A Glossary of Child Protection and Reportable Work Place Conduct


AOD Alcohol and Other Drugs Replaces the term Drug and Alcohol. Is used when referring to service provision relating to legal and illicit drug use.
CAMHS NSW Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Provide a range of mental health services to children, adolescents and their families. This can include assessment and direct treatment
CALD Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

CALD is an abbreviation for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse. This phrase is used to describe people who have a diverse cultural background or whose first language is not English

(from: Transcultural Mental Health)

Chapter 16A Part of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998

This section permits the exchange of information between prescribed agencies.

Copies of Chapter 16A letter templates for services are available on the Network site here.

Child The definition of a child varies according to the relevant Act.

In practice, making a risk of significant harm (ROSH) report means using the definition given in the NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.

Section 3 states ‘child’:“…except in Chapter 13, means a person who is under the age of 16 years.

Chapter 13, S221(1) states: “In this Chapter: “child” means:

(a) a person under the age of 15 years (except as provided by paragraph (b)), or

(b) a person under the age of 16 years (in the case of employment as a model).”When considering reportable conduct matters the definition used is given in the NSW Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012

Under section 5  of the NSW Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012: “children” means persons under the age of 18 years.

Child Protection Interagency Guidelines

Child Wellbeing and Child Protection – NSW Interagency Guidelines

The Child Wellbeing & Child Protection – NSW Interagency Guidelines (the Guidelines) provide practical guidance on interagency cooperation in child protection. They also help agency staff to better understand their professional responsibilities and the responsibilities of other agencies and their staff.
Child Related Employment The definition is found under S6 and S7 of the Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012. The parts of Section 6 which are the most relevant for OOSH/OSCH services are:

S6 (1) A worker is engaged in”child-related work” for the purposes of this Act if:

(a) the worker is engaged in work referred to in subsection (2) that involves direct contact by the worker with children, or

(b) the worker is engaged in work in a child-related role referred to in subsection (3).

(2) The work referred to is work for, or in connection with, any of the following that is declared by the regulations to be child-related work:

(f) education and care services, child care centres, nanny services and other child care,

(g) schools or other educational institutions (other than universities) and private coaching or tuition of children,

(m) any other service for children prescribed by the regulations.

(3) The following roles are referred to:

(a) an approved provider or manager of an education and care service,

(b) a certified supervisor of an education and care service,

(c) an authorised carer,

(e) the principal officer of a designated agency,

(g) any other role with respect to children prescribed by the regulations.

(4) In this section:”direct contact” with children means:

(a) physical contact, or

(b) face to face contact.

Section 7 defines ‘Additional Child-Related Work’:

(1) A worker is taken to be engaged in “child-related work” if the worker is engaged, or proposes to engage, in work (other than as a volunteer) that is the subject of a requirement under this section.

(2) The employer or proposed employer of a worker engaged in work for which a working with children check clearance is not required that involves access to confidential records or information about children may, by notice in writing to the worker, require the worker to obtain a clearance for the purposes of engaging in the work concerned.

(3) The employer, or proposed employer, may at any time, by notice in writing given to the worker, revoke a requirement made under this section.

(4) An employer may make or revoke a requirement under this section only with the approval of the Children’s Guardian.

Class of Children When making a risk of significant harm report, one option is to report a ‘class’ of children.

The FACS Mandatory Reporter Guide 2014 identifies a class of children as “…a group of children/young people having in common one attribute or a number of similar attributes.

A class of children report should be considered when there is sufficient reason to believe a class of children/young people is currently at risk of significant harm. For example, a staff member may have abused a child or be suspected of abusing a child and there are concerns for all the children in the group or service the child attends or attended

Community Services A division of the NSW State government Department of Family and Community ServicesCommunity Services has primary responsibility for investigation of risk of significant harm reports (ROSH) in NSW.
DoCS Department of Community Services  Now known as Community Services
Drug and Alcohol Has since been replaced with the term Alcohol and Other Drugs.
ECECD Early Childhood Education & Care Directorate.

A directorate within the NSW State government Department of Education and Communities.

The Early Childhood Education & Care Directorate, regulates the operation of early childhood education and care services for children from birth to school age.

The department also provides some funding to education and care services.

FACS Family and Community Services.  The term ‘FACS’ is often used when referring to Community Services (see above)
Grooming See Sexual Grooming
Interagency Guidelines See “ Child Protection Interagency Guidelines
JIRT Joint Investigation Response Team Comprising FACS, Police and Health professionals, JIRTs are responsible for investigating reports of child abuse when there is a possibility the abuse constitutes a criminal offence.
KTS Keep Them Safe NSW Government project to improve safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people. The KTS website provides information and training material.
Mandatory Reporter

Under the definition provided in Section 27 of the NSW Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 all OOSH/OSHC (paid) staff and managers (paid or otherwise) are mandatory reporters.

A mandatory reporter is a person who under Section 27(a) has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is at risk of significant harm and (per Section 27(b)) those grounds arise during the course of or from the person’s work. These concerns may relate to physical, emotional or sexual abuse or be in relation to physical neglect or psychological harm.

