Changes have been 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 have 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.
Volunteering Victoria will soon be updating their factsheet on Working With Children Checks. In the mean time, for more information or to apply, visit workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au.