What are the Child Safe Standards?

The Victorian government has introduced compulsory minimum child safe standards that apply from 1 January 2016 to all organisations providing regulated or funded services for children. The child safe standards form part of the Victorian Government’s response to the Betrayal of Trust Inquiry, which found that more must be done to prevent and respond to child abuse in our community.

The purpose of the child safe standards is to drive continuous improvement in the way organisations prevent child abuse, encourage reporting and improve responses to allegations of abuse. The child safe standards closely align with existing regulatory requirements for early childhood services and many services will already be taking steps to implement the standards.

In complying with the child safe standards, the following principles must be applied to each standard:

  • promoting the cultural safety of Aboriginal children
  • promoting the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • promoting the safety of children with a disability

The child safe standards are as follows:

  • Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
  • Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety
  • Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
  • Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
  • Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
  • Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
  • Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.