The Residential Care Workers Register commenced on 18 July 2022. Designated agencies must record all residential care workers onto the register before they are able to provide care in a residential setting.
What is the Residential Care Workers Register and why was it introduced?
The register has been introduced in response to issues raised by the out-of-home care sector around the need to prevent unsuitable people from moving between services. The register will address this by requiring all residential care workers who work in a residential setting to be recorded, before they can work with children in statutory or supported out-of-home care.
The register also actions one of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, that all state and territory governments should introduce legislation to establish a carer register to include foster carers, relative or kinship carers, and residential care staff.
The introduction of the register follows significant consultation with representatives from statutory out-of-home care agencies and other key stakeholders, led by the Office of the Children’s Guardian. The consultation assisted in the build of the register, its functionalities and defining the cohort to be captured. This also informed the development and approval of the Children’s Guardian Regulation 2022, which mandates the operational requirements of the register.
Difference between the Carers Register and Residential Care Workers Register
NSW already has a register for home-based carers for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care – the Carers Register. The new residential care workers register is a separate register which captures residential care workers, or those providing care in residential care.
Training modules have been prepared for designated agencies to learn how to use the NSW Residential Care Workers Register.
Guidance for agencies
Various guidance materials have been prepared to assist agencies in understanding who is to be recorded on the register, what information is to be captured and how the register will support the safety of children in out-of-home care. A summary of each of the documents available is included below, along with a short explanation.
Please send any enquiries about the Residential Register to firstname.lastname@example.org