Working With Children Check’s for Indigenous applicants

  • 2020

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

  • Today

Commissioned By:

Office of the Children's Guardian

Designed In:


Today worked with the Office of the Children’s Guardian to create better access to Working With Children Checks for Indigenous Australians. Working with Children Checks are necessary for kinship care arrangements, training, some government services and livelihood opportunities.

Image: Illustration: Ryan McShane
Image: Illustration: Ryan McShane
Image: Illustration: Ryan McShane
  • MORE
  • Working with Children Checks are a gateway to work, foster/kinship care and government support. A WWCC gives the ability to be part of a community, and to care for family. For Indigenous Australians, the check is particularly difficult to navigate to the point that it was subverting their needs, rights and culture. We needed to design a solution that maintained the WWCC regulatory framework—essential for ensuring the safety of Australian children—whilst creating a service that vulnerable people could access and engage with in a supportive and inclusive way.

  • We worked with Indigenous people and the organisation to identify key service initiatives to encourage and enable more Indigenous to obtain a WWCC, and deliver better outcomes for themselves and their families. Our solution has been successfully implemented by the Office of the Children’s Guardian across NSW, increasing people’s access to work, services and Indigenous children being cared for within their communities. To approach this challenge we needed to ensure effective co-design. It was essential to fully understand the experience of Indigenous Australians; what it’s like to apply, how it relates to intergenerational trauma and discrimination, and what specific community needs are. Our solution was embedded within the organisation; ensuring stakeholders felt ownership of the next steps by the time the project was complete.

  • A supportive service for Indigenous Australians to access a WWCCwas endorsed by the Office of the Children’s Guardian, an implementation working group was established, and all service changes are being adopted. We designed a method for prioritising and implementing recommendations to improve the service, ensuring that all Indigenous applicants have equal access to complete the application process, equal opportunity to be approved for their WWCC, and a level of support that addresses their needs.

  • The service design set out to deliver a non-digital experience that was designed so it didn’t depend on tech literacy or ownership. or an ability to navigate ‘white man’ processes. This included the use of ‘lo-fi’ features, changing the method of proof of identity, and creating triaged decision-making processes. By enabling better tools for employees, they could spend more time building relationships and providing face-to-face and telephone support. Together with OCG we developed location-based engagement methods according to Indigenous communities’ cultural events, working to demystify the WWCC, and misconception and fear that the evaluation process might mean ending up in jail. We together designed a more accessible, inclusive and culturally appropriate process that means more Indigenous Australians can look after other Indigenous Australians, get the work they want, and be supported by a social safety net.