As a carer, you must have a working with children check (WWCC). All adults living at your house and regular guests must also have a working with children check.

This is important to help keep children safe.

If you already have a valid child-related employment screening check, it will be recognised as a WWCC until it expires.

About working with children checks

A working with children check assesses whether you could pose a risk to the safety of children, based on your criminal history and other child protection information.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit is the only service that can do a working with children check.

A working with children check is valid for 5 years. During this time it is continuously monitored by the DHS Screening Unit. If the DHS Screening Unit receives new information that you pose a risk to children's safety, your check will be reassessed.

People with severe disabilities are not exempt from obtaining a WWCC. If the carer’s children have a severe disability they are required to have a valid WWCC, however, the carer can lawfully act on their behalf and sign the application form.

Read more about the check process.

The Department for Child Protection (DCP) keeps a record of your working with children check expiry date. If you are a foster carer, your foster care agency also keeps a record.

About 6 to 7 months before your working with children check expires, your DCP carer support worker or foster care agency will get in contact. They will support you to prepare and submit your new application.

You do not need to pay for the clearance.

If your clearance lapses and is not renewed, or if you are identified as a prohibited person, you can no longer perform your carer role. In these situations we must take action to ensure the safety of the child or young person in your care.

You must inform your carer support worker or your child’s case worker if a new adult begins living with you, or stops living with you.

DCP encourages you to chat to your support worker to help identify who fits into this category.

If a friend, family member or neighbour has the potential to have unsupervised contact with a child in care, and if this unsupervised contact will be ongoing, they should obtain a Working with Children Check.

For example, this could include if they provide regular babysitting or picking up a child from school on behalf of a carer.

If a young person living in your house turns 18, they must get a working with children check.

Contact your carer support worker before the young person’s birthday. The DHS Screening Unit will accept WWCC applications for young people in your household 14 years and over. Your carer support worker will be able to help the young person to submit a WWCC application.

Page last updated: 23 February 2022