New Child Safe Standards come into effect in Vic from 1 July 2022

New Child Safe Standards come into effect in Vic from 1 July 2022

by Freya Lucas

August 17, 2021

The Victorian Government has announced that new Child Safe Standards will commence on 1 July 2022, aiming to better protect children and young people from abuse.

 

Eleven new standards will replace Victoria’s current seven standards and principles, with comprehensive information about the changes being shared in order to allow organisations time to plan, prepare and comply. 

 

Key changes include new requirements:

 

  • to involve families and communities in organisations’ efforts to keep children and young people safe;
  • for a greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people;
  • to manage the risk of child abuse in online environments;
  • for greater clarity on the governance, systems and processes to keep children and young people safe.

 

Changes have also been made in pursuit of greater national consistency, reflecting the National Principles for a Child Safe Organisation developed following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

 

The new standards also include a specific standard which focuses on cultural safety for Aboriginal children and young people, as recommended by Justin Mohamed, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, after undertaking an Aboriginal-led development process.

 

“Creating organisations that properly include Aboriginal children, young people and their families, and that acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of Aboriginal culture, can make such a difference,” Mr Mohamed noted. 

 

“Organisations will have requirements to ensure racism within the organisation is identified, confronted and not tolerated. We know that if Aboriginal children and young people feel safe to be themselves in an organisation, this better protects them from child abuse.”

 

The new Standards provide greater clarity for organisations on actions required to meet minimum standards, with an expectation that organisations will need to get to know the new standards, identify what changes they need to make and plan to comply with the standards by 1 July 2022. Until then, organisations will need to continue complying with the current standards. 

 

The Commission has produced initial guidance to assist organisations to understand the new Standards:

 

 

More guidance to help organisations move to the new Standards will be released over the coming months. Subscribe here to be notified of new releases.

 

Child Safe Standards regulators and peak or industry bodies may also be able provide information and support to assist organisations to transition to the new Standards.

 

Questions or queries are best directed to the Commission for Children and Young People by telephone (1300 782 978, or 03 8601 5281) or email – [email protected] 

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