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AMENDMENTS TO WORKING WITH CHILDREN ACT 2005

Amendments to Working with Children Act 2005

As of 1 August 2017 changes to the Working with Children Act 2005 come into effect that aim to strengthen the protection of children.

Who does this effect? Changes to The Act will now require the following roles to have a WWCC: • Junior Leaders • Juvenile Fire Awareness Intervention Program (JFAIP) • Fire Safe Kids (FSK) Presenters • Fire Safe Youth (FSY) Presenters • Mobile Engagement Unit (MEU) Presenters From 1 August 2017 CFA needs to ensure that anyone who performs the above roles have provided CFA with a copy of their WWCC or cease delivering the programs until such time that a WWCC is provided. Those who hold the competencies/endorsements for the above roles have received direct communication from CFA about what they need to do. When is a WWCC not required? No other CFA staff member or volunteer is required by law to obtain a WWCC or provide a copy to CFA.You do not need a WWCC if you interact with children in other activities such as station visits, festivals, open days, fundraising or emergency response; this is part of your normal duties. Emergency response and community engagement are not considered ‘child related work’ under the Working with Children Act; even if they involve direct contact with children.

Why am I being asked to supply a WWCC by organisations we partner with? This is particularly relevant to brigades  that deliver VCAL and Advance (for example), who are being asked to provide Checks when they visit schools. Many organisations (particularly schools) have created their own policy requirements for Working with Children Checks. This means that although you are not legally required to have a WWCC because you do not hold one of the above roles, another organisation can prevent you entering their premises or attending events without one.

Whilst it is true that you do not ‘legally’ require a WWCC, it is also true that you may be unable to participate in school based events and activities without one. Anyone can apply for a Volunteer WWCC; they are free and can be obtained online at www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

Further information, answers to FAQs, links to external websites or how to provide a copy of your card to CFA can be found at https://cfa.engagementhq. com/childsafetyatcfa or by contacting the Child Safety Officer childsafetyofficer@ cfa.vic.gov.au

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