Girls playing cricket

In the Northern Territory, key child protection responsibilities for sport and recreation relate to:

Working with Children Checks

What are the screening requirements for sporting organisations?

Since 1 July 2011, it is mandatory for people who have contact or potential contact with children in certain specified areas of employment to hold a Working with Children Clearance Notice. The screening process has been established under the Northern Territory’s Care and Protection of Children Act and is conducted by SAFE NT, a unit of the Northern Territory Police.

What does the screening assess?

The Working with Children Clearance screening is a criminal and employment record check that ensures there is nothing in the candidate’s history which may constitute a serious risk of harm to children. Some candidates who apply for a Working with Children Clearance will have a criminal history. However, this does not automatically mean they will be disqualified from obtaining a Clearance.

Who must hold a Clearance Notice?

Any person over the age of 15 years already working in, or who wants to work or volunteering, “child-related" work must hold a Clearance Notice. Any person whose employer or volunteer organisation requires them to work with children as part of their employment or volunteering role must hold a Clearance Notice.

Who is exempt?

There are a few limited circumstances where a person may be exempt from having to apply for a Clearance Notice, such as where the person provides babysitting or child minding in a private capacity to family or friends. 

Are there penalties for not having a Working with Children Clearance Notice?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to work or volunteer with children to apply for the Clearance Notice and ensure that it remains valid. Penalties and fines can be located on the Safe NT site.

How can I get a Working with Children Clearance?

SAFE NT is responsible for coordinating the screening process. Application forms and identification requirements are available from the Working with Children website, Northern Territory Police Stations and Territory Business Centres.

What happens if someone does not pass the screening?

SAFE NT will advise the person that they will not have a Clearance Notice issued and will not be able to work in child-related employment.If they do not agree with the decision, they can ask for it to be reviewed in the Local Court of the Northern Territory.

How much will it cost?

The cost of a Working with Children Clearance (including the Ochre Card) is detailed on the Safe NT site.

How long is the Working with Children Clearance valid for?

A Working with Children Clearance is valid for two years from the date of issue (unless revoked). If a person wishes to continue to work or volunteer with children after this time they will need to apply again.

What if I have a volunteer card and then start paid employment?

If a person who holds an Ochre Card marked with a ‘V’ for Volunteer enters paid child-related employment, their card remains valid until expiry.If that person continues in child-related employment, they must renewal their Working with Children Clearance, pay the necessary fee and will then be issued with an Ochre Cardmarked with an ‘E’ for Employment.Resources

Where can I get further information or resources?

Northern Territory Government – Working with Children

Mandatory reporting

Who is required to report?

In the Northern Territory, any person who believes that a child is being, or has been, abused or neglected is required by law to report their concerns. This includes paid employees and volunteers who are involved with child in sport.You don’t have to have proof. You only need to report your concerns.

What gets reported?

Any reasonable suspicion of harm against a child (e.g. neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse).

Where to make a report

  • Reports should be made to the Territory Families Child Protection Branch 24 hour Centralised Intake Service free-call ph:1800 700 250
  • If you believe a child is in immediate danger or in a life-threatening situation, contact the Police immediately by dialling 000.

Current legislation

The Department of Children and Families Child Protection Branch has primary responsibility for implementing the Care and Protection of Children Act 2007. This Act provides for the protection and care of children and the promotion of family welfare.

Reporting child abuse

In addition, since 1 July 2011, it is mandatory for people who have contact or potential contact with children in certain specified areas of employment to hold a Working with Children Clearance Notice. More information is available from Safe NT website

Child safe environments

It is everybody’s responsibility to implement and maintain child-safe environments. We all have a role to play in keeping children safe and promoting well being.

It is good practice to put strategies in place to prevent offenders from gaining access to yourorganisation and reducing opportunities for abuse. Child-safe environment strategies are put in place to prevent and minimise opportunities for child abuse within your organisation, including preventing offenders from gaining access to children through your organisation.

An important strategy in developing child-safe environments is staff development:

  • Ensuring that all staff (paid and volunteers) understand their mandatory and/or ethical reporting obligations for suspected child abuse and/or neglect
  • Ensuring all staff have a clear understanding of what is acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and know who to contact about concerns they may have
  • Organisations working to create child-safe environments and strengthen their environment are committed to and understand the importance of children’s safety.

Updated: August 2017