Potential NEW Child Safe Standards

What are the child safe standards?

The Royal Commission recommended 10 child safe standards, drawing on its findings and extensive research and consultation about what makes institutions child safe:

  1. Child safety is embedded in institutional leadership, governance and culture
  2. Children participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
  3. Families and communities are informed and involved
  4. Equity is upheld, and diverse needs are taken in to account
  5. People working with children are suitable and supported
  6. Processes to respond to complaints of child sexual abuse are child focused
  7. Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through continual education and training
  8. Physical and online environments minimise the opportunity for abuse to occur
  9. Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is continuously reviewed and improved
  10. Policies and procedures document how the institution is child safe.

Each standard is principle-based and focused on the outcome that the organisation is seeking to achieve by implementing child safe strategies. This focus on outcomes allows flexibility in how the standards are applied in different organisational contexts. The standards work together to emphasise the importance of adopting multiple strategies to address child safety and avoiding an over-reliance on any one strategy. Many OOSH service already work to ensure protecting children is at the core of what they do.
The child safe standards encompass existing child safety requirements for individuals and organisations such as the Working with Children Check, the Reportable Conduct Scheme and requirements to report information to police and to the Department of Family and Community Services. Providing support for organisations to understand how any existing requirements work together to support child safety will be an important element of regulating the child safe standards.

The aim of the child safe standards is to achieve and maintain a genuine commitment to child safe culture and practice through incremental and continuous improvement over time.

The Royal Commission developed core components of each standard to help organisations understand what it means to meet the standard.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian is seeking your feedback on their discussion paper, which proposes changes that would make it compulsory for many organisations in NSW to meet the child safe standards. Many organisations already work in ways that are consistent with standards, but making the standards mandatory sends a strong message about the importance of child safety.

The Office of the Children’s Guardian will use your feedback to design an approach that responds to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and is appropriate for NSW.

Have your say
Consider the questions presented in the  Regulating Child Safe Organisations Discussion Paper
There are three ways you can provide your feedback:
• Email: policyteam@kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au
• Online: Complete the online survey

This is an important development and its important to have your say your say by 29 March 2019. At the recent Network OOSH reference group there was overwhelming support for the introduction of standards as long as they could be incorporated into the current regulatory framework…