Safeguarding our children starts with appropriate checks
Many employees and volunteers in parishes working with children are aware of the need for either a Working with Children Check (WWCC) in NSW or a Working with Vulnerable Person (WWVP) registration if in the ACT.
These checks are only one of many strategies needed to make organisations child-safe, but a crucial step nonetheless. Failure by either an employee or volunteer to hold a WWCC/WWVP when working with children could result in a significant fine for the relevant employer.
These schemes prevent people from working or volunteering with children if records indicate that they may pose an unacceptable level of risk to children.
For volunteers there is no cost in obtaining either a WWCC or a WWVP. All Archdiocesan clergy and many Chancery staff working throughout the Archdiocese often need to hold both the NSW clearance and ACT Registration.
The NSW WWCC is an ongoing assessment of a person’s suitability 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 a review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a WWCC is either a clearance or a bar and is valid for up to five years.
The ACT WWVP is an assessment conducted by Access Canberra involving a thorough risk assessment of a person’s conviction and non-conviction history, and any other information relevant to the background screening process. Based on the outcome of the risk assessment a person may be issued with a registration card with a unique identifying registration number that is valid for up to three years. The card must be carried at all times by a person engaged in a regulated activity.
A Police Check is current only on the day of issue and is simply a list of the offences from a person’s criminal history that can be disclosed. It does not involve an assessment of risk or suitability by a government agency.
The Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Sexual Abuse agreed with the majority of government and non-government stakeholders whom were consulted about WWCCs; that they deliver unquestionable benefits to the safeguarding of children.
Please assist your Parish Secretary by ensuring you keep your WWCC/WWVP updated and working with them when they approach you about the need for the relevant check.
The following links will assist you to keep your details updated,
and if your clearance/registration is about to expire, the following links will help you with the renewal process.
Please start the renewal process within seven weeks of your WWVP expiry date for the ACT
or within three months of your WWCC expiry date for NSW