Child Safe Standards

All Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities to children are required by law to comply with the Child Safe Standards.

Under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005, the department is a relevant authority for in-scope organisations that it funds and/or regulates. 

The department plays an important role in overseeing and promoting compliance with the Child Safe Standards, and has adopted a risk-based regulatory approach to assessing compliance. This approach is consistent with the department's Better Regulatory Practice Framework.

What are the Child Safe Standards?

The Child Safe Standards are comprised of three overarching principles and seven broad standards. These have been designed to drive cultural change in organisations, so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in the everyday thinking and practice of leaders, staff and volunteers.

This will assist organisations to:

  • Promote the safety of children
  • Prevent child abuse
  • Ensure effective processes are in place to respond to and report allegations of child abuse
  • Encourage children to ‘have a say’, especially on issues that are important to them or about decisions that affect their lives.

Overarching principles

As part of each standard, organisations must reflect and embed the following overarching principles:

Standards

The seven Standards are as follows:

  1. Strategies to embed a culture of child safety through effective leadership arrangements.
  2. A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety.
  3. A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
  4. Screening, supervision, training, and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing staff
  5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.
  6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse.
  7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

    Resources

    To help organisations to understand the requirements of the Child Safe Standards, we have developed a number of resources for our funded and/or regulated organisations, see Resources for Child Safe Standards

    All organisations may also refer to the information and resources available on the Commission for Children and Young People website

    Contacts
    Department of Health and Human Services
    For department funded and/or regulated organisations
    (03 9096 6160
    childsafeorgs@dhhs.vic.gov.au
    Commission for Children and Young People
    (03) 8601 5281
    childsafestandards@ccyp.vic.gov.au
    Department of Education and Training
    child.safe.schools@edumail.vic.gov.au
    Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority
    (03) 9637 2806
    vrqa@edumail.vic.gov.au
    Kids Helpline
    For children and young people
    1800 551 800
    Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare