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Definitions

These definitions explain common terms used by the Working with Children Check (Check) scheme and their general meanings under the Working with Children Act 2005 (the Act). For legal definitions, see the Act.

 

Agency

A person or organisation that recruits workers for child-related services.

 

Assessment Notice

Evidence, in the form of a card, that you have passed the Check and can undertake child-related work. For details, go to Passing the Check.

 

Child

A person under 18 years of age.

 

Child Protection

The Victorian Child Protection Service is specifically targeted to children and young people at risk of harm where families are unable or unwilling to protect them. The main functions of the service are to:

 

Child-related work

Child-related work is work in either a voluntary or paid capacity, in any of the occupational fields listed in the Act where contact with a child is direct and part of a person’s duties.

For details, go to Who needs a Check?

 

Child-related work for ministers of religion

All ministers of religion are required to get a Check unless the contact they have with children is only occasional and always incidental to their work.

For ministers, child-related work is not limited to work involving direct contact with children; any contact with children is enough to trigger the requirement to get checked. For example, ministers who have children present in their congregation, or attend schools or children’s camps are required to hold a Check.

For details, go to Who needs a Check?

 

Child-safe environment

Organisations that care or provide services for children must provide safe environments. The Check is just one part of creating and maintaining a child-safe environment. The Check screens criminal history and professional conduct determinations and findings, but does not assess a person’s suitability to work with children. Organisations must decide if a worker is suitable for a particular role and continue to monitor their behaviour around children.

 

Child-safe standards

The child-safe standards are compulsory minimum standards for organisations that provide services for children to help protect children from abuse. The standards aim to drive cultural change in organisations so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in the everyday thinking and practice of leaders, staff and volunteers. The Commission for Children and Young People is the oversight body for the Child Safe Standards.

 

Department

The Department of Justice and Regulation.

 

Detention order

A court order made under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 which provides for the continued detention of serious sex offenders.

 

Direct contact

Having  physical, face-to-face, written, oral or electronic contact with a child.

 

Educational institution

Providers of study or training for people under the age of 18 years, specifically:

 

Exemption

A situation listed in the Act where people doing child-related work do not need a Check. For details, go to Exemptions.

 

Extended supervision order

A court order made under the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 which requires extended supervision of serious sex offenders.

 

Homestay

Accommodation services specifically provided for students as part of a student exchange program under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in the person’s home.

 

Interim Negative Notice

If the department determines an applicant or a cardholder should not be allowed to work with children, it issues them with an Interim Negative Notice indicating the intention to issue a Negative Notice. An Interim Negative Notice allows the person to respond to the information the department intends to use in its final decision.

 

Kinship care

Kinship care is the care provided by relatives or other person of significance to a child when a child cannot live with their parents. It specifically relates to care arrangements where a Children’s Court order has been made, and/or Child Protection has assessed and approved a specific carer to care for a specific child under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005.

 

Minister of religion

A minister of religion is:

 

Negative Notice

If a person fails the Check, the department issues them with a Negative Notice, which prohibits them from doing child-related work, even if they are supervised or qualify for an exemption. For details, go to Failing the Check.

 

Non-conviction charge

A charge that has been dealt with other than by way of conviction or a finding of guilt. This includes circumstances where:

 

Occupational field

A service, body, place, or activity where child-related work can occur.

For the full list, see Occupational fields.

 

Private or domestic arrangement

An agreement between family and friends that involves no payment. These arrangements are not regarded as child-related work. The Check does not apply to private or domestic arrangements.

 

Professional bodies

Bodies that regulate certain professions, like the Victorian Institute of Teaching. When assessing an applicant or a cardholder, the department can consider professional conduct determinations and findings by the bodies named in the Act in addition to criminal records. For details, see What is checked.

 

Prescribed bodies

See 'Professional bodies' above.

 

Relevant finding

A relevant finding is a decision, report or determination made about a person’s professional conduct by the following professional bodies:

Example: the cancellation of a teacher’s registration.

 

Reportable conduct

‘Reportable conduct’ is defined in the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (as amended by the Children Legislation Amendment (Reportable Conduct) Act 2017) to include:

  1. a sexual offence committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  2. sexual misconduct committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  3. physical violence committed against, with or in the presence of a child
  4. any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child
  5. significant neglect of a child.

 

Reportable conduct scheme

The reportable conduct scheme oversees how organisations prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse and misconduct. Administered in Victoria by the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP), the scheme requires some organisations to report allegations made against a worker or volunteer from their organisation to the CCYP.

 

Reporting obligations

The Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004 imposes obligations on serious sex offenders living in the community to regularly report various personal details to Victoria Police.

 

Student exchange services

Accommodation services specifically provided for students as part of a student exchange program under Part 4.5A of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, including accommodation in the person’s home such as a homestay arrangement.

 

Submission

When the department issues an applicant or cardholder with an Interim Negative Notice, they have the opportunity to explain why they should pass the Check. A written submission to the department is usually required.

 

Supervision order

Under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009, courts can issue an order for a serious sex offender to be supervised.