The Working with Children Check is just one part of creating and maintaining a child-safe environment.
Organisations need to ensure that people in roles that have direct contact with children hold a Check. For details, go to Do my workers need a Check?
In addition to your obligations under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act), it is your duty to assess the suitability of the people you engage to make sure children are safe with them. To do this, you need to at least have sound practices in place to check their references and monitor their behaviour around the children in your care.
You must comply with the Child Safe Standards that have been introduced as part of the Victorian Government's response to the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry. These are compulsory minimum standards under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 that apply to organisations that provide services for children. The standards help ensure the safety of children. Organisations must also comply with the Reportable conduct scheme requirements that came into effect on 1 July 2017. For more information go to Commission for Children and Young People.
To keep the children in your care safe from harm, you must know:
- that everyone with direct contact with children has a Check
- if applicants are legally permitted to work while their application is processed. People with serious sexual, violent or drug offences, or who are subject to orders listed under Schedule 3 of the Act cannot work with children while their applications are assessed. For details go to Offences and penalties and Failing the Check
- when workers’ Checks expire
- what to do if one of your workers:
What does the department mean by ‘an organisation’?
The term ‘organisation’ has a broad meaning; it includes employers, volunteer organisations, agencies and self-employed people involved in child-related work.
- not engage or continue to engage anyone in child-related work who does not have a valid Check, unless they are exempt under the Act
- not engage or continue to engage anyone in child-related work who is subject to obligations or orders under Schedule 3 of the Act
- not allow people who are charged with, convicted or found guilty of sexual, violent or drug offences specified in clause 2 of Schedule 3 of the Act to work with or care for children while their application is processed or their Check reassessed
- not offer the services of any person who does not have a Check to another organisation if the work to be undertaken with that organisation is child-related work
- check if a person is allowed to work with children on Check status
- check that any self-employed person, such as a coach or tutor, has a valid Check and is not prohibited from working with children. Go to Check status
- ensure that a person who has a Negative Notice does not work with or care for children, even if they are exempt
- ensure paid workers doing child-related work have an Employee Check, not a Volunteer Check
- respect and protect workers’ privacy.
In addition to your legal obligations listed above, you must:
- keep a record of the application receipt or card number of all workers doing child-related work in your organisation
- carefully look at workers’ cards and record the number, expiry date and card type (‘E’ for paid employees or ‘V’ for volunteers)
- retain and secure all correspondence the department sends you about your workers
- ensure workers notify the department within 21 days of commencing child-related work with your organisation and whenever their personal and contact details change.