Working with children check

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Working with children check in the AIFS library catalogue

Annual progress report 2018: implementation of recommendations from the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. As part of its response, the Australian Government has established an Implementation Taskforce to monitor and coordinate action on the recommendations of the Royal Commission. It intends to track progress made by all Australian governments annually until 2022 and then conduct a 10 year review in 2027, as recommended by the Royal Commission. This report is the first annual progress report, detailing the work of the Commonwealth and State governments towards these recommendations in the first 12 months since they were presented. It is arranged around the themes of: Making institutions child safe; Causes, support and treatment; Responses to abuse, including redress and civil litigation; Criminal justice and the protection of children; and Accountability and annual reporting. The full recommendations are included as an appendix.

Tasmanian response - Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Tasmania, Tasmania. Dept. of Justice, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Hobart, Tas. : Tasmanian Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Tasmanian Government. It details their response to each of the relevant recommendations and also includes responses to recommendations made in the Working with Children Checks report, the Redress and Civil Litigation report, and the Criminal Justice report. The foreword, by the Tasmanian Attorney-General, notes that many of the Royal Commission's recommendations are consistent with reforms already underway.

Queensland Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Queensland, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Government, 2018.
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This document presents the official response of the Queensland Government. It provides an overview of how the state government will work to keep children safe and implement the Royal Commission's reforms, and details their response to each of the recommendations in the areas of working with children checks, redress and civil litigation, and criminal justice.

Victorian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Victoria, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Melbourne, Vic. : Dept. of Justice and Regulation, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations, aimed at both state and federal layers of government as well as agencies and organisations. This website presents the official response of the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government welcomes the release of the Royal Commission's final report and thanks them for their commitment and dedication to these important issues. An overview document describes the Victorian Government's recent and future efforts to address child abuse, and is accompanied by a more detailed table of the responses to all 409 recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Australian Government response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Australia, Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Final report.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Australian Government, 2018
In 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented its findings and recommendations. In this official response, the Australian Government thanks the commissioners for their leadership and compassion over the 5 years of the inquiry and details the Government's response to each of the 409 recommendations. 84 of the recommendations deal with redress, which will be addressed through the creation of the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse. Of the remaining 325 recommendations, 122 have been directed wholly or partially to the Australian Government. The chapters of the response are published separately: final report response; working with children checks report; criminal justice report; and redress and civil litigation report.

Child safety toolkit: how to create a child safe organisation

Moores Legal Pty Ltd, Our Community (Organization)
Melbourne, Vic. : Our Community, 2018.
This resource aims to help schools and other services working with children create a child safe organisation and ensure their organisation is acting appropriately. Creating a child-safe culture is not just having a set of policies and procedures in place, but about creating a culture where all staff, volunteers, and Board members take responsibility for promoting and ensuring child safety and the participation and empowerment of children. Sections address creating the right culture, recruitment, mandatory and voluntary reporting, and responding to a report, and sample policies and codes of conduct are included. This resource updates the 2016 'Child protection toolkit' in light of new legislation and the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Pre-employment screening: Working With Children Checks and police checks

Child Family Community Australia, Australian Institute of Family Studies
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2018.
Pre-employment screening of adults who work or volunteer in child-related occupations is an important strategy for creating and maintaining child-safe organisations. However, there is no single national framework in Australia covering Working With Children Checks or Police Checks. This resource sheet outlines the requirements of each state and territory - comparing their legislation, what type of screening programs that are in place, what records are checked, the department responsible, and who is required to undergo screening.

Statutory Review of the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012: report

New South Wales. Office of the Children's Guardian
Surry Hills, N.S.W. : Office of the Children's Guardian, 2017.
The New South Wales Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 aims to help protect children by preventing known child abuse perpetrators from undertaking child-related work. The Act replaces the Working with Children Check (WWCC) model contained within the Commission for Children and Young People Act 1998. One requirement of the new Act is that the validity and appropriateness of its policy objectives be reviewed. This report presents the findings and recommendations of this review. The review found that there is strong and continuing support for the policy objectives of the Act, though some fine-tuning is required. The main recommendations relate to whether the scheme targets the right people and strategies to improve compliance. A discussion paper was published as part of this review, providing historical and contextual information and inviting public feedback, and is included as an appendix to this report.

