Amendments to the Working with Children Check Act 2005 will come into effect on 1 August 2017
Amendments have been made to the Working with Children Check Act 2005 ('the Act') to implement the following five recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse:
- Expand the definition of ‘direct contact’ in the Act to ensure that people engaging in ‘child-related work’ that involves ‘physical contact’, ‘face to face contact’, ‘oral’, ‘written’ or ‘electronic communication’ are required to obtain a Working with Children Check (‘Check’). The Act will continue to provide that a Check is not required in circumstances where the contact with a child is occasional and incidental to the work.
- Remove references to ‘supervision’ from the Act to establish that, to determine whether a person requires a Check, the supervision of a person’s contact with a child is irrelevant. This will enable easier interpretation of the Check’s requirements in situations where it may have been unclear whether a person’s contact with a child was supervised.
- Create a new occupational category of ‘child-related work’, known as ‘kinship care’. This amendment will require family members (and other persons of significance to a child) providing a child with out-of-home care under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 to obtain a Check.
- Ensure that non-conviction charges (charges that have been finally dealt with other than by a conviction or finding of guilt for the most serious offences for the purposes of the Check) form part of a relevant criminal history for the purposes of category C assessments and re-assessments.
- Enable the Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation to compel the production of certain information for the purposes of compliance monitoring.
In addition, various other miscellaneous and technical amendments have been made to improve the Act’s operation and administration.
Detailed information about these changes will be published at a later date.