Important amendments to the Working With Children Act 2005 have been put into effect as of 1 August 2017.
The amendments are as follows:
Expanding the definition of ‘direct contact’ in the Act. The definition of direct contact now includes oral, written or electronic communication as well as face-to-face and physical contact.
Removal of references to ‘supervision’ from the Act. This means that even if a person’s contact with children as part of their child-related work is supervised by another person, they will still need to apply for a Working with Children Check.
Creation of a new occupational category of ‘child-related work’, known as ‘kinship care’. Family members or other persons of significance caring for a child placed by Child Protection under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 are required to obtain a Check.
Ensuring that non-conviction charges (charges that have been finally dealt with other than by a conviction or finding of guilt) for serious sexual, violent or drug offences are considered as part of Check assessments and re-assessments.
Enabling of the Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation to compel the production of certain information for the purposes of compliance monitoring.
For more information on the changes above click here.
To determine if you need a Working With Children’s Check click here.
For a list of exemptions click here.
Badminton Victoria’s viewpoint is that if you or your staff are coming into contact with children directly or in-directly, it is advisable that you obtain a Working With Children’s Check to eliminate all risk.
But in summary, an individual will need a Working With Children’s Check (WWCC) if they meet all 5 criteria listed below: 1. They engage, or intend to engage, in child-related work as an employee or volunteer. 2. They are an adult working with under 18 year olds. 3. They are working in any of the occupational fields listed in the Act. Go to Occupational fields for the full list. 4. Their work involves direct contact with children. Direct contact means physical, face-to-face, written, oral or electronic contact. 5. Their contact with children is part of your duties i.e. not incidental to your work.
If the individual fits ALL criteria above, they will require a WWCC unless an exemption applies. If they do not fit all criteria a Check is not required.
The WWC Act creates a mandatory, minimum requirement for individuals who engage in child-related work to obtain a WWC Check. Organisations are free to implement their own policies and procedures in respect of creating child safe environments. The Commission for Children and Young People has developed a number of publications and tip sheets in respect of organisations developing policies. These can be found here.