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Working with children checks

Sep 13, 2016

Rachel Sanderson MP
Shadow Minister for Families and Child Protection
Working with children checks

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Government to dump plans to force people to apply for a new working with children check before their current check expires.

The Royal Commission recommended legislating to adoption of a new working with children check that requires individuals who want to undertake a child-related employment role to obtain a clearance directly through a screening unit.

“Forcing hundreds of thousands of South Australia’s to apply for a working with children check at the same time would be chaotic and counter-productive,” said Shadow Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson.

“I’ve no doubt the system wouldn’t cope with such a massive surge in demand for the checks and that the end result would be lengthy waiting times for people needing the new check.

“Forcing everybody to apply for a working with children check would see thousands of people left in limbo for extended periods of times unable to work or coach a kids sports team because of their inability to obtain a clearance in a timely fashion.

“Common-sense needs to prevail here and the current checks should continue to be valid until they expire.”

Commissioner Nyland recommended the legislation should provide for:

• one authorised screening unit for the state;
• one clearly defined pathway to obtaining a clearance through the screening unit;
• an employee or volunteer driven system, where clearance cards or unique electronic identification numbers are issued;
• clarity on who must hold a clearance for employees, volunteers and organisations;
• portable clearances across roles within the state;
• a register of all clearances issued;
• a requirement for employers to register the use of a clearance with the Screening Unit, to ensure they can be notified if a clearance is cancelled; and
• offences for both individuals and organisations for failing to comply with the legislation, in particular undertaking child-related employment in the absence of a clearance.



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