Queenscliff Surf Livefe Saving Child Protection Guidelines

OVERVIEW

Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club (QSLSC) has active involvement of families and children in the clubs activities, and thus has a strong interest in keeping children safe.  As a result, QSLSC has developed guidelines which complement the Surf Life Saving New South Wales (SLSNSW) and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) Member Protection Policies. 

All members of Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club (QSLSC), no matter whether they are in a child-related role or not, have a responsibility to protect children. All members must follow QSLSC policies, procedures, guidelines and code of conduct and should advise the Child Protection Officer or any other member of the QSLSC Committee/Board if they identify any risks to child protection. Members are accountable for their own behaviour and are expected to comply with any screening requirements and with any decisions and/or disciplinary measures imposed under legislation and QSLSC policies and guidelines. 

 

The NSW Working With Children Check (WWCC)

The Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Regulation 2013, have been developed to help better protect our children.  The WWCC is now a prerequisite for anyone in child-related roles, either paid or voluntary. 

The WWCC is managed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian (OCG) and involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct. The result of a WWCC is either a clearance to work with children for five years, or a bar against working with children. Cleared applicants are subject to ongoing monitoring, and relevant new records may lead to the clearance being revoked.

QSLSC members who are in defined ‘child-related’ roles, where they do not fall under any of the legislative exemptions, must complete a WWCC from April 2015. They must complete the WWCC application process and provide their WWCC Number or Application Number to the QSLSC Secretary.

Any child abuse allegations will be dealt with promptly, sensitively and professionally ideally by the Child Protection Officer, or if not, another allocated person nominated by the QSLSC Board who has knowledge/experience in handling such allegations. 

 

Who needs a Working With Children Check?

The WWCC is a prerequisite for paid and unpaid child-related work. Under Part 2, Section 6 of the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012, child-related work is defined as work in a specific, child-related role or face-to-face contact with children in a child-related sector. 

QSLSC is given consideration under the Act as a ‘Club or other body providing services for children’ which defines that:

(1)  Work for a club, association, movement, society or other body of a cultural, recreational, and sporting or community service nature that involves providing programs or services primarily for children is child-related work.

(2)  Without limiting subclause (1), work as a coach or as an age manager, or an assistant coach or assistant age manager, for a sport or activity for children is child-related work.

 (3)  However, the work is not child-related work if the work is work that does not ordinarily involve contact with children for extended periods without other adults being present.

 

Who is exempt from needing a Working With Children Check?

There are specified exemptions from the WWCC.  People covered by these exemptions are not required to have a WWCC.  The exemptions which are most relevant to SLS include:

(1)   Children (under the age of 18);

(2)   Administrative, clerical, maintenance or ancillary work not ordinarily involving contact with children for extended periods;

(3)   Very short term work: - A worker who works for a period of not more than a total of 5 working days in a calendar year, if the work involves minimal direct contact with children or is supervised when children are present - As a visiting speaker, adjudicator, performer, assessor or other similar visitor for a one off occasion, in the presence of one or more other adults;

(4)   Work only with close relatives (except as an authorised carer);

(5)   Volunteering by a parent or close relative (except where the work is part of a formal mentoring program or involves intimate, personal care of children with a disability) with a team, program or other activity in which the child usually participates or is a team member;

(6)   Co-workers and supervisors where a child works; or

(7)   Similar.

 

Parent Volunteers and the Working With Children Check

The WWCC allows parents to volunteer in activities that involve their own children without needing a Check. However, this is not a blanket exemption for all parent volunteers. If the work is part of a formal mentoring program or involves intimate personal care of children with a disability, the parent volunteer must get a Check.

There are only two exemptions for parent volunteers:

(1)    Volunteering by a parent or close relative of a child in activities for the child’s school, early education service or other educational institution

(2)   Volunteering by a parent or close relative, with a team, program or other activity in which the child usually participates or is a team member.

If the volunteering work fits either of these descriptions, the parent does not need to get at Check.

Part 1, clause 3 of the Regulation defines a close relative as: 

 (a) a spouse or de factor partner of the person; or 

  (b) a child, step-child, sibling, step-sibling, parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew of the person, and includes, in the case of an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander, persons who are part of the extended family or kin of the person, according to the indigenous kinship system of the person’s culture.

 

Surf Life Saving Roles

The following table defines the roles within QSLSC which are likely to have contact with children, whether a person undertaking this role would need a WWCC, and why or why not. This may not be an exhaustive list. 

 


THE WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK PROCESS

Process for Members

The process for SLSNSW Members who are required to have a WWCC as per the table above involves:

  • Those who already have a WWCC Number: Provide the WWCC Number, full name and date of birth to the Club office admin@queenscliffslsc.org.au for online verification
  • Those who do not already have a WWCC:  Complete the online application form (Click here to apply) once the form has been submitted an Application Number will be received; take the Application Number and proof of identify to a NSW Motor Registry, Government Access Centre, or Service NSW office; and provide the WWWCC Number to the QSLSC Club Secretary

Fees for the Working With Children Checks are $80 for paid workers and free for volunteers, and lasts for a period of five years. Please note that a volunteer WWCC is not valid for paid work. If you begin paid work you will have a maximum of 30 days from the date you receive your first pay to upgrade to a WWCC for paid workers. 

 

MEMBER PROTECTION DECLARATIONS

Even with the introduction of the WWCC, the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration form still needs to be completed by members. While the WWCC looks specifically at national criminal history and workplace misconduct in relation to child-related work, the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration is designed to make members aware of their responsibilities in relation to criminal charges more broadly, anti-doping violations, and any other matters which could constitute risk to members, employees, volunteers, athletes or reputation. 

 

Who needs to sign the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration?

All new adult members, as well as any adult members renewing their membership after a leave of absence of at least one season, are to sign the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration. 

Members under the age of 18 who work in child-related roles (as determined using the table in Section 3.4) must sign the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration form once only and must have their form co-signed by a parent or guardian. Once the child turns 18 they will need to re-complete the declaration and follow the guidelines as in the paragraph above. 

 

SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration Record Keeping

SLSNSW requires QSLSCs to keep the signed SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration form in a secure location for as long as that member is a part of the club and then 3 years after archiving the member. 

The completion of the SLSNSW Member Protection Declaration form must be recorded in ‘Member Protection’ section of SurfGuard. The following fields should be utilised:

SurfGuard Field Information to be entered by SLSC Member Protection Form: Check completed Member Protection Date: Record the date which the form was completed

Member Protection Expiry Date:

If the member is under 18, insert the date they will turn 18 to ensure that a new declaration is completed at this time.  

 

David Walton

QSLSC Child Protection Officer

1 July, 2015