Mandatory Reporter Guide  MRG Online assistance to determine reporting requirements or necessary action in child abuse/protection matters.
MRG Mandatory Reporter Guide. Online assistance to determine reporting requirements or necessary action in child abuse/protection matters.
Network Network of Community Activities Provides assistance to OOSH/OSHC services in relation to child protection and reportable conduct matters through training, information, support and policy development. Child Protection Project Officer is also available to discuss related concerns.
NSW Child Protection (Working With Children) Act 2012 NSW Working With Children Check legislation administered by the Office of the Children’s Guardian

Under the legislation, all persons commencing employment in OOSH/OSHC must have a Working With Children Check (WWCC) clearance or current application and not be subject to an interim bar. An interim bar prevents a person working with children until a final decision has been made on their application for a clearance.

As of 1 April 2017 all persons (paid and otherwise) currently working or commencing work in OOSH/OSHC services in NSW will require a current Working With Children Check application or clearance and not be subject to an interim bar.

Under Section 9 of the Act, services and agencies are responsible for confirming an employees WWCC status.

It is not sufficient under the Act to merely rely on any written documentation provided to the agency by a staff member.

Confirmation of a person’s Working With Children Check status must be sought from the Office of the Children’s Guardian.

NB. Prior to 1 April 2017 services may wish to implement policies which require all current and commencing staff and volunteers possess a current clearance or application.

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 Legislation covering child protection within NSW FACS is the agency responsible for implementing and applying the greater part of the Act.
NSW Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman is an independent and impartial watchdog for government authorities and community and disability services in NSW.

It scrutinises systems and processes for fair and proper practices.

In relation to child protection, it achieves this mainly by:

  • Overseeing agency notifications and reviewing agency investigations
  • handling complaints
  • auditing agency systems and their operation
  • direct investigations
  • providing training, resources and advice to agencies, and
  • reporting on trends and issues in child protection

(from Presentation by the NSW Ombudsman 2014/15 OSHC information sessions)

OCG Office of the Children’s Guardian The OCG:

  • Administers the Working With Children Check.
  • Accredits and monitors the designated agencies that arrange statutory out of home care (OOHC)
  • Registers and monitors agencies that provide, arrange or supervise voluntary out of home care (VOOHC)
  • Accredits non government adoption services providers
  • Authorises the employment of children under the age of 15, and child models under the age of 16, in the entertainment sector
  • Administers the Child Sex Offender Counsellor Accreditation Scheme (CSOCAS) – a voluntary accreditation scheme for persons working with those who have committed sexual offences against children


Ombos See NSW Ombudsman
Prohibited Employment Declaration These declarations are no longer used and the related Act has been repealed. Persons in child-related work now must apply for a Working With Children check
Reportable Conduct It is important to note that Reportable Conduct may also include behaviour or an action or inaction by a staff member outside of the work setting.

Reportable conduct is defined under section 25A of the NSW Ombudsman Act 1974 as:

a) any sexual offence, or sexual misconduct, committed against, with or in the presence of a child (including a child pornography offence or an offence involving child abuse material), or

b) any assault, ill-treatment or neglect of a child, or

c) any behaviour that causes psychological harm to a child, whether or not, in any case, with the consent of the child.

Reportable conduct does not extend to:

a) conduct that is reasonable for the purposes of the discipline, management or care of children, having regard to the age, maturity, health or other characteristics of the children and to any relevant codes of conduct or professional standards, or

b) the use of physical force that, in all the circumstances, is trivial or negligible, but only if the matter is to be investigated and the result of the investigation recorded under workplace employment procedures, or

c) conduct of a class or kind exempted from being reportable conduct by the Ombudsman under section 25CA.

A fact sheet is available (here) from the NSW Ombudsman’s Office which helps to define reportable conduct.

ROSH report Risk of Significant Harm report

Where a person believes a child or young person is at risk of harm to a sufficiently serious level they may make a report to Community Services.

These reports are called a Risk of Significant Harm reports. It is recommended OOSH/OSHC staff utilise the Mandatory Reporters Guide available online

Royal Commission The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating how institutions like schools, churches, sports clubs and government organisations have responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.
Safe Home For Life FACS reform project building on the Keep Them Safe project.
Sexual Grooming Grooming is defined as communication with a child where this is an intention to meet and commit a sex offence*.More generally it can be seen as the process by which an individual manipulates those around them – particularly, but not exclusively, the child – to provide opportunities to abuse and reduce the likelihood of being reported or discovered.

*Understanding the Grooming or Entrapment Process, CPSU briefings

A Network factsheet on sexual grooming of children is available for download here

WWCC Working With Children Check

A Working With Children Check is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related work.

It involves a national criminal history check and review of findings of workplace misconduct.

The agency responsible is the Office of the Children’s Guardian

Should you have any suggestions for additional material, or would like to suggest changes or additions to the available material or if you wish to seek
assistance with issues in relation to child protection or reportable workplace contact matters, please contact the child protection project officer:
email: or phone: 02 9212 32 44

dec_clic_web3This resource has been produced by Network of Community Activities using funding provided
by the NSW Department of Education Sector Development Grants Program.