Policy and research
A cross-sector Volunteering Strategy for South Australia has been developed to improve the experience of volunteers, enhance the outcomes for volunteer involving organisations, and help maintain a high volunteer participation rate in South Australia.
Many organisations conduct screening and police checks as part of their volunteer recruitment processes. It can also be a requirement under legislation for volunteers working with vulnerable groups, such as children, older people and people with disability. The Office for Volunteers has created a fact sheet about screening and police checks, including the requirements under legislation, for South Australian volunteer organisations.
Investigation on the transferability of criminal history record checks
The Volunteering Strategy for South Australia identified a barrier to volunteering as being that screening and police checks are often not transferable between different organisations.
A report (784KB) on the transferability of criminal history record checks across organisations and jurisdictions has been compiled by members of the Strategy's Working Group #3.
The Volunteering in South Australia in 2018 survey report reveals that volunteer participation in South Australia continues to remain high with 66% of the population aged between 15 and 84 years actively volunteering.
The Economic Value of Volunteering in South Australia 2011 report shows that the economic value of volunteering has maintained its high value in South Australia over the years.
Various laws protect the rights of volunteers when fulfilling their roles. These laws also aim to create an environment that encourages volunteering by protecting volunteers from liability claims for actions conducted in good faith.
To help ensure all volunteers can enjoy a healthy, safe and risk-free environment, organisations have certain responsibilities, including making sure they have adequate insurance to cover the activities of volunteers.
When grievances occur between volunteers and their organisations, most can be resolved internally, usually through an organisation's grievance procedure and disputes resolution policy.
Aged care workers and volunteers working directly with vulnerable people are required to have a police check to assess their suitability for working with frail older Australians.
In South Australia, the protection of children is covered by the Children's Protection Act 1993.
Everyone has a right to be safe at work, including volunteers. Volunteers play a vital role in communities across Australia and make significant contributions by carrying out unpaid work for a variety of organisations every day.
Incorporation is particularly suitable for small, community-based groups and provides a limited liability for members, except as may be provided in the rules of the association. It is a simple and inexpensive means of establishing a legal entity.