This audit assessed how well the Department for Child Protection and Family Support (the Department) administered the working with children check to help increase the safety of children. We had three main questions:
- Does the Department thoroughly assess working with children check applications?
- Does the Department appropriately monitor criminal records and other relevant information of working with children check card holders?
- Does the Department ensure all relevant employees and volunteers in child-related work have a valid working with children check card or application in process?
We reviewed the Department’s processes, procedures and systems. We also reviewed the assessment of all 28 applicants with Class 1 convictions and all 186 cases of interim negative notices or negative notices issued to card holders from December 2005 to March 2014. These applicants and card holders had committed serious offences considered the greatest risk of harm to children.
We met with Australia Post who initially process applications and with the WA Police, who provide relevant criminal record information to the Department. We also met with the Department of Health and Department of Education, as employers with large numbers of staff in child-related work to understand how they measured their compliance with the working with children check requirements.
We did not review the verification process undertaken by Australia Post to confirm the identity of applicants.
The audit was conducted in accordance with Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards.