The importance of having a valid Working with Children Check is the focus of the new Ready, Check, GO! campaign being undertaken by the Department of Communities.
The Ready, Check, GO! campaign is focused on the sport and recreation sector and encourages organisations, employees, and volunteers to learn about their legal obligations and help them determine when a person needs a Working with Children Check.
The campaign is targeting clubs and associations, coaches, trainers, instructors, and officials who work with children, as well as parents with children involved in sporting and recreational activities.
The Working with Children Check is a screening process for people undertaking paid or unpaid child-related work in Western Australia.
It includes a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check, as well as ongoing collection and assessment of information that is relevant to determine whether a person may present an unacceptable risk of harm to a child, should a person engage in child-related work.
Applications for Working with Children Checks are growing every year. In the 2020-21 financial year, the Department of Communities received more than 145,000 Working with Children Check applications.
For employees, volunteers, or organisations who breach their obligations under the Working with Children Act, fines of up to $60,000 and five years can jail apply.
Information about the Working with Children Check can be found at www.workingwithchildren.wa.gov.au
Comments from Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
“Children’s sport and rec activities are an integral part of any community. Apart from the many children who participate, thousands of people are involved as coaches, club or group leaders, officials and volunteers.
“Unfortunately, the easy access to children can make these activities a target for predators, and that is why Working with Children Checks play such an important role in keeping children safe.
“In the past when sporting and recreational organisations have been found in breach of their obligations, it has often been due to a lack of understanding of their Working with Children Check requirements.
“This campaign is a reminder for everyone involved with children’s sport and recreation activities to be aware of their obligations. The safety of children is everyone’s responsibility.”
Comments from Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman:
“The Ready, Check, GO! campaign is asking people who work or volunteer with children in sport and recreation to determine if they need a Working with Children Check, and if they do, ensure they get one.
“The campaign also encourages parents and caregivers to find out more about who needs a Working with Children Check and shows how they can confirm that people involved with their child’s activities are accredited.
“Sport and recreation activities are great for kids and great for the community, and it is vital parents can be assured that the people working with their children have been appropriately and suitably screened, and their children are safe.”