The WA Synod is committed to protecting children, youth and vulnerable adults from all forms of harm and abuse, keeping them safe and helping them to thrive. A culture of safety underpins everything we do.
The WA Synod recognises that all people regardless of age, gender, race, culture, religious belief, disability, LGBTQA+ identity, and/or family/social/cultural background have equal rights to freedom from abuse and harm.
We require all Uniting Church leaders and members within the WA Synod and Presbytery to play their part to make our Church, agencies and schools the safest they can be for all people.
We continue to provide training per the NCCA Safe Church Programme for ministers, church staff and volunteers.
This includes education about:
- understanding and identifying types of abuse;
- and disrupting grooming* behaviours
- responding to disclosures of abuse;
- reporting any suspected or actual incident of abuse and harm per all legislative requirements and Safe Church guidelines.
*Grooming is described as the ‘precursor’ behaviour to abuse and refers to the process by which a perpetrator/groomer manipulates those around them to set up opportunities for abuse and reduce the likelihood of being reported or discovered. Groomers create a relationship built on trust or dependency and will often seek out family members and other adults and groom them too to get access to a child or other vulnerable person. Some befriend parents or carers who are facing difficulties or who are vulnerable themselves.
We encourage everyone to speak out in confidence about any matter relating to keeping all vulnerable people safe. Everyone has the right to be respected and valued as well as feel emotionally, physically and spiritually safe at all times.
Policies and Guidelines
Here are a few key policies and guidelines which have been adopted by the Uniting Church, Western Australia Synod and the Uniting Church in Australia, Assembly.