It is the policy of the department for all usual adult household members to hold a Working with Children Clearance (WWCC), previously known as a working with children check.
The policy for usual adult household members to obtain a WWCC provides increased oversight of persons associating and residing with children and young people to increase their safety whilst residing in kinship care.
In exceptional circumstances, where all other assessments of the placement are positive, and sufficient safety has been demonstrated, and there is a compelling ‘best interests’ argument for the placement continuing, a request for discretionary endorsement of a placement where a usual adult household member cannot obtain a WWCC or has been excluded from child related work, may be considered.
Kinship carers who cannot hold a WWCC cannot be reclassified as a household member to circumvent the legislative requirements of the Working Screening Act 2020. Therefore, this policy position and the following procedure does not apply to kinship carers.
See Discretionary endorsement for usual adult household members unable to hold a Working with Children Clearance for additional information.
Case practitioner tasks
- Review the national police history check to confirm the offences and to confirm if this will prevent the usual household member being issued with a WWCC.
A list of offences and their categories can be found at Categorisation of offences - advice.
- Consider if you want to seek endorsement for the placement to commence or continue when it is known the usual adult household member will not be issued with a WWCC in line with department criteria.
Endorsement for a household member who cannot hold a WWCC may be sought in the following circumstances:
- The household member is ineligible to apply for a WWCC due to a Category A offence.
- The household member has been issued with a suspension, interim exclusion notice, or interim prohibition notice by the Department of Government Services and has received a request to provide further information.
- The household member has been issued a prohibition, revocation, withdrawal, or exclusion notice by the Department of Government Services.
- Discuss with your supervisor or team manager and obtain approval to request discretionary approval for the placement.
- Undertake an assessment and complete the WWCC discretionary endorsement template (if approval to proceed is granted by your supervisor or team manager).
- Information from the kinship assessments completed can be used to complete the discretionary endorsement template.
- Further guidance on what information to consider for the assessment and documenting the rationale to support your recommendation can be found in the Template for use when seeking endorsement for a usual adult household member unable to hold a WWCC.
However, as a guide, the assessment of a usual adult household member must, as a minimum, consider the following:
- The capacity of the kinship carer(s) and the household members to promote the child/young person’s safety, wellbeing, and development.
- Any criminal record and criminal history of the household member, including any offences towards children/young people, or in the presence of children/young people (such as family violence offences).
- Any previous Child Protection involvement of the household member as a carer or parent of children/young people including a responsible for harm search.
- The circumstances that have contributed to the inability to hold a WWCC including the circumstances and context surrounding any criminal offending.
- Request a review of the completed template from the divisional principal practitioner.
- Submit the approved discretionary endorsement template to your team manager for approval (who will provide to the Child Protection Director via email for endorsement and submission to the required endorser)
The decision to refer a recommendation to endorse the placement is based on your professional judgment, including understanding the context of the child or young person’s situation and considering a range of factors regarding the care environment. These include:
- Age and vulnerability (for example, disability, high risk behaviours, previous experiences of abuse) of the child or young person
- What is the potential for harm towards the child or young person and is there enough protection and safety to reduce risk?
- What is the harm caused for the child or young person if they are unable to live in the placement?
- What contact or care will the usual adult household member have with the child or young person?
- What measures could be put in place to reduce the risk of the child/young person suffering harm?
- Record the decision to seek endorsement and the rationale for this recommendation on CRIS via a case note, using the subject line - “Rationale and assessment to seeking endorsement to place child/for child to remain in placement”.
- Record the outcome of the endorsement decision (including the signed assessment template) via a case note on CRIS with the subject line - “Endorsement decision outcome to place child/for child to remain in placement.”
- Approval for discretionary endorsement for the placement when a usual adult household member cannot hold a WWCC is the Statewide Principal Practitioner, Child Protection and Divisional Deputy Secretary for Category A offences, and for Category B and C offences, approval is required from the area operations manager/director or area executive director.
Team manager tasks
- Email the discretionary endorsement template to the area operations manager or director, Child Protection for their review, where discretion will be sought.
Divisional principal practitioner tasks
- Provide support to child protection practitioners when a decision is made to seek discretion for a usual adult household member residing in kinship care and unable to hold a WWCC.
- Review and have oversight all potential discretionary endorsement referrals being considered by the program.
Area operations manager/director Child Protection tasks
- Oversee the placement approval process where a usual adult household member cannot obtain a WWCC.
- Seek endorsement from the area executive director or director Child Protection (or another divisional area executive director), where disclosable Category B or Category C offences have resulted in the usual adult household member being unable to hold a WWCC, and all assessments of the placement are favourable and it is in the child’s best interests for the placement to proceed or continue.
Area executive director or director Child Protection tasks
- Endorse kinship placements in cases where a disclosable Category B or C offence results in a usual adult household member being unable to hold a WWCC.
- Seek endorsement from the Divisional Deputy Secretary for a kinship placement to proceed where a Category A offence precludes a usual adult household member from obtaining a WWCC. Ensure that consultation has occurred with the Statewide Principal Practitioner, Child Protection, Office of Professional Practice, and endorsement has been granted.
Statewide Principal Practitioner, Child Protection, Office of Professional Practice tasks
- Consult with practitioners when a Category A offence has prevented a usual adult household member, other than kinship carers, from obtaining a WWCC. The placement can only proceed if you endorse it (endorsement of the divisional deputy secretary is also required).
Divisional Deputy Secretary tasks
- Consult with practitioners when a Category A offence has prevented a usual adult household member, (other than kinship carer/s), from obtaining a WWCC. The placement can only proceed if you endorse it (endorsement of the Statewide Principal Practitioner, Child Protection, Office of Professional Practice, is also required).
- Discretionary endorsement for usual adult household members unable to hold a Working with Children Clearance
- Working with children clearance prohibition, suspension, revocation, interim exclusion and exclusion notice - policy
- Working with children clearances for kinship carers and usual adult household members - advice
- Template for use when seeking endorsement for a usual adult household member unable to hold a WWCC
- Assessing kinship care for Aboriginal children - advice
- Categorisation of offences - advice