Lesson 20: Child Protection Legislation (WA)


  • Sporting organisations should put in place strategies to develop child safe environments and minimise access to their organisation. There are no requirements in Western Australia for sport and recreation organisations to undertake extra strategies to provide a safe environment for children (e.g., risk management strategies). However, this is encouraged as it is seen as important in keeping children safe.

Vicarious liability

  • Vicarious liability describes the principle in law which says that, depending on the circumstances, an organisation can be held responsible for the behaviour of its employees (including staff, volunteers and contractors), unless:
  • it can be shown that all reasonable steps were taken to prevent the behaviour from happening in the first place
  • there were appropriate policies and procedures in place for dealing with the behaviour when it occurred.
  • The same principle applies to governing bodies and clubs.

Mandatory reporting

  • Sporting personnel need to be aware that because of the large number of children participating in sport and the closeness of relationships formed, they may come across children being abused or who disclose their abuse to them. This abuse may be occurring within or outside of sport.
  • Western Australia has many professions that are mandatory reporters, but individuals who work in sport are not included in this category. However, anyone who has reasonable grounds for suspecting a child or young person is at risk of harm should report their concerns to the Department Communities – Child Protection and Family Support and/or WA Police.

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