New working with children laws from 1 July
South Australia has introduced stronger, more effective, and transparent screening laws for people working or volunteering with children.
The new laws mean that, from 1 July 2019, everyone working or volunteering with children must have a valid child-related screening.
The new working with children check (WWCC) that is being introduced from 1 July 2019 replaces the current system, where people can have either a Department of Human Services (DHS) child-related employment screening, or a National Police Certificate assessed by their employer/volunteer-involving organisation.
Key changes include:
- WWCCs replace all other types of child-related employment screening checks.
- People can apply for their own WWCC, to help them be job-ready.
- Organisations can no longer use National Police Certificates for people working or volunteering with children. Only the South Australian Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit can do a WWCC.
- A WWCC is valid for five years and is portable across organisations and roles in South Australia.
There will be transitional arrangements to make it easier for people to move to the new scheme:
- All current, valid DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening clearances will be recognised as WWCCs under the law, until they expire.
- Certain industries will have staggered entry times to the new scheme, to help them transition smoothly.
- National Police Certificates assessed by organisations are valid for working with children until 1 July 2020.
For most people working or volunteering with children, the transitional arrangements mean they don’t need to do anything to be ready for the new laws starting on 1 July 2019.
Affected organisations are also encouraged to download the Working with children check information kit from the Screening Unit’s website, which will help them promote the changes to their volunteers or employees.
For more information, visit screening.sa.gov.au/wwcc.