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Parliament passes legislation for working with children checks

3 November 2016

The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Bill has been passed by Parliament, strengthening background checks for people wanting to work or volunteer with children and young people.

The legislation provides for a more consistent, efficient and transparent system in line with recommendations from the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission.

The new system will eliminate the current two-tiered arrangement, whereby some organisations relied on a National Criminal History Check instead of a check undertaken through the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion’s Screening Unit.

Under the new system checks will be:

  • valid for a period of five years
  • transferable between different jobs or volunteer positions
  • continuously monitored as new information – such as a new criminal charge – becomes available
  • undertaken through a single, centralised assessment unit responsible for all working with children checks on individuals.

The State Government will now prepare regulations for public consultation, including more detail about who will need to undertake a Working With Children Check.

The Bill lays the groundwork for a balanced system that provides rigorous checks without creating unnecessary barriers that stop people, particularly parents, from participating in activities.
Further legislation will now be developed addressing the implementation of the new system prior to the changes coming into effect.

For more information