School-Link Illawarra and South East

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Tania PD McInnes posted in School-Link Illawarra and South East

28th Jan 15, 02:13 PM

The NSW Working With Children Check: Child Development and Family Welfare Services Notification

Child Development and Family Welfare Services provide crucial assistance to the NSW community. Children greatly benefit from the skills and expertise your employees and volunteers have to offer.
If you provide programs or services to children you fall into a “child-related” sector and have legal obligations under the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013. Primarily, your workers may need a Working With Children Check (WWCC). A WWCC is a prerequisite for paid and unpaid child-related work.
Who needs the Check?
Any worker (paid or volunteer) in child-related work needs the Check.
Child-related work involves direct face-to-face or physical contact with children in a child-related sector or child-related role.
For Child Development and Family Welfare Services, this means:
- Workers in a formal program delivered by a government or non-government agency, providing mentoring or counselling services to children, or
- Workers in a family welfare service, if children are also being provided for.
When do child-related workers need the Check by?
- New employees need to obtain a WWC or APP number before starting work.
- Existing employees and all volunteers (new and existing) need to obtain a WWC or APP number by 31 March 2015.
What do I need to do as a child-related employer?
1- Identify which roles in your organisation need a WWCC and which might be subject to an exemption.
2- Notify all child related workers (paid and volunteer) of the WWCC requirement and when they need it by.
3- Register your service/organisation online as an employer. Registration enables you to verify a WWC or APP number to ensure it is valid.
4- Verify the status of each WWC or APP number online.
5- Keep a written record of your verification results. You will need these records if you are audited.
Is there anything else I need to do?
The WWCC is only one of the tools that you can use to keep children safe.
A WWCC identifies people who have been convicted or charged in relation to a specific range of offences. The WWCC also considers workplace records of sexual misconduct or grooming and serious physical violence against a child. It does not identify people who are yet to offend.
Supervision, education and training about appropriate and acceptable behaviours are other important tools for managing risk to children. Having effective child safe policies and practices strengthens the environment, reduces risk and helps protect adults and the children they work with. These are all important tools which make a Child Safe Organisation.
Where can I go for further help?
The Office of the Children’s Guardian provides a range of resources which can help you understand what you need to do.
We also provide free training and information sessions.
Visit our website or call 02 9286 7219.
We are keen to engage with as many services as possible to provide the necessary information and assistance before the compliance program for this sector begins in April 2015.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or wish to discuss opportunities on how we can assist further (resources, training, presentations etc.).
Thank you in advance for your time.

Tasnim Saeid | Community Engagement Officer | Office of the Children’s Guardian
Level 13, 418A Elizabeth Street, SURRY HILLS NSW 2010 | T 02 9286 7277 | F 02 9286 7267