is required to assess whether a potential employee or volunteer could pose a risk to the safety of children, while working for an organisation offering these services:
- child and family welfare
- sporting or recreational
- religious or spiritual instruction
- child care and child protection
Conducting child-related employment screening
Screening can be done by an authorised screening unit, such as the DHS Screening Unit, or organisations can undertake their own criminal history assessments.
A child-related employment screening done by the DHS Screening Unit is valid for three years and is continuously monitored to ensure a person’s clearance remains up-to-date.
On 1 July 2019, the child-related employment screening process is being transitioned to a new working with children check.
Information assessed as part of a child-related employment screening
The range of information that is assessed includes:
- a national criminal history check
- information from South Australian government databases, such as SA child protection records from Families SA (Department of Education and Child Development) and Care Concern investigations (by DHS or DECD) into the welfare of children in foster or state care
- publicly available information from professional registration bodies relating to persons disciplined or precluded from working with children or vulnerable people
- information from South Australian police, courts, and prosecuting authorities including information about charges for offences alleged to have been committed (regardless of the outcome of those charges)
- expanded criminal history information from other Australian police jurisdictions, and
- any declarations made by the applicant in response to questions in the 'declaration' section of their screening application form.
In some cases, information from professional accreditation bodies regarding people disciplined and/or precluded from working with children or vulnerable adults will be taken into account.
Factors considered in the assessment
The following factors are considered during the assessment process for child-related employment screening:
- the nature of and circumstances surrounding the offence
- the presence of a pattern of offending (if any)
- time elapsed since the offence was committed
- severity of a court-imposed penalty
- the age and vulnerability of the victim
- the relationship to the victim and age difference
- applicant's own age at the time of the offence
- whether a child played a part in committing the offence (either directly or indirectly)
- relevance of the offence to the role of the applicant
- the applicant's conduct since the time of the offence.
It is unlikely that an applicant will be considered suitable for employment or volunteering if they are convicted of:
- sexual assault
- an offence involving child pornography, child prostitution or child abuse, for example, criminal neglect.