The Human Services sector is currently operated through UnitingCare Queensland and includes Prison Ministry Services.
UnitingCare Queensland provides a wide range of community services across Queensland and the Northern Territory and chaplains provide pastoral care in a range of these services. There is one full-time chaplain who provides pastoral care and support for staff working in the areas of Child and family services, Disability services and Lifeline retail stores.
Prison Ministry including First Peoples Prison Ministry
UnitingCare Queensland oversees the Uniting Church’s Prison Ministry Service and an ecumenical First People’s Prison Ministry Chaplaincy Service.
There are currently no paid Uniting Church chaplains in placement with one full-time Prison Ministry coordinator and one part-time First Peoples Prison Ministry coordinator providing oversight to the services. Chaplaincy into the prisons is primarily provided by volunteer lay chaplains. There are 44 volunteer chaplains including 19 First People’s chaplains who visit around 8000 prisoners across 14 correctional facilities around Queensland.
There are strict recruitment procedures overseen by the State Chaplaincy Board on behalf of Corrective Services Queensland, with regular professional supervision and CEM (continuing education for ministry) expectations as part of ongoing accreditation.
“Prison Chaplaincy is about being church and representing the church without judgement or sanction.” Rev Dennis Corowa, First Peoples Prison Ministry.