Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill passes state parliament
What you need to know
- The Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill recently passed the Tasmanian Parliament.
- It establishes, from 2024, a framework for care and safety standards for most organisations working with children and young people and sets up a Reportable Conduct Scheme.
- The framework sets out clear expectations for organisations in the safety and wellbeing of children in their care and how they respond to reportable incidents.
- An independent regulator will provide oversight on the standards and the reporting scheme.
- Organisations working with children and young people should start preparing for the framework now.
The Child and Youth Safe Organisation Bill 2022 recently passed the Tasmanian Parliament to mandate a framework to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in organisational settings.
From 2024, most Tasmanian organisations that engage with children and young people, will need to comply with the framework. The framework brings to life key recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Through the introduction of Child and Youth Safe Standards, the framework sets out clear expectations for how organisations prioritise and promote the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. A Reportable Conduct Scheme will regulate how they respond to concerns about a worker's behaviour towards children and young people.
To ensure organisations fulfil their obligations, the framework includes an Independent Regulator. It also sets out when it is appropriate to share information about a worker's conduct.
The framework comes into effect next year, but organisations can prepare now for their compliance obligations. The framework can be likened to workplace health and safety, being best-practice behaviour that an organisation adopts as part of their everyday standards and procedures.
These are disruptive changes and resources to support organisations to meet their new legal obligations will need to be developed. In many instances, organisations may already have procedures and practices in place that puts them in good stead to comply with the framework.
Versions of the Framework are already in place in Victoria and New South Wales. The experience there shows that such a mandated framework strengthens the skills of organisations to identify and respond to harm in a child-centred way.
You can get more information about the framework from the Tasmanian Government website and we will keep members informed of its development.