What is a Working with children check?

Working with Children Checks (WWCC) are a requirement of the Children and Young People Safety Act 2017.

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

These checks are important to helping keep children and young people safe.

Who needs a Working with children check?

As a carer, you must have a WWCC.

All adults living at your house and regular guests having ongoing unsupervised contact with the child/ren must also have a WWCC.

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

DCP encourages you to chat to your support worker to help identify who is a regular household guest that requires a WWCC.

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.

If a young person living in your house turns 18, they must also have a WWCC. 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 from 17 years and 5 months. Your carer support worker will be able to help the young person to submit a WWCC application.

People with severe disabilities are not exempt from obtaining a WWCC. If a carer’s child has a severe disability they are required to have a valid WWCC.  The legal guardian/parent of that child can sign the application form.

How is the Working with children check completed?

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit is the only service that can do a WWCC.

Read more about the check process.

How often do I need one?

A WWCC 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 or someone in your household poses a risk to children's safety, your checks will be reassessed.

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

How do I renew my working with children check?

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

About 6 to 7 months before your WWCC 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.

What if I don’t have a working with children check?

If your clearance lapses and is not renewed, you may be unable to take on the care of a new child whilst a new WWCC is sought.

What if my WWCC check determines I am a prohibited person?

If you are identified as a prohibited person, DCP will take action to ensure the safety of the child or young person in your care.

Page last updated: 23 February 2022