CAMPASPE residents are being urged to consider applying for a Working with Children (WWC) check ahead of new rules coming into effect from August 1.
Under the changes, more Victorians will need to have a valid WWC Check to engage in child-related work, including people volunteering at local schools, sporting clubs or other community organisations.
Department of Justice and Regulation deputy secretary Ryan Phillips said 5921 people in Campaspe Shire held current WWC Check cards and urged people to consider applying now before the changes came into effect.
‘‘We’re encouraging people who want to engage in child-related work to start applying for their WWC Check now to ensure that they can continue to participate in their community as volunteers, or in sporting or educational activities with children, after the changes come into effect,’’ Mr Phillips said.
The changes will implement key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to improve working with children regimes across Australia.
The changes will remove the element of supervision from the definition of ‘child-related work’ to ensure WWC Checks are required regardless of whether the person’s contact with a child is supervised or not.
The reforms will also expand the definition of ‘direct contact’ to include oral, written or electronic communication.
Mr Phillips also advised people who already undertake child-related work as a paid employee or volunteer to start talking to their organisations now so they know what will be required from August 1.
‘‘If the changes impact on your paid or volunteer work, the best way to guarantee that you are ready for the changes is to make an application now so you have a valid WWC Check card well in advance,’’ he said.
Applications can be made online at www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au and are free for volunteers.