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New Children's Guardian Act commences

1 March 2020

Legislation consolidating the powers and functions of the NSW Children’s Guardian and reinforcing the role’s independence as the key regulator of child protection services in NSW came into effect today.

The Children’s Guardian Act 2019 commenced on 1 March 2020 to give the Children’s Guardian greater powers to help organisations create safer environments for children in NSW.

The new Act consolidates the Children’s Guardian’s functions for registration or accreditation and monitoring of voluntary and statutory out-of-home care agencies as well as regulating children’s employment in the entertainment industry.

The new Act also extends the Children’s Guardian’s functions to include the Community Visitor Scheme (relating to children and young people) and an expanded Reportable Conduct Scheme, which transfer to the Office of the Children’s Guardian from the NSW Ombudsman.

Children’s Guardian, Janet Schorer, said the team coming across from the Ombudsman brought with them valuable expertise and experience.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome them into my team and I look forward to the work we can do together for the safety of NSW children,” she said.

The new Act also provides the Children’s Guardian with the power to establish a Residential Care Workers Register, which will provide additional safeguards for vulnerable children.

Ms Schorer thanked those who contributed to the consultation process for drafting the legislation.

“This new legislative framework is an important development for our organisation, and I look forward to continuing to work with the sector in our combined efforts to keep children and young people safe in NSW,” she said.