Working With Children

In both SA and NT, people working with children in our churches must have appropriate clearance to do so.

South Australia

People aged 14 and over working or volunteering with children in South Australia must, by law, have a Working with Children Check (WWCC). 

Each church is responsible for making sure that all WWCCs are entered onto their Registration of Interest (ROI) via their DHS Portal. 

A WWCC is an assessment of whether a person poses an unacceptable risk to children. As part of the process, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Screening Unit will look at criminal history, child protection information and other information. 

  • Only the DHS can conduct a WWCC 
  • Checks for volunteers are free 
  • A WWCC is valid for 5 years and is continuously monitored. If new information means a person poses a risk to children’s safety, they will be prohibited from working from children and the DHS Screening unit will inform both the person affected and any organisations they’re linked to about the change 
  • A WWCC is transferable across organisations meaning applicants only need to get a WWCC once every 5 years 
  • Churches must record and cross reference WWCCs if they have been obtained externally 

A WWCC is the only check required by BCSANT for those in our SA Churches.

Northern Territory

People aged 15 and over working or volunteering with children in the Northern Territory must, by law, have a Working with Children Clearance (Ochre Card). 

The Northern Territory has a parallel system to apply for a Working With Children Clearance, commonly called an Ochre Card.

  • Only the NT Police SAFE can provide this clearance 
  • Costs vary for an Ochre Card depending on whether it is for employment or volunteering 
  • An Ochre Card is valid for 2 years and is a point in time check 
  • Once you have an Ochre Card, you can use it across multiple organisations 
  • Churches must record and check the validity of Ochre Cards  

An Ochre Card is the only check required by BCSANT for those in our NT Churches. 

You cannot use a volunteer check for paid work 

  • If you hold a volunteer check and then need one for paid employment, you must apply for a new check and pay for it 
  • If you hold a paid check, you can use it for volunteering 
  • Significant fines apply for using a volunteer check for paid employment 

DHS Portal 

  • Once a church registers with the DHS Screening unit they will be issued with a username and password to their own DHS portal. Your DHS portal can be accessed here
  • This is where the church can begin applications on behalf of an applicant; see progress of lodged applications; pay for applications; check the validity of a clearance and keep a Register of Interest (ROI) in people who work or volunteer for them 
  • Applications started by a church will automatically be added to their ROI 
  • Applications started by an individual or another organisation will need to be entered manually into your ROI via your DHS portal 

It is important that you, via your DHS Portal, register an interest in all people that require a WWCC to work or volunteer for your church. This is how DHS knows to notify you if a person’s status changes to PROHIBITED

If you do not register an interest, you will not be notified if anything changes. 

Other types of Checks 

Vulnerable and General Employment Checks 

  • These checks are not legislated and there are no laws requiring people to have this type of check 
  • If your work or volunteer role means you have a different check, such as for working in the disability sector or working with children, you don’t need to get a vulnerable person-related or general employment check, too. All information checked is contained within the information monitored in a WWCC 

Disability Services or Aged Care Check 

  • You need an Aged Care sector check if you work or volunteer for an organisation funded by the Commonwealth 
  • By law, you must have a Disability Services employment check if you work or volunteer with a government disability services provider or a non-government provider funded under the Disability Services Act 1993

More information

For more information and frequently asked questions please visit the DHS Screening Unit or contact our office