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Business rules: Carers Register Reportable Allegations

These business rules provide guidance to designated agencies about recording reportable allegations on the Carers Register. The rules also govern the appropriate exchange of information under Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, relating to reportable allegations recorded on the Register. In particular, the rules provide guidance on exchange of information in relation to highly sensitive matters.

Recording reportable allegations on the Carers Register

Current reportable allegations

Information about a reportable allegation must be recorded on the Carers Register in circumstances where an agency is currently investigating an allegation against an authorised carer or adult household member that is either:

  • a reportable allegation within the meaning of section 18 of the Children’s Guardian Act 2019, or
  • an allegation of conduct of a class or kind exempted from being reportable conduct by the Children’s Guardian under section 30 of that Act.

Reportable conduct and reportable allegations are defined in the Children’s Guardian Act 2019, and are further explained in our Reportable Conduct Fact Sheet 1 - Identifying Reportable Allegations. (PDF 1MB)

Reportable Conduct Scheme fact sheets

The designated agency (that has or had a relationship with the individual) is responsible for recording information about the reportable allegation onto the Carers Register as follows:

  • for matters exempted from being reportable conduct by the Children’s Guardian, the designated agency must enter the information on to the Register within 14 days of the principal officer becoming aware of the allegation
  • for matters requiring a report of reportable allegation or conviction to the Children’s Guardian:
    • if the Children’s Guardian advises the designated agency that the information may be entered on to the Register, the agency must do so within 14 days of receiving that advice
    • otherwise, the designated agency must enter the details on to the Register no earlier than 21 days and no more than 35 days after making the notification.

The Carers Register records the allegation date, but does not record any detail of the allegation. Note that required timeframes for entering data into the Carers Register are different to the required reporting timeframes to the Reportable Conduct Directorate under Part 4 if the Children’s Guardian Act 2019.

The Carers Register also maintains a permanent record of finalised reportable allegations which indicates the outcome of the reportable conduct investigation. This includes the option for an information-sharing flag in the event that the agency assesses it holds information that would inform another agency’s assessment of risk to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child or children in out of home care, or children more generally.

Finalised Reportable Allegations

The designated agency has obligations to update the Carers Register when it has completed its investigation of a reportable allegation, as follows:

  • for matters exempted from being reportable conduct by the Children’s Guardian, within 14 days of the principal officer of the designated agency (referred to as “the head of the relevant entity” in the Children’s Guardian Act 2019) being satisfied that the investigation has been finalised
  • for matters that have been or require a report of reportable allegation or conviction to the Children’s Guardian:
    • if the Children’s Guardian advises the designated agency that the information may be entered on to the Register, the designated agency must do so within 14 days of receiving that advice
    • if the Children’s Guardian requires further information from the designated agency under s42 of the Children’s Guardian Act, the details must not be entered on to the Register until the Children’s Guardian advises the designated agency to do so (and then this should be done within 14 days of that advice)
    • otherwise, the designated agency must enter the details on to the Register no earlier than 21 days and no more than 35 days after concluding the investigation.

The designated agency should determine whether there are any ongoing risks (or information that should otherwise be shared), which would need to be disclosed should the involved individual be a carer applicant, existing carer or adult household member with another agency. The critical factor is not whether or not there has been a finding of reportable conduct, but whether there is information that may relate to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child in out of home care, or children in out of home care more generally. If your agency holds any information relevant to ongoing risks to children, the notation on the register made by a designated agency that indicates that the agency has information to exchange that may relate to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child, or class of children in out-of-home care should remain on the register.

Where a designated agency determines that there may be such ongoing risks, then the designated agency should select ‘finalise reportable allegation – contact agency’ when it finalises the matter on the Carers Register.

In other matters, a designated agency should select ‘finalise reportable allegation – no record’. In these cases, the records relating to the reportable allegation will not be able to be viewed by another designated agency.

Contact the Office of the Children’s Guardian

In a relatively small number of both current and finalised cases, there will be highly sensitive issues in play. In these cases, the Reportable Conduct Directorate will ask the Registration Systems Team to place a notation on the register against the information about the reportable allegation, that will direct the designated agency to contact the OCG. When this notation is recorded against a reportable allegation, designated agencies must seek advice from the Reportable Conduct Directorate within the OCG about how to proceed before taking any other action: this includes not discussing the allegation with any other person or agency (other than the NSW Police Force or the Department of Communities and Justice, if relevant), including the person the subject of the allegation, and not continuing with any probity checks related to the individual or their adult household members.

Exchange of information relating to reportable allegations

In circumstances where an individual has a current or finalised reportable allegation notation on the Register, designated agencies should contact the designated agency responsible for investigating the allegation and utilise Chapter 16A of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act to exchange any information that may relate to the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child in out of home care, or children in out of home care more generally. This includes circumstances in which:

  • a designated agency is assessing a carer applicant or undertaking probity checks on their adult household members, or
  • a designated agency receives an automatic alert to advise them that a reportable allegation has been lodged on the Carers Register, against an individual they also have a relationship with.

Details to provide the Reportable Conduct Scheme