Victoria’s New Child Safe Standards

This article applies to all organisations who employ, have an association with or provide a service to children or young people.

Victoria’s New Child Safe Standards

Background

The Commissioner for Children and Young People has released new Child Safe Standards to set out the minimum requirements for the actions organisations must take to keep children and young people safe. These new Standards apply from 1 July 2022 and replace the current 7 standards and principles. The 11 new Standards are more detailed than the current standards and are also more consistent with the child safety requirements currently in place across other Australian jurisdictions.

The New Child Safe Standards

The newly released Child Safe Standards that must be adhered to by organisations from 1 July 2022 are as follows:

  1. Organisations must establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued
  2. Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in an organisation’s leadership, governance and culture
  3. Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
  4. Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
  5. Equity is upheld and the diverse needs of children and young people are respected in policy and practice
  6. People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
  7. Processes for complaints and concerns within the organisation are child focused
  8. Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
  9. Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
  10. The implementation of the Child Safe Standards within the organisation is regularly reviewed and improved
  11. The organisation’s policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

A helpful comparison between the current and new Standards can be found here.

Conclusion

Organisations should familiarise themselves with the new Child Safe Standards which are summarised above and outlined in detail with the minimum expectations here https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/child-safe-standards/. Organisations should identify the changes required to be made by them to ensure they are compliant with the new Standards by 1 July 2022, including updating of systems, policies and procedures.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People has advised it will provide more guidance in the coming months to assist organisations in becoming compliant with the new Standards. Organisations can subscribe here https://ccyp.vic.gov.au/contact/sign-up-for-commission-updates/ to ensure that they are notified of any new releases of guidance information.


Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au

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