5 July 2017
Regulatory amendments to provide greater protection to children are now in force in NSW.
An amendment to the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013 which came into effect on 1 July 2017 expands the meaning of direct contact in the context of the NSW Working With Children Check. The amendment will operate where a worker provides ongoing counselling, mentoring or distance education for children in NSW by any form of communication (including online or telephone contact).
This amendment expands the meaning of direct contact beyond its current scope of face-to-face or physical contact to any form of communication but only in relation to the targeted workers referred to above. This means these workers will now require a Working With Children Check.
The amendment responds in a targeted way to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in its report of August 2015 on Working With Children Checks (specifically Recommendation 7). The aim of the recommendation is to ensure that Working With Children Check schemes are able to identify and respond to the growing use of technology and the opportunities that these technologies afford to groom children and facilitate child sexual abuse.
An amendment has also been made to the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) (Child Employment) Regulation 2015.
This amendment clarifies that a child who is more than 6 years old must be supervised during the child's employment by a parent or the parent's nominee or by an adult with both training and experience in the care of children of the age of the child to be supervised - replacing the previous wording of "training or experience".
This amendment came into force on 30 June 2017.
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