Parents and Community

Keeping children safe is a whole of community responsibility. Parents, family and community members all make a vital contribution in promoting, creating and maintaining child-safe and friendly environments. The WWC Check is one strategy implemented by government and supported by the community which helps safeguard children in Western Australia. 

The WWC Check is like a swimming pool fence... a great safety measure but no substitute for supervision or teaching a child to swim. Keeping children safe requires more than just criminal history screening. Other areas such as a safe environment, supervision, training and empowering are equally important.

What you need to know about the WWC Check

What you can do to help create safer environments for children

As a community it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to create safe environments for children.  By considering ‘the best interests of children’ as a core factor in decision-making, we can ensure that our actions contribute to the safety and overall wellbeing of children in WA.

Parents and community members can help create safer environments for children by promoting and supporting the WWC Check and child safeguarding.  If you are a parent or guardian of a child participating in a program, activity or service, you can influence safeguarding by:

  • asking to see the WWC Card of all self-employed people who work with your child such as babysitters, nannies, counsellors, dance teachers, modelling teachers, music tutors and children’s entertainers.
  • validating WWC Cards on this website to see if they are valid.  Click here to visit our WWC Card Validation page.
  • validating the receipt of a person if they have applied for a WWC Check.  If a person does not have a WWC Card but has applied for a WWC Check, their receipt is proof that they have a pending application.  In most cases this allows them to start or continue their child-related work.  However if they have a conviction for a Class 1 offence committed when an adult, an Interim Negative Notice or Negative Notice they may not do so.  Click here to check a person’s WWC Application Status.
  • asking organisations where your child is involved if all staff and/or volunteers have WWC Checks if they require them.
  • talking to organisations about their child safety policies and procedures, staff recruitment, training and supervision, their code of conduct, how they handle complaints and if they welcome the involvement of parents and children.
  • taking the time to have a look around, drop in at unexpected times, observe how staff respond to children's needs, consider if the children are happy and if the environment is clean and well cared for; and be sure to ask other parents what they think about the organisation and service.
  • talking and listening to your child about their experiences and concerns.
  • getting involved and taking part in your child's activities helps keep them safe and you informed of what is happening in their world.

Tips for parents and guardians looking for children’s services online

Finding services for children online is becoming more popular.  Many parents are using social media sites or joining online networks for a range of services; including to hire babysitters, carers and au pairs.  If you are considering using an online service to meet your family’s needs, then you can help safeguard your child by:

  • Keeping private your child’s information – do not provide photos and personal information of your child on a site for anyone to access – even where a site encourages this.
  • Being mindful – look for sites which promote child safeguarding as a key priority and are transparent in their recruitment and screening processes.
  • Ask questions – talk to the person about their qualifications and experience.
  • Contact referees – this provides some insight into the person’s character and capabilities.
  • Check references and screening requirements – if the person engages in child-related work then they are required by law to obtain a WWC Check.  If they already hold a WWC Card then be sure to check the validity on this website.  If the person does not yet hold a WWC Check then they must apply for one.  You may also want to consider whether sighting a National Police Certificate would be appropriate.
  • Know your responsibilities – in some cases you may be considered the ‘employer’ of the person and will therefore have additional considerations and responsibilities.
  • Being vigilant. 

You may also find the following websites useful:

Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner 

 Commissioner for Children and Young People WA

Network of Community Activities Protect your Child from Sexual Harm: A Fact Sheet on Sexual Grooming

Page last updated23 June 2017