Call for Criminal Background Checks on Parent Volunteers at Schools

Child protection campaigners are calling for parents who volunteer in school or for after school activities to be subject to mandatory child safety checks. The Bravehearts child advocacy group has made the call as part of a plan to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise children. The call follows the release of a report card on child protection policies across the states, which has ranked the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Tasmania the worst for child safety. Criminologist Carol Ronken from the Bravehearts, said there are three piers to preventing child sexual assault: educate children about personal safety, empower and train adults to respond, protect in terms of legislations and policies. In ACT and Tasmania, Ronken expresses a stronger need for legislation addressing child sexual assault and more emphasis on personal safety education within their curriculums and schools. Also as part of the push to improve child safety in schools, Bravehearts wants criminal background checks to be done on parents who volunteer at school activities, child care centers and sporting clubs.

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