No matter which way you spin it, there is a problem – sorry . . . problems – with Working with Children Checks.
The flaws in the current system are many and serious. And they directly impact on an organisation’s ability to satisfy itself that it is providing a child-safe environment.
As a parent of five children all under the age of 14, this is obviously something very close to my heart on a personal level, and it doesn’t cut it for me when school excursions come around and parents helping out simply flash their Working with Children card and we’re all meant to think, “Awesome – we’re all covered”.
In fact, my personal involvement with schools, clubs, associations and employers has led me to take a far greater interest in this sphere on a professional level.
I believe this piece is timely in the wake of the Victorian Government’s recent changes to legislation looking to ensure more people are required to obtain a Working with Children card, and I applaud them for this.
However, it still doesn’t address, let alone solve, the issue of organisations being exposed to the real possibility of children being placed at risk due to the lack of adequate checks and balances after a card has been issued.
How is this so, I hear you ask.
Have you ever been asked to show your card but the organisation has only looked at it rather than taken a record of it?
If they did take a copy of it, did they then check its validity on the appropriate website?
Is the organisation you’re working for/volunteering attached to your card? If not, how does the organisation know you are still suitably qualified to be working with kids?
On that last point, it is your responsibility to attach the various organisations to your profile, but the first two points should make you stop and think: are the organisations doing as much as practically possible to provide a child-safe environment?
There is a solution.
My passion for this area of society has led me to create a system to assist organisations in ensuring they have their house in order when the inevitable stricter policing by the Government in this sphere occurs. And it is coming.
To find out more, visit wevechecked.com.au, but in essence we’ve created an all-encompassing platform that provides peace of mind for parents, and makes the administration of the above transactions simple for all organisations.
The Working with Children system serves a purpose as a check, but to ultimately provide a child-safe environment these additional layers of accountability from both organisations and individuals are imperative to make it reach its intended outcomes.