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 Betrayal of Trust inquiry and 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.
NDS has developed a number of resources for service providers to understand and follow the Victorian Child Safe Standards when supporting children and young people with disability.
Powerpoint presentation on the Child Safe Standards for your organisation to use:
- This PowerPoint slide presentation, and notes, on ‘Promoting the Safety of Children with Disability’ can be used for staff training on the Child Safe Standards.
- Also available as accessible slides
Video of a narration of the Child Safety Standards Slides
- 'Promoting the Safety of Children with Disability in the context of the Victorian Child Safe Standards', video presentation of the slides above narrated by David Moody, State Manager, NDS Victoria (20 minutes)
- Watch video | Download accessible transcript
NDS Video discussion: 'Implementing the Child Safe Standards, A Conversation with Sector Leaders’
- This filmed panel discussion with sector leaders explores how disability service providers can implement the Child Safe Standards (51 minute video)
- Watch video | Download accessible transcript
- Listen as a podcast
NDS’s 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.
Conducting Investigations: A guide for Victorian disability service providers
The NDS Conducting Investigations Guide has been updated to include reference to the Reportable Conduct Scheme and other recent Victorian safeguarding initiatives, such as the Client Incident Management System. This guide may be further amended post Victoria’s transition to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework post July 2019.
The Commission for Children and Young People has developed a number of useful resources on making children safe and the reportable conduct scheme. 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 the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
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 Scheme 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 Scheme requires some 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).