Commissioner welcomes new Working With Children Check legislation
13 Jun 2012
The NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, Megan Mitchell, has welcomed the tabling of legislation today by Minister for Citizenship and Communities, the Hon Victor Dominello MP, for a new Working with Children Check.
"The new Working With Children Check detailed in the Child Protection (Working With Children) Bill 2012 will be simpler, safer and more widely available than the current check," Ms Mitchell said. "This means it will keep children safer.
"The new check is the result of extensive public consultation during and beyond the 2010 review of the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998.
"It will give employers a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer as to whether they can employ someone in a child-related role," Ms Mitchell said.
The portable and renewable WorkingWith Children Check will continuously monitor NSW criminal records to manage emerging risks to children. A person with a new record that indicates risk to children can be barred as soon as the record is created.
"The Commission for Children and Young People has consulted widely with the community about this newWorking With Children Check," Ms Mitchell said. "The community is looking forward to the introduction of an online system that reduces the extensive paperwork and duplication with the current check, while increasing safety for children.
"The Working With Children Check is just one of many tools that employers should use to keep children safe.
"Employers should also be getting references, supervising new staff and making sure they are the right person for the job. Employers also need to provide a child safe workplace, where staff, parents and children know what conduct is acceptable and what to do if conduct is not acceptable."
The Commission's Child Safe Organisations program helps employers to have the tools and practices to achieve a child safe environment.
"The Commission will continue to work closely with the community to better protect children through this new Working With Children Check, child safe practices, and monitoring compliance in the community," Ms Mitchell said.
The current Working With Children Check will continue until the new check is implemented.
Bruce Williams (02) 9286 7239 or 0413 452 498
Daniela Marchetta (02) 9286 7232 or 0407 200 960