NSW Reportable Conduct Scheme - helping to keep kids safe
From 1 March 2020, the Reportable Conduct Scheme will be transferred to the Office of the Children’s Guardian from the NSW Ombudsman under the new Children's Guardian Act 2019.
The scheme oversights how organisations investigate and report on certain conduct (known as 'reportable allegations' and 'reportable convictions') made against their employees, volunteers or certain contractors who provide services to children. The scheme will also cover religious bodies, in line with recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
From 1 March 2020, when the head of an organisation (called a 'relevant entity') becomes aware of a reportable allegation or a reportable conviction, the head of that entity must notify the Office of the Children's Guardian within seven business days and conduct an investigation into the allegations. If the final entity report is not ready to submit within 30 calendar days, the head must provide an interim report with information about the progress of the investigation and an expected timeframe for completion.
Under the new Act, the Office of the Children’s Guardian will generally oversight the entity's response to the allegation, to ensure the response has been appropriate and transparent and met the entity's legislative obligations and initiated an own motion investigation. The Children’s Guardian may also monitor the progress of an entity’s investigation, if the Children’s Guardian considers it is in the public interest to do so.
Until 1 March 2020, the scheme will continue under the current legislative and operational arrangements and requirements of the Ombudsman under the Ombudsman Act. Any questions about current reportable allegations should continue to be directed to the Reportable Conduct Team at the NSW Ombudsman on (02) 9286 1021.
If you have any questions about the scheme’s transfer please contact the Office of the Children’s Guardian at RCStransition@kids.nsw.gov.au
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