When it comes to child safety, it’s important to understand there are legal requirements for sporting organisations, staff and volunteers in NSW.
Working with Children Check
The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is a requirement for anyone in paid or volunteer child-related work in NSW. Employers and organisations must verify the WWCC details of anyone they engage in child-related work. The Check lasts for 5 years and undergoes continuous monitoring, even if the Check holder moves jobs.
The Office of the Children’s Guardian manage the WWCC in NSW. Learn more.
Child Safe Standards
The Child Safe Standards identify what works to make organisations safer for children. They emphasise the importance of adopting multiple strategies to address child safety. In accordance with the Children's Guardian Act 2019, Sport and Recreation organisations providing services to children are required to implement the Child Safe Standards, under the Child Safe Scheme (as of 1 February 2022).
Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. Changes to the Crimes Act 1900 in August 2019 strengthened the civic responsibilities of adults in NSW. It is now a criminal offence for adults not to report to police if they ‘know, believe or reasonably ought to know that a child abuse offence has been committed’. In addition, people employed in child-related work may be subject to a criminal offence if they fail to reduce or remove risk of a child becoming a victim of child abuse.
Reporting - children at risk of harm
Anyone who suspects, on reasonable grounds, that a child or young person is at risk of harm should report it to the Child Protection Helpline on 132 111, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In an emergency, where there are urgent concerns for a child’s health or life, call the police immediately by dialling 000.
Mandatory reporters are required by law to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities. Learn more about mandatory reporters and mandatory reporting at Communities and Justice.
Reportable Conduct – allegations against workers
In NSW there are certain organisations, or 'relevant entities’ that have legal obligations under the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
These entities are required to notify and investigate certain allegations (reportable allegations) of abuse involving a child when the allegation is against someone they employ, engage or contract in circumstances outlined by the legislation.
The Reportable Conduct Scheme is governed by the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 and administered by the Office of the Children’s Guardian in NSW. Learn more
Laws differ between states and territories
Child safety laws vary between Australian states and territories. This is especially important to understand for sports teams and clubs who may travel interstate.