Keeping Queensland's children more than safe: review of the blue card system

Queensland. Family and Child Commission
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Family and Child Commission, 2017.
In September 2016, the Premier of Queensland requested the Queensland Family and Child Commission to undertake a review of the 'blue card' system, the approval and monitoring processes for foster carers, and pressure points in child protection service delivery. This report sets out the findings and recommendations relating to the 'blue card' system, which imposes obligations on organisations providing regulated services to children to adopt child safe organisation approaches through risk management strategies including working with children checks for all staff and volunteers. While this system already provides strong safeguards for Queensland's children, there is scope to make those safeguards even more robust and to improve the system's efficiency. In particular, the blue card system is currently too focused on the actual 'blue card' or working with children check, which is only one tool in the broader system for keeping children safe.

Keeping Queensland's children more than safe: review of the foster care system

Queensland. Family and Child Commission
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Family and Child Commission, 2017.
In September 2016, the Premier of Queensland requested the Queensland Family and Child Commission to undertake a review of the 'blue card' system, the approval and monitoring processes for foster carers, and pressure points in child protection service delivery. This report sets out the findings and recommendations relating to the foster care system. The review found that overall Queensland's foster care system generally operates as intended and in line with relevant legislation. However, there are opportunities to: build stakeholder and public confidence; strengthen carer assessment, approval and renewal processes; and strengthen safeguards for children in care.

Review of the foster care system: options paper

Queensland. Family and Child Commission
Brisbane, Qld. : Queensland Family and Child Commission, 2017.
In September 2016, the Premier of Queensland requested the Queensland Family and Child Commission to undertake a review of the 'blue card' system, the approval and monitoring processes for foster carers, and pressure points in child protection service delivery. To help with its review, the Commission released a discussion paper in November 2016 to invite feedback from the public. Consultation has now taken place with carers, organisations, and individuals through surveys, meetings, and forums. This paper collates some of the key findings, to set out the current issues and possible options for reform. Feedback from the public is again solicited.

Risk profiles for institutional child sexual abuse: a literature review

Kaufman K, Erooga M, Stewart K, Zatkin J, McConnell E, Tews H and Higgins D
Sydney, N.S.W. : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commissioned this literature review to synthesise international evidence regarding risk and protective factors related to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. Topics include: family risk factors, setting-based risk factors, offender diversity, victim selection and grooming, facilitators for perpetration, protective factors, faith-based settings, early childhood education and care and schools, healthcare settings, out-of-home care, sports, screening, situational prevention approaches, education and training strategies, applying prevention strategies in non-major institutions, and implications for practice.

How can child welfare and youth-serving organisations keep children safe?

Higgins D
15 September 2016
This webinar will describe evidence-based solutions to creating child-safe cultures in child and family welfare organisations. The following key strategies for keeping children safe will be discussed: pre-employment screening; ongoing suitability assessment; limiting opportunities by identifying and addressing situational risks; developing policies and procedures for identifying signs of abuse and responsibility for responding to disclosures; providing training and ongoing support for staff; and implementing sexual abuse-specific prevention and education programs. Key issues and challenges for policy and practice, and the research implications of the gaps in our knowledge, will also be covered. The webinar will be particularly relevant for out-of-home care services, and all child-serving organisations including schools, early childhood education and care, youth-serving organisations and religious organisations.

A study into the legislative - and related key policy and operational - frameworks for sharing information relating to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts

Adams C and Lee-Jones K
Sydney : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016.
This report reviews information sharing arrangements in Australia relating to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts. In particular, it investigates what aspects facilitate or impede the appropriate and timely sharing of information between institutions and across jurisdictions to identify, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. Legislative and policy frameworks are reviewed regarding duty of confidentiality, and privacy, child protection and out-of-home care, working with children checks and screening, child sex offenders registers and monitoring, early childhood services and schools, juvenile detention, and extracurricular activities.

