Child Safety in the Churches — “Reportable Conduct”
Reportable Conduct Scheme – Keeping Children Safe
Victoria now has a Reportable Conduct Scheme to oversee allegations of child abuse and child-related misconduct.
From 1 January 2018 Reportable Conduct becomes a new legal requirement administered by the Commission for Children and Young People.
What does this mean for our Synod?
This means that the General Secretary is required to notify the Commission for Children and Young People within three business days after becoming aware of a reportable allegation of child abuse and other child-related misconduct made against any of our ‘employees’ – this includes staff, contractors and volunteers.
What are our commitments to keeping children safe and protected?
Ensuring that we create a child safe organisation to keep children safe and protected is an individual and collective responsibility of the Uniting Church and all who engage with it. Our commitment is documented in the Keeping Children Safe Policy and the Reportable Conduct Policy.
We are committed to ensure that:
- we have systems in place to prevent child abuse
- if child abuse is alleged, allegations can be brought to the attention of appropriate persons for investigation and response
- a proper investigation and response is made (if it involves criminal conduct, police will be contacted).
Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Moderator Rev Sharon Hollis said the new Reportable Conduct Scheme legislation reflects the concerns that many have voiced about the impact of abuse on children.
She noted it is just one of a number of ways institutions can do all within their power to make sure their spaces are safe for children.
“We applaud these initiatives which are in line with our Keeping Children Safe Policy commitments to zero tolerance of all forms of abuse and ensuring children are protected and safe,” Ms Hollis said.
What do we ask of you?
We request all ‘employees’ (defined as staff, contractors, volunteers) of Uniting Church in Australia commit and adhere to Synod’s Keeping Children Safe Policy at all times to ensure that we create a child safe organisation.
We also request that you report any allegations of child abuse and other child-related misconduct made against employees even if;
- they do not have direct contact with children
- the conduct occurred outside of their role in the church.
What is Reportable Conduct?
The five types of Reportable Conduct are:
- sexual offences committed against, with or in the presence of a child
- sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child
- physical violence against, with or in the presence of a child
- any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child
- significant neglect of a child.
How do I report?
If you have a reasonable belief that reportable conduct has occurred you should report using the form in this link.
Or phone: (03) 1300 789 374
Or email: reportableconduct@
You can also report directly to the Commission for Children and Young People:
Ph: (03) 8601 5281
The Reportable Conduct Policy has further information on how to report.
If you would like further information on the Scheme please refer to the Commission for Children and Young People website https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/.
To download an easily printable PDF version of this email click here.
Thank you for all you do in your ministry to keep children safe.
Please make sure this information is made known to your church council.
Grace and peace,
Isabel Thomas Dobson
Acting General Secretary