Working with Children Checks {Australia} What are the rules?

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12 Aug 2018

Working With Children Checks (WWCC) and Police Checks are two different types of screening programs which have been designed to try and ensure child-safe working environments, in Australia. In this post we will look at both and the requirements of a Newborn/Baby/Child Photographer.

Working with Children Check’s

Working with Children Checks are an ongoing assessment of a person’s eligibility to work or volunteer with children and involves a check of a person’s national criminal history (including all spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges) and other disciplinary and police information.

They are mandatory for people working or volunteering with children, across Australia, however each state and territory have their own WWCC schemes, with their own policies and procedures. Each scheme operates independently, which unfortunately means that depending on where a photographer works, they need to apply in each state/territory to be compliant.

Below is a brief summary of each of the states/territories WWCC schemes.

New South Wales

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

NSW Government – Office of the Children’s Guardian

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work, which Under Part 2, section 6 of the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012child-related work is defined as work in a specific, child-related role or face-to-face contact with children in a child-related sector. Additional roles can be found in the Child Protection (Working With Children) Regulation 2013.

Despite the fact a Newborn/Baby/Children’s “Photographer” definitely qualifies as child-related work as per the above definition, it is not a specific role mentioned in Part 2, section 6 of the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012.

Cost

$80 for a five-year clearance. This equates to $16 per year, the lowest fee for a WWCC in Australia.

Where to apply

Kids Guardian NSW Government

 

Queensland

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

QLD Government – Blue Card Services

Who needs a WWCC 

People undertaking child-related work in the following categories must hold a blue card if their work falls into a category of regulated employment, regardless of how often they will come into contact with children and young people, unless an exemption applies.

Despite the fact that Newborn/Baby/Child Photographer’s work with children and young people, Photographer does not fall into any of the categories listed.

Cost

$90.25 for three-year clearance.

Where to apply

Blue Card Qld Government

South Australia

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

SA Government – Department of Human Services

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work for an organisation offering these services:

  • health
  • child and family welfare
  • education
  • sporting or recreational
  • religious or spiritual instruction
  • child care and child protection
  • cultural
  • entertainment
  • residential.

Despite the fact that Newborn/Baby/Child Photographer’s work with children and young people, Photographer does not fall into any of the categories listed.

Cost

$107.80 for three-year clearance.

Where to apply

Child Related Employment Screening SA Government

Victoria

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

VIC Government  – Justice & Regulation Department

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work involving contact with a child (less than 18years old) that is direct and a part of the person’s duties in any of the following occupational fields:

Camps, Child care services, Child employment, Child minding, Child protection services, Children’s services, Clubs & associations, Coaching & tuition, Counselling services, Educational institutions, Entertainment & party services, Foster care, Gym or play facilities, Kinship care, Out-of-home care services, Paediatric wards, Refuges, Religion, School crossings, Student exchange / homestay arrangement, Talent & beauty competitions, Transport, Youth justice and

Photography services –  Commercial photography services for children unless they are merely incidental to or in support of other business activities

Cost

$123.40 for five-year clearance.

Where to apply

Victorian Government – Working with Children

Western Australia

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

WA Government – Department of Communities

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work where the usual duties of the work involve, or are likely to involve, contact with a child in connection with one of the categories in the WA Factsheet 1: What is ‘child-related work’?

Despite the fact that Newborn/Baby/Child Photographer’s work with children and young people, Photographer does not fall into any of the categories listed.

Cost

$85.00 for three-year clearance.

Where to apply

WA Government – Working with Children

Tasmania

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

Tasmanian Government – Consumer, Building & Occupational Services

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work as defined in the Registration to Work with Vulnerable People Regulations 2014 

This includes child-related commercial services where adults providing a photography serviceare included.

Cost

$110.60 for three-year clearance.

Where to apply

TAS Government – Working with Vulnerable People

Northern Territory

Responsible for conducting WWCC’s

Northern Territory Screening Authority, appointed by the Minister for Children and Families – Known as the Ochre Card

Who needs a WWCC

People undertaking child-related work

Cost

$70 for two-year clearance.

Where to apply

NT Government Community Safety

Working with Children Checks are one of a range of strategies needed to make Photography Studio’s child-safe. All of the above state’s and territories have links where Parents are also able to verify a Photographer’s WWCC credentials prior to engaging their services and we would encourage all parents to do so as part of their selection process. {refer to post on “How to Choose a Newborn Photographer”} 

 

The Police Check

is only current on the day of issue and is a list of offences from a person’s criminal history which can be disclosed. It does not involve an assessment by a government agency. This link to the Victorian Government’s ‘Working with Children’ website {How is a Police Check Different} explains the differences very clearly.

For further questions, photographers and parents alike should contact their state or territory government departments.

Kerryn

 

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