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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

4.25 Child Safe Standards

Department of Health and Human Services

Who does this policy apply to?

The Standards apply to organisations as a whole, not only the areas that work with children.

Phase 1: Organisations that provide services for children that are government funded and/or regulated are required to work towards compliance from 1 January 2016 (Category 1 organisations). These organisations include schools, out-of-home care providers, early childhood providers and health services.

Phase 2: The Standards will apply to other organisations that provide services for children from 1 January 2017 (Category 2 organisations). These organisations include religious, sporting and volunteer organisations.

Policy purpose

The Child Safe Standards are designed to help protect children from all forms of abuse by setting compulsory minimum standards that apply to organisations that provide services for children.

Legislation and /or regulation

The Child Wellbeing and Safety Amendment (Child Safe Standards) Act 2015 (external link, opens in a new window) underpins the Standards and came into effect on 1 January 2016.

Organisation requirements

The Child Safe Standards are compulsory for all organisations in scope, but not prescriptive to allow organisations flexibility in how they implement the Standards.

Organisations should review their existing policies and identify where they need to take further action to comply with the Standards. A self-assessment tool is available on the Department of Health and Human Services’ website as part of An overview of the Victorian child safe standards (external link, opens in a new window).

Child Safe Standards

To help protect children from abuse, the Victorian Government has introduced compulsory minimum Child Safe Standards (the Standards) that apply to organisations that provide services for children.

Who do the Standards apply to?

From 1 January 2016 the Standards apply to organisations that provide services for children that are government funded and/or regulated (Category 1 organisations). These organisations include schools, out-of-home care providers, early childhood providers and health services.

Refer to the Department of Health and Human Services webs page In scope organisations for child safe standards (external link, opens in a new window) for the full list of organisations to which the Standards apply.

What are the Standards?

The Child Safe Standards are as follows:

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, an entity to which the Standards apply must have:

Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements

Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety

Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

In complying with the Child Safe Standards, an entity to which the Standards apply must include the following principles as part of each Standard:

  • promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the safety of children with a disability.

What are organisations required to do?

The Standards are compulsory for all organisations in scope, but not prescriptive. This allows the diverse range of organisations in scope some flexibility in how they meet requirements of the Standards.  

An Overview for the Victorian Child Safe Standards (external link, opens in a new window) provides a non-exhaustive list of example measures that organisations could put in place to meet each of the Standards.

Further information

The Commission for Children and Young People is the lead capacity building body for the Standards. For further information, contact the Commission’s information line: childsafestandards@ccyp.vic.gov.au or telephone (03) 8601 5884.

Refer to the Department of Health and Human Services (external link, opens in a new window) website for further information about the Standards. You can also email childsafestandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au 

Department of Education and Training

To help protect children from abuse, the Victorian Government has introduced compulsory minimum Child Safe Standards (the Standards) that apply to organisations that provide services for children.

Who do the Standards apply to?

From 1 January 2016 the Standards apply to organisations that provide services for children that are government funded and/or regulated (Category 1 organisations). These organisations include schools, out-of-home care providers, early childhood providers and health services.

What are the Standards?

The Child Safe Standards are as follows:

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, an entity to which the Standards apply must have:

Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements

Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety

Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

In complying with the Child Safe Standards, an entity to which the Standards apply must include the following principles as part of each Standard:

  • promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
  • promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the safety of children with a disability.

What are organisations required to do?

The Standards are compulsory for all organisations in scope, but not prescriptive. This allows the diverse range of organisations in scope some flexibility in how they meet requirements of the Standards.

An Overview for the Victorian Child Safe Standards (external link, opens in a new window) provides a non-exhaustive list of example measures that organisations could put in place to meet each of the Standards.

Early childhood services

From 1 January 2016 all early childhood services operating under the National Quality Framework (NQF) and the Children’s Services Act 1996 (external link, opens in a new window) have been required to meet the child safe standards.

The existing regulatory framework set out in the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (external link, opens in a new window) and the Children’s Services Act 1996 will be used to regulate compliance with the child safety standards of services operating under those Acts.

The Department of Education and Training’s Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD) will have primary responsibility for ensuring compliance in the early childhood sector.

Further information

The Commission for Children and Young People is the lead capacity building body for the Standards. For further information, contact the Commission’s information line by email childsafestandards@ccyp.vic.gov.au or telephone (03) 8601 5884.

Refer to the Department of Health and Human Services (external link, opens in a new window) website for further information about the Standards. You can also email childsafestandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au 

Contacts

Early childhood services operating under the National Quality Framework or the Children's Services Act 1996 should contact:
Email: licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au
Licensed children's services enquiry line: 1300 307 415

Other organisations providing services for children can contact the Department of Health and Human Services for further information:
Telephone: (03) 9096 0000.
Email: childsafestandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au