Child Safe Standards
We all have a moral, ethical and legal responsibility to actively prevent the abuse and neglect of children. The Child Safe Standards are a result of recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust inquiry and evidence of what works to prevent child abuse. A number of developments have occurred in response to these concerning facts at national and state levels.
Children with disability experience an increased risk of abuse across all services and locations. Providers need to have processes in place and ensure their staff know how to keep children safe and protected from abuse wherever they are.
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.
NDS has developed a number of resources to support service providers to understand and follow the Child Safe Standards.
- NDS presentation: 'Promoting the Safety of Children with Disability in the context of the Victorian Child Safe Standards', narrated by David Moody, State Manager, NDS Victorian (20 minute video) - Coming in July
- NDS Video discussion: 'Implementing the Child Safe Standards, A Conversation with Sector Leaders’ (45 minute video) - Coming in July
- NDS’s Zero Tolerance Framework: Zero Tolerance is an initiative led by NDS in partnership with the disability sector. It assists disability service providers to understand, implement and improve practices which safeguard the rights of people they support. It uses a framework with five levels so everyone in an organisation is clear on things they can be doing, from frontline workers to the board.
The Child Safe Standards
- The Commission for Children and Young People: The Commission for Children and Young People 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 the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The Commission for Children and Young People has developed a number of useful resources on making children safe and the reportable conduct scheme.
Child Wise and the Centre for Excellence in Child Welfare also provide extensive training, resource and support for agencies in making the transition to becoming a Child Safe organisation.
Resources that may be of interest to disability services include:
- CCYP: What to Look for in a Child Safe Organisation (PDF)
- CCYP: A Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation (PDF)
- DHHS Self-Assessment Guidelines (Webpage)
- Child Wise: What is Grooming? (Webpage)
- Department of Justice and Regulation: Grooming Offence (Webpage)
- Child Safe Standards Self-audit Tool (Webpage)
- DHHS: What to do when and Allegation of Child Abuse is Made (Webpage)
- DHHS: Recruitment Practices for Child Safe Organisations (Webpage)
- DHHS: Human Resource Practices for Child Safe Organisations (Webpage)
- DHHS: Code of Conduct Sample (Webpage)
- DHHS: Child Safe Policy Sample (Webpage)
- Reportable Conduct Sheme webpage (Webpage)
All organisations that provide disability services, including but not limited to, registered disability service providers, are subject to the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
This requires you 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).