Most children and young people enjoy participating in the activities and services provided by communities and organisations.
The staff, volunteers and students on work experience with these organisations make a valuable contribution to kids’ lives.
In this section of our website you will find sensible advice, information and resources that will help your organisation, program or group to promote child-safe and child-friendly policies and practices.
Child-safe means taking steps to keep children safe from physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
Child-friendly means kids are valued, respected and included so they feel confident they will be listened to.
Kids, parents, staff, volunteers and students can all contribute to – and benefit from – creating child-safe and child-friendly environments.
There are some simple and easy-to-follow strategies you can use to make your organisation safer for kids. They will also help make your service more attractive and fun to the children and young people who spend time there.
How to develop a Child-Safe and Child-Friendly Policy for your Community Language School
Policies and code of conduct
Having a policy and a code of conduct shows staff, volunteers, kids, their families and the community that you are an organisation that is committed to being child-safe and child-friendly. You can provide parents and carers with the A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Child-Safe and Child-Friendly Programs resource (available below) to help them understand what makes an organisation child-safe and child-friendly. Policy
A “Children and Young People’s Policy” guides you on how to treat the kids in your organisation, and how to encourage their participation. You want this policy to reduce the risk of harm to kids in your organisation. A clear, well thought out policy reflects your organisations needs and activities and increases awareness about the importance of building child safe and friendly environments. Follow the link below to download the Child-Safe and Child-Friendly Policy resource for help on how to develop and put a policy into practice.
Code of Conduct
A Code of Conduct outlines your organisations values and provides boundaries for behaviour of staff, parents and kids. It also sets out how to respond when anyone does not behave properly. Involving everyone in the development of both your Policy and Code of Conduct means it will more likely be used. A widely promoted Code of Conduct helps everyone to keep an organisation child-safe and child-friendly. Follow the link below to download the Developing Codes of Conduct resource for help on developing a code of conduct for your organisation. A similar code can be developed for kids to help them define their rights and responsibilities.
Duty of Care
Please read the following article about Duty of Care of teachers:
Working With Children Check (WWCC)
– Workers and volunteers apply for their own WWCC once every 5 years.
– Employers register as a child related employer with the Office of the Children’s Guardian and verify their child–related worker/volunteer’s WWCC clearance number.
The same Working With Children Check applies to everyone – paid workers, employed people and volunteers. Everyone with a clearance will be continuously monitored for serious sex or violence offences.
When a worker or volunteer applies for a new Working With Children Check the result will be either a clearance or a bar. People with a bar may not work or volunteer in child–related roles.
Both applications and employer verifications are done online.
The check is free for volunteers and costs $80 for paid workers and self–employed people.
A volunteer WWCC cannot be used for paid work with children.
Who needs a check
Adults who work or volunteer in a child related role will need a new Working With Children Check unless they are exempt. The child related roles must involve face to face contact with children in a child–related setting (please check the Working With Children Check website for exemptions.)
Who doesn’t need a check
People employed or volunteering in positions which don’t have direct physical or face-to-face contact with children, do not need a new Working With Children Check. For instance Community Language School committee members who do not have contact with the children, volunteers helping on enrolment day or other special festivals, functions or excursion days which involve less than 5 days work. (Please check the Working With Children Check website for further details)
How do you get a New Working With Children Check done
It is a simple two–step process:
1.Fill in an online form or call the helpline to have someone fill in a form you. You will have to give the name of the organization or CLS you intend to volunteer for.
2. Go to a Services NSW office and have your identity confirmed. You will need to take your Working With Children Check application number and appropriate identification with you.
You need to provide either a NSW-issued driver photo licence or NSW Photo Card that is current or expired within the last two years (provided it is not recorded as lost, stolen or destroyed), or two other documents – one from List 1 and one from List 2. Proving Your Identity
3. You will be contacted whether you received a clearance or a bar. This might take up to a week.
Timeline for change for teachers
How to register your Organization, Association and Community Language School
Since the 15th June 2013, organizations who employ workers or volunteers must register with the Working With Children Check. Click How to verify a WWCC v.2 to download instructions on how to register your school with the Office of the Children’s Guardian and verify your teacher’s WWCC.
Record Keeping Requirements for Organizations, Associations and Community Language Schools
A record has to be kept for your Organization, Association and Community Language School of all workers, volunteers’ and teachers’ Working With Children Check history.
The record has to have
- First name , Surname
- Date of Birth
- Working With Children Check clearance number
- Working With Children Check expiry date (valid for 5 years)
- Date of when your organisation verified the worker, volunteer or teacher
This record has to be kept in your school files and be updated regularly. Here is a template: Record of WWCC Verifications
Information about the Working With Children Check is also available in 18 community languages.