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Screening processes revised

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Adelaide and Port Pirie dioceses have updated their processes for screening individuals working or volunteering with children following changes to the State’s laws relating to child safety.

The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 and its associated regulations came into effect on July 1 this year. Organisations have been given a 12 month period in which to transition the new laws.

Under the new legislation, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has become the sole agency in South Australia to be able to conduct and provide assessment as to suitability of individuals to work or volunteer with or around children or young people. In addition, all checks undertaken after July 1 have a new five year validity period as opposed to the previous three years.

Annette Troiani, manager of the Archdiocesan Screening and Verification Authority, said while some minor changes to the existing policy were required, the Archdiocese had already positioned itself well to deal with the required changes since May 2016 when it partnered with DHS to facilitate the more robust child checks as its mandated check as opposed to only national police checks.

Changes required to ensure compliance with the new laws include removal of previously applied exemptions (Under 18s and renewal checks for over 80s), non-acceptability of other types of clearances such as Teachers Registration Board Certificates and interstate or overseas police certificates for any regular paid or volunteer roles, and non-acceptability of DHS volunteer checks for paid roles.

The Archdiocese moved to its revised model of screening from September 1, well ahead of the requirement to ensure implementation of the new laws by July 1 next year.

For more information, visit http://www.adelaide.catholic.org.au/our-people/screening-and-verification-authority

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