Since their introduction, the Child Safe Standards (the Standards) have increased the safety of children and young people in organisations that provide services for them.
The new Child Safe Standards came into force in Victoria on 1 July 2022 and include new requirements to:
- involve families and communities in organisations’ efforts to keep children and young people safe
- provide greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people
- manage the risk of child abuse in online environments.
The new Standards provide greater clarity and practical steps for each Standard. They outline what action organisations need to take to keep children and young people safe.
If your organisation or group provides services or facilities for children or engages a child as a contractor, employee or volunteer, you have a legal obligation to comply with the Child Safe Standards.
The new Standards are grouped as follows:
- Children and families
- Leadership, governance and culture
- Staff, educators and volunteers
- Risk management and complaints.
Children and families
- Standard 1 – NEW
- Standard 3
- Standard 4 – NEW
- Standard 5
- These standards focus on meeting the diverse needs of each child and the protective factors that should be in place to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
- Standard 1 is new and focuses on developing a culturally safe environment for Aboriginal children and the importance of respecting Aboriginal people and their culture.
- Staff, educators and volunteers are attuned to the signs of abuse and harm and know how to respond.
- Staff actively informing children of their rights and always upholding them.
leadership, governance and culture
- Standard 2
- Standard 10 – NEW
- Standard 11- NEW
- Effective leadership and good governance ensures the ECES is child safe.
- Robust systems, policies, procedures and practices are in place to prevent, detect and respond to child abuse and harm.
- Leaders, staff. educators and volunteers understand their obligations to keep children safe and have the knowledge and skills to do so.
- Families and community are involved in maintaining a child safe culture.
staff, educators and volunteers
- Standard 6
- Standard 8
- Staff, educators and volunteers are suitable to work with children.
- Effective recruitment practices and robust screening processes are in place.
- Once engaged, induction occurs before staff, educators and volunteers work with children.
- Staff recognise and report concerns of harm and abuse.
- Monitoring the performance of staff, educators and volunteers is effective and in place.
risk management and complaints
- Standard 7
- Standard 9
- Identifying and managing risk in ECEC is a fundamental step in keeping children safe from abuse and harm.
- The online environment is used in accordance with the code of conduct.
- Risk management plans consider risks posed by organisational settings, activities and the physical environment.
- Information about reporting complaints within the service and for external reporting, including to QARD, Victoria Police, Child Protection and CCYP.