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.
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.
You can learn more about the Royal Commission’s findings and recommendations for making organisations child safe in Volume 6 of the Final Report.
We are currently seeking feedback on a model to regulate the child safe standards in NSW. For more information about the consultation and to participate, click here.