NEW CHILD SAFE STANDARDS TAKE EFFECT TODAY
New legislation introduced by the Andrews Labor Government will take effect today to ensure organisations that deal with children have appropriate and consistent measures in place to prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the standards will drive cultural change in organisations so that protecting children from abuse is embedded in everyday thinking and practice.
From today the standards will apply to organisations that provide services for children and receive government funding or are covered by regulation or contractual requirements, such as hospitals, schools and early childhood services.
From 1 January 2017 they will apply to all other organisations that provide services or facilities for children but receive little or no government funding, such as sporting groups and child entertainment providers.
The standards were developed after extensive consultation with around 160 community sector and government stakeholders. They are backed up by comprehensive guidance materials, information sessions and templates and tools so organisations can create and maintain a safe environment for children, including:
- An Overview to the Victorian child safe standards, which has example measures that organisations can put in place to meet the standards and a self-assessment tool: www.dhs.vic.gov.au/data/assets/word_doc/0005/955598/Child-safe-standards_overview.doc
- Information sessions across Victoria
- A toolkit for organisations, which includes guidance on human resources, good leadership and what to do if a child discloses abuse. They can be downloaded here:www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/policies,-guidelines-and-legislation/child-safe-standards-resources
The toolkit also includes a sample child safe policy, code of conduct and incident reporting form.
For more information about the way the child safe standards will be implemented in registered schools, visit:www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/Pages/childsafe.aspx
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Today marks an important milestone in advancing child safety. We are delivering on our promise to implement all the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust inquiry recommendations.”
“We will be helping organisations implement these standards so Victoria’s children are safer. These standards will help organisations, clubs and individuals that interact with children to do all they can to prevent abuse and respond quickly if it is alleged.”