White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation

In 2015, we commenced the process of becoming a White Ribbon Accredited organisation. This involved looking at our approach to the broader issue of violence against women and making sure our staff and volunteers are aware of what we can do to foster a safer workplace. We are proud to announce that in 2016 we became a formally recognised White Ribbon Workplace.

This accreditation is a way of sharpening our focus on prevention and making sure our staff and volunteers are aware of what we can do to foster a safer workplace.

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Carbon Neutral Organisation

We are certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active (formerly known as the National Carbon Offset Scheme), a network of progressive climate leaders working to drive genuine change. This certification is a testament to our ongoing commitment within to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

In 2015, we were the first South Australian organisation and the first registered charity in Australia to receive certification under the Federal Government’s Carbon Neutral Program.

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Public Apology to the Forgotten Australians

Read the organisation’s apology to the Forgotten Australians, made in response to a Senate Inquiry into the abuse experienced by children in residential care.

Child Safe Organisation

Uniting Communities is a child safe organisation and is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We support the rights of children to live in a safe environment free from harassment.

Uniting Communities’ Commitment to Reconciliation

Uniting Communities respects the enduring spiritual relationship Aboriginal societies have with land and sea and the importance of this relationship to the wellbeing of Aboriginal people, including their languages and customs.

Uniting Communities acknowledges that the past practices and policies of the Church and State has contributed to the trauma still experienced by our First Australians today.

By seeking reconciliation and working in partnership with Aboriginal communities, Uniting Communities will move towards healing, justice, self determination and empowerment for Aboriginal people.

Through our Action Plan, Uniting Communities will improve opportunities for Aboriginal staff, access to services for Aboriginal people and connections to Aboriginal communities.

To learn more, read our Reconciliation Action Plan and discover the actions we are taking to play our part.

Apology Regarding Past Forced Adoptions

In November 2011, the Synod of the Uniting Church in South Australia and UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide issued an unreserved apology to mothers who may have been forced to give up their children for adoption and to children who may have been forcibly removed from their mothers, through involvement with the Kate Cocks Memorial Babies Home. The apology was included in a submission made to the Commonwealth Contribution to Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices 2011 Inquiry, conducted by the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs.

Read the Apology Statement and Joint Submission.

If you would like to speak to someone regarding the Kate Cocks Babies Home, please contact Peter McDonald, Executive Manager Advocacy and Community Relations, on 08 8202 5880. You can find more information on making a complaint regarding past adoptions in our procedures.

Acknowledgement of past abuse by former employees

Uniting Communities will respond to complaints of past abuse of children who were in the care of our predecessor institutions. We will address any complaints with a compassionate and fair approach that is reflective of our core values.

Read the Apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.

You can find more information on making a complaint regarding past abuse in our procedure.

If you would like to speak with someone regarding past abuse, please contact Robyn Sutherland, Executive Manager Services, on 08 8202 5274.

More information on Lentara.

Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care

Uniting Communities is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of children and young people who use our services.

In 2006 Uniting Communities became a signatory of the Charter of Rights for Children and Young People in Care. The Charter was updated in 2016 and again Uniting Communities was a signatory, qualifying the organisation’s commitment to upholding the rights of children and young people who are under the guardianship of the Minister as set out in the charter.

As part of this commitment all staff will respect the right for children and young people under care to:

  • feel good about themselves
  • live in a place where they are safe, respected and cared for
  • get help when they want or need
  • understand the decisions that affect them
  • express their opinion about things that affect them
  • have their own space to be themselves
  • know about their culture and community
  • know someone cares about them and they have someone to talk to
  • develop their talents and interests.

You can download a full text copy of the Charter here.