Changes are being made to the Working with Children Act 2005 to clarify and simplify the requirements of holding a Check and implement key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The changes come into effect on 1 August 2017 and mean that Working with Children Checks will be needed in some situations where they were not previously required.
People undertaking child-related work whose contact with children is supervised by another person will now be required to hold a Check.
For example: Chris has taken up a position as an assistant coach of a junior football team. Even though he is directly supervised by the head coach, Chris is required to hold a Check.
The meaning of direct contact will be expanded to cover all types of contact including written and verbal contact as well as contact by email and through electronic means.
For example: John is employed as a counsellor with a phone counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 18. Because John’s role involves direct contact with children by telephone, he is required to hold a Check.
It should be stressed that non-compliance with the Working with Children Act can attract the following penalties:
Engaging in child-related work without a WWC Check is a criminal offence and carries a penalty of two years imprisonment, a $37,310 fine, or both
• It is also a criminal offence for organisations to engage, or continue to engage, people in child-related work if they do not hold a valid WWC Check
• The penalty for organisations include two years imprisonment for an individual, a $37,310 fine, or both
• Additionally, the organisation may also be subject to a $186,552 fine.
For further information or to apply for a check go to http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/
Contact Cathy Ferraro or Ray Carter if you require more information regarding yor personal situation.