Working with Children Checks

In Victoria, it is the Working with Children Act 2005 which seeks to protect children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring people who work with or care for them have their suitability to do so checked.

The Victorian Department of Justice is responsible for the administration of and overseeing the Working with Children Act 2005.  They have created an excellent website with all the information required by clubs to fulfil their responsibilities under the Act.  The Working with Children website can be accessed by clicking the following link:

http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/

This following information should be treated as a guide only. Your club should contact Department of Justice or seek advice specific to the needs of your club when considering its obligations under the Working with Children Act 2005.

 

When do local sports clubs need to comply with the Working with Children Act 2005?

Sports clubs and its volunteers are required to comply with the Act where “Club activities usually involve, or are likely to involve, regular direct contact with a child in connection to a service, body, place or activity in circumstances where that contact is not directly supervised by another person.”

This is particularly relevant for “Clubs, associations and movements that provide services or conduct activities for, or directed at, children or whose membership is mainly comprised of children.”

 

Who must obtain a Working with Children check?

If you are intending to undertake child related activities and you do not qualify for an exemption, you must undergo a Working with Children check.

To determine if a volunteer qualifies for a Working with Children Exemption, refer to the Department of Justice website by clicking the following link:

http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/about+the+check/who+needs+a+check/exemptions/

 

How to apply for a Working with Children check

A detailed procedure on how to apply for a Working with Children check can be accessed by clicking:

http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/applications/

In summary the process is:

  1. Get a Working with Children Check application form from any Australian Post outlet
  2. Complete the application (but don’t sign)
  3. Take the form, 100 points of identification, any fees and a passport-sized photo to an Australian Post outlet where they will witness your signature and accept your application if all required information is provided
  4. Ensure you keep your application receipt.

 

Notifying of changes of circumstances

Working with Children assessments are valid for five years. 

If a volunteer changes the club which they are engaged in child related work or activities or engages with children at additional clubs or organisations, then the volunteer must notify the Department of Justice within 21 days of the change.

Volunteers must also notify the Department of Justice if any of the following changes:

  • Volunteer’s address or contact telephone number
  • The club’s address or contact details

You can change your details online by at the Department of Justice website by clicking the link below:

http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home/cardholders/update+your+details/

 

Must not engage in child related work without a check

Unless volunteers qualify for an exemption from requiring a Working with Children Check, it may be an offense for a volunteer to undertake child related work without a Working with Children check.

Volunteers must not use a “Volunteer Working with Children Card” for paid child related work.  This is an offence. You must apply for an “Employee Working with Children” Card.

 

Clubs must keep a register of volunteer Working With Children Checks

For their protection, clubs must site and keep a register of all volunteers who work with children and either their Working with Children Card details or Reason for Exemption from requiring a Working with Children check.

 

 

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