Working with Children Checks – they work!

The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian released their annual report for 2020/21,  showing that as of 30 June 2021 there were 1, 820, 463 people who held a cleared Working with Children Check (WWCC) in NSW.

Highlighting the importance of these checks in protecting children, during 2020/21

  • 516 people were refused a WWCC clearance because they were either a disqualified person or following a determination by the Office of Children’s Guardian were considered to be a risk to children (down from 570 people in 2019/20)
  • A further 2,331 people had their WWCC clearance terminated when referred for a risk assessment.

During 2017/18 legislative amendments were introduced in NSW to enhance protections for children and young people. An important amendment for the Archdiocese was that it was now an offence if the Archdiocese (IPSS) fails to verify online an employee or volunteer’s WWCC clearance.

Online verification is important, as one of the strengths of the NSW system is that it includes continuous monitoring. This means that if a person receives a new relevant police or workplace record, the Office of the Children’s Guardian can change the status of that person’s WWCC and notify any agency who has verified that person’s status online. This Archdiocese has received notifications over the past 12 months of changes to the status of a person’s WWCC and appropriate action taken. The system works!

Click here to read the 2020/21 Annual report.

The ACT Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate Annual report for 2021/22 Annual report has not yet been released.

However as at October 2017 there were approximately 95,000 people who held an ACT Working With Vulnerable People registration and since the scheme started in 2012, it had stopped 29 people with “relevant criminal histories” from being registered. In addition, Access Canberra’s compliance program had ended 23 registrations.

In the 2016-17 year, the government checked 5312 cards, finding 413 instances of ‘non-compliance’, mostly related to people failing to produce their card on request or not holding a valid one. The government also issued one infringement notice to a person for failing to notify the Commissioner for Fair Trading within 10 days of being charged with a relevant offence.

Click here for information on WWVP registration in the 2016/17 Annual report.