches and other venues about the UCA’s commitment to safeguarding, Principles of a Child Safe UCA, and information about where to get help with safeguarding issues supports a culture of safety.


Tools  – see the tab on this page for these resources

  • Conversation starter for congregations: Principles of a Child Safe UCA
  • Tools for listening: practical guide to engaging children and young people on decisions affecting them.


 External resources


Safeguarding national policy



  •  Safe Church News

Quarterly e-news update, particularly for ministers and congregational Safe Church Contacts. Sign up here

  • Facebook

Please join the National Safe Church Unit Facebook page 

  • Safe Church Calendar – see tab here


Feedback is welcome and appreciated. Please email

Nationally consistent guidance and information tools for Ministry Agents.

Tools are currently being created in consultation with stakeholders across the Church, they will be flexible to support congregations and presbyteries in using them, and will be available below as they are developed.

  • Best practice for retired Ministry Agents in congregations
  • Code of Ethics
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Dealing with a breach of the code of conduct by a colleague
  • Dealing with differences – representing opposing views
  • Gifts and fees
  • Particular relationships
  • Pastoral relationships
  • Privacy, including laws governing electronic communications
  • Record keeping
  • Recording and note taking
  • Relationships with the Councils of the Church
  • Self-care
  • Supervision
  • Understanding and use of a minister’s powers
  • Use of social media

11 Mar           Webinar: Online Safety for Adults who are youth leaders

21 Mar           Harmony Day

5 May            Forum: Safeguarding children and young people in the UCA

16-22 May     Volunteers Week

12 Aug           International Youth Day

4 Sept           UCA Child Safe Sunday

5-11 Sept       Child Protection Week

22 Oct           Anniversary of the Apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse 

22-30 Oct     National Children’s Week

20 Nov          Universal Children’s Day

       * Key dates for UCA activity: resources/messages will be shared  

          Dates led by external entities