Child Safe Environment
All health services, including general practices, day procedure centres, Private Hospitals and other health services, need to:
- Conduct criminal history assessments on certain employees, contractors and volunteers who are working with children (unless an exemption applies)
- The lodgement of a Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department for Families and Communities
During AHPRAH registration there is a basic criminal check: (read more here) www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registration-Process/Criminal-history-checks.aspx
On 1 July 2019 South Australia introduced new laws for people working or volunteering with children, and everyone working or volunteering with children must have a valid child-related screening. A new Working with Children Check was also introduced on this date. For all the information on the new Working with Children Check, including how to apply online, please go to https://screening.sa.gov.au/types-of-check/new-working-with-children-checks
Laws regarding child safe environments
Changes to the child safe environment provisions of the Children's Protection Act 1993 took effect on 11 April 2015.
Organisations providing health services wholly or partly for children were already required to take steps to establish and maintain a safe environment for children.
These steps include:
- having in place child safe policies and procedures
- ensuring child-related employment screening is undertaken for positions prescribed in the Children’s Protection Act 1993
- lodging a Child Safe Environments Compliance Statement with the Department for Education and Child Development.
From 11 April 2015, child protection laws regarding child safe environments commenced. These laws, among other things, require sole traders, people working in partnerships and responsible authorities for organisations who provide certain services for children to obtain ‘prescribed evidence’ relating to their relevant history before conducting delivering services wholly or partly for children. Service areas covered by the new laws include health and welfare services that are provided wholly or partly for children.
The prescribed evidence can be either a national police certificate or a child related employment screening conducted by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit. Parents, guardians and carers may also request in writing that sole traders, members of partnerships and responsible authorities for organisations show them prescribed evidence of their compliance with this requirement.
For a fact sheet about the new laws, click on the document below.