Inquiry into abuse in disability services: final report

Edwards M
Melbourne : Victorian Government Printer, 2016.
This inquiry investigates the abuse of people who access disability services in Victoria and the effectiveness of current safeguards. The findings of stage 1 of the inquiry - which focused on the impact of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - were published in 2015. This second and final report presents the findings and recommendations of stage 2, which investigated any additional issues on why abuse among this client group is not reported or acted upon, as well as best practice in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse, and the powers and processes of Victoria's current investigation and oversight bodies. Topics include: experiences of abuse and neglect in disability services, prevalence, barriers to reporting abuse, experiences of reporting, whistleblowers, the criminal justice system, witnesses with complex communication needs, mandatory reporting, the Department of Health and Human Services' critical incident management system, workforce screening and training, workforce culture, gender and violence, prevention, advocacy, independent oversight, and transitioning to the NDIS.

An overview of the Victorian child safe standards

Victoria, Victoria. Dept. of Health and Human Services
Melbourne : Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2015.
The Victorian Government has introduced compulsory minimum standards that will apply to organisations that provide services for children, to help protect children from all forms of abuse. The standards will be phased in from 1 January 2016. This document provides an overview of the new standards, describing each standard and providing examples of how it could be implemented in different types of organisations. The standards address the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds, the safety of children with a disability, organisational culture and leadership, child safe policies and codes of conduct, screening and supervision, processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse, the identification and reduction of risk, and the promotion of participation and empowerment of children.

Inquiry into abuse in disability services [interim report]

Edwards M
Melbourne : Victorian Government Printer, 2015.
This inquiry investigates the abuse of people who access disability services in Victoria and the effectiveness of current safeguards. This report presents the findings and recommendations of stage 1 of the inquiry, which focuses on the impact of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It aims to inform the Victorian Government on appropriate quality and safeguards for the NDIS, including workforce recruitment and supervision, complaint handling systems, and the impact of current safeguards on consumers' rights and protections.

Working with Children Checks report

Australia. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Sydney, NSW : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2015.
Working with Children Checks are one tool that institutions and governments can use to help ensure the right people are selected to work with children and that children are protected from child sexual abuse in institutional settings. This mechanism has been reviewed as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This report reviews current state and territory approaches to Working with Children Checks and presents the Royal Commission's final recommendations for strengthening their impact on child safety. Their first recommendation is that all state and territory governments should amend their Working with Children Checks laws to implement the standards identified in this report, as an interim measure while working towards a national model.

Scoping review: evaluations of pre-employment screening practices for child-related work that aim to prevent child sexual abuse

South S, Shlonsky A and Mildon R
Sydney, N.S.W. : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2015.
To help the Royal Commission with its work, this report was commissioned to review the nature and extent of the evidence on the effectiveness of pre-employment screening practices that aim to prevent child sexual abuse. Evaluation studies from Australia and overseas were reviewed, and their findings, suggestions and recommendations discussed. Though this scoping review did not reveal any rigorous evaluations of the effects of pre-employment screening practices on rates of child sexual abuse - not surprising given the methodological difficulties involved - the literature does suggest that pre-employment screening practices most likely contribute to safeguarding children.

Child safe, child friendly: Child Safety Risk Management Framework 2015

UnitingCare Queensland
Brisbane, Qld. : UnitingCare Queensland, 2015
This document presents UnitingCare Queensland's framework for creating and maintaining a child-safe organisation. Written for the organisation's staff, it sets out their overall policy guiding the safety of children in contact with their services, how risk will be assessed across different service groups, and resources for use in implementation, including education and communication resources. Issues include organisational culture, recruitment and screening, code of conduct, risk assessment and mitigation, recognising grooming and abuse, and reporting and disclosure. UnitingCare Queensland provides health and community services across Queensland and into the Northern Territory.

Working with children checks - time to step back?

Tilbury C
Australian Journal of Social Issues v. 49 no. 1 2014: 87-100
Screening the criminal history of people seeking to work or volunteer in child-related organisations commenced in Australia in 2000, and since then 'working with children check' schemes have expanded, largely without question. Every jurisdiction now has a legislated or administrative scheme, routinely checking the criminal histories of thousands of people to determine if they pose a risk to children. But in any regulatory regime, questions of effectiveness and efficiency arise. The main features of working with children check schemes operating in Australia are examined in this paper. Problems related to effectiveness, equity, and costs are identified. A better balance is needed between routine criminal history checks and other mechanisms for identifying and monitoring the risks posed to children by people who work with them.

