The Child Safe Standards have been introduced in Victoria to keep children safe from harm and abuse.
On 13 November 2013, the Victorian Parliament tabled the report of its Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations (the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry).
The report provided 15 recommendations, including the introduction of minimum standards for ensuring child-safe organisations.
What are the Child Safe Standards?
The seven Standards are as follows:
- Embedding a culture of child safety through effective leadership.
- Making a commitment to child safety with a policy or statement.
- Having a clear code of conduct that establishes appropriate behaviour with children.
- Screening, supervision and training for staff, to reduce the risk of child abuse.
- Clear processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.
- Identifying child abuse risks and ways to reduce them.
- Empowering children to share their feedback and experiences about feeling safe.
The standards are 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.
To create and maintain a child safe environment, organisations must implement 7 standards (outlined further down this page).
In applying each standard, organisations must reflect and embed the following 3 key principles:
- Cultural safety of Aboriginal children
- Cultural safety of children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Safety of children with disabilities.
This information contains firstly, guidelines for the 7 Child Safe Standards followed by general resources.