Stricter rules for working with children from today

01.07.2019

New, stronger screening laws for people wanting to work or volunteer with children in South Australia have come into effect today.

The new working with children check replaces the previous State Government child-related screening check and aligns South Australia with new national standards to increase the safety of children in our communities.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the new working with children check was a vital step toward increased safety of children in our communities.

“The changes require anyone working with children to have a check by law from today,” said Minister Lensink.

“There are a number of roles that were not previously required to have a check, who now need one, including children’s party entertainers, religious ministers and bus drivers.

Under the new system, checks for volunteers remain free. For paid employment, the working with children check is $113.30.

“The Liberal Government is committed to continue to provide free volunteer screening checks for all South Australians,” said Minister Lensink.

“There are transitional arrangements in place for people with a valid existing check to ensure a smooth transition to the new system. This means that the majority of people do not need to act immediately.”

Transitional arrangements include:

• An existing DHS/DCSI child-related employment screening can continue to be used until it expires, then the individual must apply for a new working with children check.

• A national police check assessed by an organisation or employer can continue to be used until 1 July 2020, then the individual will need to get a new working with children check.

• Emergency Services workers must have a new working with children check by 1 July 2022.

• If the individual has no check, and wants to work or volunteer with children, they must apply for and possess a valid working with children check before commencing or continuing work.

“An extensive education campaign to inform affected groups about the changes has been underway and we’ll continue to spread the message now the laws have commenced,” said Minister Lensink.

The new working with children check is valid for five years and will be transferable between jobs.

For more information, visit screening.sa.gov.au/wwcc

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