What you need to know about background screening: COPS, Community Oriented Policing Services ; National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Anderson K and Daly D
Washington, DC : Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, 2013.
"Youth-serving organizations have the fundamental duty to protect the children within their care. [This book] is a simple, yet powerful resource ... dedicated to helping youth-serving organizations by providing information on how to better screen employees and minimize the risk to the children they serve. This guidebook describes six layers of screening an agency should consider when developing a comprehensive background-screening process and offers links to useful tools and resources to help youth-serving agencies understand the best screening practices that are available."--End page.

Creating safer organisations : practical steps to prevent the abuse of children by those working with them

Erooga M
Chichester, West Sussex : Wiley, 2012.
"Several recent high profile abuse cases, including The Little Ted's Nursery case, have brought the abuse of children by workers and volunteers into greater public awareness. The traditional approach to protecting children - screening to keep offenders out - is important, but not enough. Potential risk can come from a wide range of individuals, many of whom contradict our expectations, including female abusers like nursery worker Vanessa George and foster carer Eunice Spry, and those who may not be aware of their own capacity to abuse. At the same time, social networking, text messaging and e-mail have eroded traditional boundaries, and supervising contact between adults and children is no longer as easy as it once was. [This book] brings together practitioners, academics and researchers to suggest new interviewing approaches and situational prevention measures to promote a culture if appropriate behaviour, informed by the most up to date research with sexual offenders."

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the blue card system

Queensland. Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
Brisbane, Qld : Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, 2012.
The blue card system is a child protection measure in Queensland aimed at assessing and monitoring people working with children and young people. This paper describes how the Commission aims to increase the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the blue card system.

The blue card system and child protection in Queensland

Queensland. Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
Brisbane, Qld : Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, 2012.
The blue card system is a child protection measure in Queensland aimed at assessing and monitoring people working with children and young people. This paper describes the work of the system, which was first introduced in 2001.

Review of the Working with Children Check (Criminal Record Check) Act 2004

Guest L
Perth, W.A. : Minister for Child Protection, 2012
This review examines the operation and effectiveness of the Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004 in Western Australia. This Act is a child protection measure requiring persons undertaking, or proposing to undertake, child-related work to pass a stringent criminal record checking process - which, unlike standard pre-employment criminal record checks, is both ongoing and more detailed. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the review, undertaken for the Minister for Child Protection.

Measuring the value and contribution of the blue card system in Queensland

Queensland. Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian
Brisbane, Qld. : Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian, 2012.
The blue card system is a child protection measure in Queensland aimed at assessing and monitoring people working with children and young people. This paper describes the work of the system, which was first introduced in 2001.

Keeping children safe: a toolkit for child protection

Keeping Children Safe Coalition
London : Save the Children, 2011.
"'The Keeping Children Safe: A Toolkit for Child Protection' is a complete package for people working in safeguarding children across the world. It aims to support agencies at international, national and local levels to put these standards into practice. This is a revised toolkit with new material from the Child-to-Child Trust to incorporate child participation in child protection. If put in place, the toolkit's simple policies and procedures will significantly strengthen child safeguarding in an organisation."

Vetting and barring scheme : remodelling review : report and recommendations.

Great Britain. Dept. for Education
London : Dept. for Education and Dept. of Health, 2011
The VBS had been created to help safeguard children and vulnerable adults, following the Bichard Inquiry and was designed to check the records of those who wanted to work with vulnerable groups.

Toward a nationally consistent approach to Working with Children Checks: position paper.

Australia. Dept. of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Canberra : Dept. of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, 2011
Currently in Australia, there is no consistent approach to pre-employment screening legislation across all of the states and territories, including for Working with Children Checks. This position paper outlines the importance of a nationally consistent approach to such checks, and identifies actions to enhance national consistency. This paper provides a summary of actions achieved so far, actions in progress, and proposed actions that would contribute to national consistency, including cross-jurisdictional information sharing, screening, and taking a risk management approach to creating child safe organisations.
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