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.

Review of Victoria’s Child Safe Standards

The Victorian Government is undertaking a review of the Child Safe Standards and the regulatory scheme that supports the Standards, to ensure that they are as strong as possible.

The review seeks to inform the government about how the Victorian Child Safe Standard have been understood and implemented by organisations in their initial period of operation in a way that promotes improvements in the child safe culture in organisations, and whether the regulatory scheme that supports compliance with the Child Safe Standard is operating effectively.

The review will also provide valuable evidence about Victoria’s experiences in implementing and regulating compulsory child safe standards to inform ongoing work on the development of a nationally consistent approach to child safe standards in Australia.

How you can participate in the review of the Child Safe Standards

An issues paper and survey have been published on the Engage Victoria platform to seek stakeholder feedback to inform the review. 

We invite organisations and their staff and volunteers, peak associations, relevant authorities and regulators, and members of the community who work with children or have children to review the issues paper on the Engage Victoria website and participate in a short survey.

For more information on the issues paper and to participate in the survey, see Review of the Victorian child safe standards page on the Engage Victoria website.

The consultation and the survey closes Friday 22 February 2019. 

We also ask you to share the consultation with your membership and key stakeholders and anyone else you believe would like to contribute their view. 

If you have questions about the review, please email Child Safe Standards review.  

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