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Your organisation’s child safe environments policy must include a rigorous screening process to select staff and volunteers who are safe and suitable to work with children.
This should be a combined process of background checking, risk assessment and decision-making regarding whether a person is suitable to work or volunteer with children.
This is more likely to be achieved using a variety of screening measures, which may include face-to-face interviews, referee checks and relevant history assessments. In some cases, relevant history assessments are required by law.
Interviews for candidates for positions that involve working with children should include:
- both behaviour/event based questions and open questions that invite explanations rather than yes or no answers (for example, why do you want to work with children?)
- questions about the applicant’s motivation to work with children, their competency and their values
- inquiry that verifies their past experience.
Applicants must provide at least one referee that is current or the most recent employer.
When conducting referee checks, you should:
- ask the referee if they have directly supervised the applicant and directly observed their work with children
- directly ask if they have any concerns about the applicant’s work with children
- ask if they have ever observed the applicant working with a child with challenging behaviour.
In some cases, the law requires that a relevant history assessment is conducted before a person is engaged to work with children. Visit the relevant history obligations page for more information about your organisation's obligation to conduct relevant history assessments.
You may also consider:
- using a comprehensive application form
- undertaking situational based assessments
- confirming the person’s qualifications
- conducting other applicable suitability assessments (such as psychometric testing)
- conducting orientation and training applicable to the role the person will be performing
- undertaking on-the-job observation
- including a probation period for new applicants.
Child safe environments
Phone: 8463 6468
Email: educationchildsafe [at] sa.gov.au