Hon Michelle Lensink MLC
Minister for Human Services
The Liberal Government has saved the community sector more than $1.3 million since making volunteer screening checks free for all South Australians late last year.
Since 1 November, 2018, a total of 23,379 South Australians have applied for more than 30,000 free volunteer screening checks conducted by the Department of Human Services screening unit, saving the sector hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Under the previous Labor Government, volunteer screening checks were $59.40 each.
During National Volunteer Week, Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said she was thrilled by the response from South Australia’s community services sector since abolishing fees for all volunteer checks.
“Since the Liberal Government promised and delivered free volunteer screening checks late last year, the total savings for the South Australian non-for-profit sector in the past six months is more than $1.3 million,” said Minister Lensink.
“That is more than $1.3 million of savings which has been injected back in to the sector to help organisations deliver vital services for the community.
“Organisations like rowing and surf life-saving clubs, emergency services and charities now have more dollars to spend delivering services to communities right across South Australia.
“It’s also fantastic to see so many South Australians taking up volunteering since we made volunteer screening checks free in November.
“The figures speak for themselves – it is now easier for people in South Australia to volunteer, as the cost of screenings does not act as a barrier.
“Removing the costs around all volunteer clearances highlights the Liberal Government’s appreciation for the selfless and vital involvement volunteers make to the community every day.”
Volunteer screening checks remain free for all South Australians. The fees will continue to be waived for all five screening types, including working with children, vulnerable people and in the aged care sector for people who use the checks as a volunteer.
“The Liberal Government values the incredible dedication and hard work of volunteers and the selfless work they do helping the community – thank you,” said Minister Lensink.
Volunteering SA&NT Chief Executive Officer Evelyn O’Loughlin said removing volunteer screening fees reinforced the State Government’s commitment to South Australian volunteers.
“It has also allowed volunteer involving organisations to put these savings back into service delivery for the benefit of our communities.” said Ms O’Loughlin.
Volunteering SA&NT, a not-for-profit organisation and the peak body for volunteering, has been advocating for the removal of barriers to volunteering, such as volunteer screening fees for many years.
From July 1, everyone who works or volunteers with children must have a valid child-related clearance. This clearance can take one of several forms as the new working with children check (WWCC) rolls out under transitional arrangements. For more information on whether you need a new working with children check and when to apply, visit www.screening.sa.gov.au/wwcc