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 increase child safety 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 and creating a culture of safety and wellbeing, we can actively contribute to the creation of child-safe and friendly environments in WA.

As a parent or guardian of a child participating in a program, activity or service, you can support child safety 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. You can confirm the WWC Card’s validity by using the WWC Card Validation online service on this website. It will confirm that the Card is currently valid. If a person does not have a WWC Card but has applied for a one, their receipt is proof that they have a pending application. You can check the status of their application by clicking here.
  • asking the organisation about their recruitment and screening processes and whether staff and/or volunteers have WWC Checks if they require them.
  • talking to the organisation about their child safety policies and procedures, including their code of conduct 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.
  • becoming familiar with the organisation’s complaints handling process and how you can raise any concerns.
  • 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 to keep your child safe by:

  • Keeping your child’s information private – 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 safety as a key priority and are transparent in their recruitment and screening processes.
  • Asking questions – talk to the person about their qualifications and experience.
  • Contacting referees – this provides some insight into the person’s character and capabilities.
  • Checking references and screening requirements – if the person engages in child-related work then they must obtain a WWC Check. If they already hold a WWC Card, then be sure to check the validity on this website.  Depending on the service, you may also request a National Police Certificate, for example if you are hiring someone to transport your child to and from school, you will want to consider any traffic offences they may have in their criminal history.
  • Knowing 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 August 2018