Child Safe Environment
All health services, including general practices, day procedure centres, Private Hospitals and other health services, need to:
- Conduct criminal history assessments on certain employees, contractors and volunteers who are working with children (unless an exemption applies)
- The lodgement of a Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department for Families and Communities
During AHPRAH registration there is a basic criminal check: (read more here) www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registration-Process/Criminal-history-checks.aspx
However, please refer to the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion in relation to police clearances for working with children: (read more here) screening.dcsi.sa.gov.au/screening-process/types-of-screening/child-related-employment
and you may find out how to apply here: screening.dcsi.sa.gov.au/screening-process/how-to-apply.
Laws regarding child safe environments
Changes to the child safe environment provisions of the Children's Protection Act 1993 took effect on 11 April 2015.
Organisations providing health services wholly or partly for children were already required to take steps to establish and maintain a safe environment for children.
These steps include:
- having in place child safe policies and procedures
- ensuring child-related employment screening is undertaken for positions prescribed in the Children’s Protection Act 1993
- lodging a Child Safe Environments Compliance Statement with the Department for Education and Child Development.
From 11 April 2015, child protection laws regarding child safe environments commenced. These laws, among other things, require sole traders, people working in partnerships and responsible authorities for organisations who provide certain services for children to obtain ‘prescribed evidence’ relating to their relevant history before conducting delivering services wholly or partly for children. Service areas covered by the new laws include health and welfare services that are provided wholly or partly for children.
The prescribed evidence can be either a national police certificate or a child related employment screening conducted by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Screening Unit. Parents, guardians and carers may also request in writing that sole traders, members of partnerships and responsible authorities for organisations show them prescribed evidence of their compliance with this requirement.
For a fact sheet about the new laws, click on the document below.