In November 2016 new laws were passed in South Australia to strengthen background checks for people wanting to work or volunteer with children and young people.
The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 will ensure that a person who is assessed as being of high risk to the safety of children will be prohibited from working or volunteering with them. It will be an offence for an organisation to engage a person in a work or volunteer role where this is the case.
While the Act has been passed, or ‘assented’, by Parliament, it has not yet commenced (i.e. the Act has not yet been implemented and the new system of working with children checks has not yet started).
Organisations can continue with their normal staff or volunteering screening practices until the Act commences.
The Act lays the groundwork for change, but most of the finer detail will be contained in regulations, rather than in the Act itself. These regulations are being drafted at the moment, and community input will be sought on some elements.
For more information, please refer to the SA Attorney General's Department website.