2 August 2011

Six year transition for carer background checks

| johnboy
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Joy Burch is declaring a milestone in the long march to bring in background checks for people working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults.

ACT Minister for Community Services Joy Burch today announced the Government had secured the approval of the Mental Health Coalition ACT and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Association ACT, who had previously expressed concerns about how the Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Bill 2010 would impact on their employees with “lived experience”.

Ms Burch said the new checks, if passed by the Legislative Assembly in October, would be phased in over six years to allow for a smooth transition, and existing workers in the mental health and drug and alcohol sectors would be screened in the final years to allow the sectors sufficient time to prepare for the reforms. This would occur after a review of the scheme in the third year.

All workers and volunteers who work with children will be screened in the first year of the scheme, expected to start next year.

That probably covers those already part of the system, but still bars casual entry to it.

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