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NSW Working With Children Check

The NEW Working With Children Check for NSW
What does my church need to do?
What Do I need to do?

The new Working with Children Check for NSW began on 15th June 2013 and will continue to be phased in over the next four years. In the first phase in period to 31st March 2014, Ministers and Pastors applied for their clearance numbers.  Now up until 31st March 2015, ALL volunteers working with children and any paid staff working with children in the church not captured in the first phase in period must apply for a new Working with Children Check clearance number.

The onus is on individuals to apply for a clearance number but that is not the last step. Organisations (including the local churches) are required to verify the Working with Children Clearance numbers for those individuals who work with children in their church’s activities. It is now a legislated requirement that for all new child-related volunteers/paid workers, the church must verify each individuals Working With Children Check clearance BEFORE they commence their role working with children. For existing volunteers/workers, we have been given until 31st March 2015 to come into line with this requirement.

The reason for this verification step is to create a link between an individual and an organisation/employer in the NSW Office of Children’s Guardian (OCG) Working with Children Check system. The monitoring function of the check can then work effectively as employers can be notified if an individual volunteering/working with them has there clearance status revoked. Without this verification step, the OCG has no way to know which organisations any particular individual is volunteering/working for.

If you have any church activities where individuals (paid and/or volunteer) are working with children (under 18 years old), you will need to register as an child-related employer with the NSW Government Office of Children’s Guardian. To register, your leadership (Church Council and Leadership Team/Minster/Pastor) will need to complete an online form (available via www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au) on behalf of the church, including providing your ABN, contact information and nominating one or two appropriate contact persons to be notified if any serious matters arise. In this process you will also choose ‘log in’ details to enable appropriate persons in your leadership/staff to verify WWCC clearance numbers for volunteers/staff at your church. A record of individuals verified, including WWCC number, date clearance verified, and expiry date, must be kept by the church. A template for recording WWCC verifications is available via the www.childrensministry.org.au website.

For congregations who work in a multicentre or cluster arrangement and work under one ABN number can register as one employer with multiple sites. If this is the case, you must ensure that all congregations and activities have a way to verify centrally and details of all verifications are recorded satisfactorily.

For individuals working with children in the church:
If you are working with children as a volunteer or paid staff at your church, you will need to apply for a WWCC this year. Just follow these 3 steps below to complete your check.
Step 1:
Complete application for WWCC online: www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au
Step 2: Take your application number from the online process along with identification to be verified at your local RTA/RMS (or Government Access Centre). Identification required the same proof of identity as required if you were applying for a NSW drivers licence or proof of age card.
Step 3: When you receive your clearance number, pass these details onto your Church Council or other nominated leader for verification. The easiest way to pass on the necessary information for your church/employer to verify is to pass on a copy of your notice of clearance number.  To verify an individual’s Working With Children Check online, an organisation will need their:  1) Full Name, 2) Date of birth, and 3) Working With Children Check number.

I have already applied but not received any response yet….
If you have completed steps one and two and you have not received your results within four weeks, please email your details (including your Working With Children Check application number) to newcheck@kids.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 9286 7276. In some cases it may take longer because of high volumes of applications or if there are many people sharing the same name. In other cases, there may have been incorrect spelling or a mistype when the application was submitted.

Any questions or if you need further assistance with Working With Children Checks…
Emma Parr – Uniting Mission and Education –  02 8267 4381 / EmmaP@nswact.uca.org.au
Vicki Roper – Synod Employment & Industrial Relations Manager – 02 8267 4365 / VickiR@nswact.uca.org.au

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