The Child Safe Standards

1. Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements.

Leading from the top down and embedding a culture within the whole organisation by:

  • Protecting the interests of the child, not the organisation.
  • Making child safety a top priority in the organisation.
  • Taking a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse and to racial, religious or cultural discrimination.
  • Establishing values, behavioural expectations and recruitment practices that are consistent with a child centred, child safe culture.

2. A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety.

Creating a foundation for a child safe environment by:

  • Documenting how to meet your duty of care responsibilities to children.
  • Affirming a commitment to child safety and the best interests of children.
  • Making a commitment to child safety clear to people in your organisation, children and families and the community.

3. A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children.

Setting clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children by:

  • Providing written guidance on appropriate conduct and behaviour towards children.
  • Detailing acceptable and unacceptable behaviours in situations as they relate to your organisation. For example, physical contact, personal care, online communication, staff to child ratios and camps.
  • Educating staff, volunteers, parents and children about the required standards of behaviour and what will happen if a person does not comply.

4. Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel.

Effectively screening and training people in your organisation to reduce the risk of child abuse by:

  • Engaging only the most suitable people (whether in a paid or voluntary capacity) to work with children.
  • Having robust pre-employment screening processes and background checking.
  • Creating clear job descriptions and duty statements.
  • Understanding the nature and signs of child abuse.
  • Providing high quality supervision and professional development.

5. Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse.

Putting in place clear procedures for responding to and reporting child safety concerns or child abuse

  • Procedures for raising concerns and complaints are clear and can be understood by children.
  • Children know who to talk to if they are worried and are encouraged to report unsafe behaviours.
  • People within the organisation are aware of their duty of care and legal responsibilities and know what to do to respond appropriately.
  • Concerns and complaints are acted upon appropriately.

6. Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse.

Identifying potential for harm and proactively planning to prevent, reduce or remove the risk of child abuse:

  • Having a clear understanding of the vulnerabilities of the organisation (and the specific activities provided) and the potential risks this may pose to children.
  • Being proactive to reduce the likelihood of risks emerging or escalating.
  • Adopting a risk management approach and developing a risk management plan.

7. Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

Supporting children and young people to understand their rights, contribute to child safety planning and to raise concerns by:

  • Valuing and respecting children’s opinions.
  • Encouraging children’s participation in decision making.
  • Establishing an environment of trust and inclusion that enables children to ask questions and speak up if they are worried or feeling unsafe.