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Victorian Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Aged Care website‘Supported Decision-Making in Victoria’The mental health navigation guide is for disability providers and workers and has been collated to guide navigation...

NDS Member Exclusive DRC Webinar: Client experience and meaningful engagement for design

This member exclusive webinar on Client experience and meaningful engagement for design, focuses on Yooralla’s experiences and how the lessons they learnt are being put into practice.

National Disability Awards Nominees

The National Disability Awards recognise workers, teams and organisations who show excellence, passion, vision and commitment to supporting people with disability.

Child Safe Standards

Family smiling with text reading 'Child Safe Standards'

We all have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to actively prevent the abuse and neglect of children. The  Victorian Child Safe Standards are a result of recommendations of the  inquiry and evidence of what works to prevent child abuse.The Betrayal of Trust inquiry provides evidence of what works to prevent child abuse. 

Children with disability experience an increased risk of abuse across all services and locations.

Children with disability are:

  • Over three times more likely to experience physical violence than children without disability;
  • Over four times at higher risk for emotional abuse and neglect;
  • Nearly three times more likely to experience sexual abuse; and
  • More likely to have experienced repeated incidents of sexual abuse by the time they are 18 years old

Providers need to have processes in place and ensure their staff know how to keep children safe and protected from abuse wherever they are. In Victoria, disability service organisations are required to comply with requirements under the Reportable Conduct Scheme and the Child Safe Standards.

New Child Safe Standards were introduced in Victoria from July 1 2022. There are now 11 Standards, which include new requirements to:

  • Involve families and communities in organisations’ efforts to keep children and young people safe
  • Focus on safety of Aboriginal children and young people
  • Manage the risk of child abuse in online environments

NDS resources

A number of resources are available to assist service providers to understand and follow the Victorian Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme when supporting children and young people with disability.

Guidance for implementing the Child Safe Standards & Reportable Conduct Scheme in disability services

The Commission for Children and Young People joins NDS in this webinar to provide practical guidance to the sector about implementing the Child Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme. With a focus on protecting children and young people with disability from harm and abuse, the session covers the relevant legislation and obligations, including changes to the Child Safe Standards since 1 July 2022.

Zero Tolerance initiative

NDS has developed a range of free resources for service providers as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative. They help providers to understand, implement and improve practices which safeguard the rights of people with disability they support.

NDS Submission to the Review of the Reportable Conduct Scheme

Five years into its implementation, the Victorian Government conducted a review of the Reportable Conduct Scheme. NDS provided a submission to the review based on feedback from members.

Helpful resources

The Commission for Children and Young People has developed a number of useful resources on the reportable conduct scheme and making children safe. The Commission is a statutory body that promotes improvement in policies and practices that affect the safety and wellbeing of Victorian children and young people. It focuses on upholding children’s rights, making children safe and implementing the Reportable Conduct Scheme. Resources that may be of interest to disability services include:

Reportable Conduct Scheme

All organisations that provide disability services, including but not limited to registered disability service providers, are subject to the Reportable Conduct Scheme. This Scheme requires in-scope organisations to respond to allegations of child abuse (and other child-related misconduct) made against their workers and volunteers and to notify the Commission of any allegations. Specifically, the Scheme requires organisations, including all disability services, to:

  • Notify the Commission within three business days of becoming aware of a reportable allegation
  • Investigate an allegation – subject to police clearance on criminal matters or matters involving family violence
  • Advise the Commission who is undertaking the investigation
  • Manage the risks to children
  • Within 30 calendar days, provide detailed information to the Commission about the reportable allegation and any action you have taken
  • Notify the Commission of the investigation findings and any disciplinary action taken (or the reasons no action was taken)

See the  Reportable Conduct Scheme webpage  for further information