Key changes to the Working with Children (WWC) legislation are anticipated to come into effect from 1 July 2023 to significantly strengthen protections for Western Australian children.
Changes organisations need to be aware of include:
1. WWC Card holders and applicants notifying the WWC Screening Unit of any changes to:
- Personal details (name)
- Contact details (residential address, telephone number, email, etc)
- Child-related work status (starting or ceasing)
2. Increasing the number of Class 1 and Class 2 offences that will stop a person from getting a WWC Check, resulting in more automatic Negative Notices being issued. An Interim Negative Notice can be issued at any point in the assessment process should information be received that indicates an immediate risk of harm to children.
3. Better sharing of information between government agencies: the WWC Screening Unit can receive conduct review findings or outcomes from the Teacher Registration Board of WA and the Ombudsman WA, which may trigger a reassessment of an individual’s WWC Card.
4. Ensuring people who should not be working with children cannot access an exemption: people with a current Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice will no longer be able to access certain exemptions. This means any person with a current Negative Notice or Interim Negative Notice can no longer use the parent volunteer or child volunteer exemptions.
5. Increased compliance powers: WWC Screening Unit Authorised Officers will have new compliance powers, including the ability to serve entry warrants, inspect, search and remove anything from the premises, and to instruct a person to provide information or documents.
Throughout this week, daily Ready, Check, Chat! online consultations are available through the WWC Screening Unit Eventbrite page. These are an opportunity to participate in a one-on-one session with us, the Community Engagement Team, and ask amendment specific questions.
Visit www.workingwithchildren.wa.gov.au for more information