New Child Safe Standards will make up to 50,000 organisations providing services and facilities for children and young people safer, with the Andrews Labor Government today updating the existing standards originally established in 2017.
The new standards will strengthen child safety, improve Aboriginal cultural safety and empower children and young people.
They require organisations to have policies and procedures in place that promote safe environments for children and young people, and ensure organisations are prepared to respond to allegations of abuse and misconduct.
The new standards mean:
- Culturally safe environments will be established
- Children and young people can participate in decisions affecting them
- Families are informed and involved in decisions affecting their child
- Both physical and online environments will promote safety and wellbeing
Legislative amendments to strengthen the regulatory framework for the standards were passed by the Victorian Parliament last week. Together, the new standards and the improved regulatory framework will make organisations safer for children and young people.
The Government has consulted extensively with stakeholders including Aboriginal leaders, the Commission for Children and Young People and the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.
During the next 12 months, the Commission’s Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation will be updated, and additional resources will also be published.
Organisations subject to the Standards need to comply with the changes by 1 July 2022. The amendments to the regulatory framework will commence on 1 January 2023.
Victoria’s Child Safe Standards are a key response to the Victorian Parliament’s Betrayal of Trust Inquiry, which was handed down in 2013, to better respond to allegations of abuse and misconduct.
The Standards apply to over 50,000 organisations including schools, sporting clubs, hospitals and churches.
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Child Protection Gabrielle Williams
“The new child safe standards will help organisations embed child safety into their everyday practice.”
“This is about keeping Victoria’s children safe – these standards will help organisations, clubs and individuals that interact with children do all they can to prevent abuse and respond quickly if it is alleged.”
Reviewed 01 July 2021