The 11 Child Safety Standards

Child safety in sport means protecting children from abuse, providing safe, quality experiences and empowering children’s voices.

The Victorian Government’s Betrayal of Trust report and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted just how significant an issue child safety is within sport.

The New Child Safe Standards will replace the current 7 Standards in Victoria to better protect children and young people from abuse.  The Victorian Government has announced that the new Standards will commence on the 1st of July 2022. 

Changes have been made to support 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 Standards Require Organisations to have:

Minimum Compliance Points 

  • 1.1 A child’s ability to express their culture and enjoy their cultural rights is encouraged an actively supported.
  • 1.2 Strategies are embedded within the organisation which equip all members to acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of Aboriginal culture and understand its importance to the wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal children and young people. 
  • 1.3 Measures are adopted by the organisation to ensure racism within the organisation is identified, confronted and not tolerated. Any instances of racism are addressed with appropriate consequences.
  • 1.4 The organisation actively supports and facilitates participation and inclusion within it by Aboriginal children, young people and their families.
  • 1.5 All of the organisation’s policies, procedures, systems and processes together create a culturally safe and inclusive

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 2.1 The organisation makes a public commitment to child safety.
  • 2.2 A child safe culture is championed and modelled at all levels of the organisation from the top down and bottom up.
  • 2.3 Governance arrangements facilitate implementation of the child safety and wellbeing policy at all levels.
  • 2.4 A Code of Conduct provides guidelines for staff and volunteers on expected behavioural standards and responsibilities.
  • 2.5 Risk management strategies focus on preventing, identifying and mitigating risks to children and young people.
  • 2.6 Staff and volunteers understand their obligations on information sharing and recordkeeping.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 3.1 Children and young people are informed about all of their rights, including to safety, information and participation.
  • 3.2 The importance of friendships is recognised and support from peers is encouraged, to help children and young people feel safe and be less isolated. 
  • 3.3 Where relevant to the setting or context, children and young people are offered access to sexual abuse prevention programs and to relevant related information in an age appropriate way.
  • 3.4 Staff and volunteers are attuned to signs of harm and facilitate child-friendly ways for children and young people to express their views, participate in decision-making and raise their concerns.
  • 3.5 Organisations have strategies in place to develop a culture that facilitates participation and is responsive to the input of children and young people.
  • 3.6 Organisations provide opportunities for children and young people to participate and are responsive to their contributions, thereby strengthening confidence and engagement.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 4.1 Families participate in decisions affecting their child.
  • 4.2 The organisation engages and openly communicates with families and the community about its child safe approach and relevant information is accessible.
  • 4.3 Families and communities have a say in the development and review of the organisation’s policies and practices.
  • 4.4 Families, carers and the community are informed about the organisation’s operations and governance.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 5.1 The organisation, including staff and volunteers, understands children and young people’s diverse circumstances, and provides support and responds to those who are vulnerable.
  • 5.2 Children and young people have access to information, support and complaints processes in ways that are culturally safe, accessible and easy to understand.
  • 5.3 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of children and young people with disability, children and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those who are unable to live at home, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children and young people.
  • 5.4 The organisation pays particular attention to the needs of Aboriginal children and young people and provides/promotes a culturally safe environment for them.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 6.1 Recruitment, including advertising, referee checks and staff and volunteer pre-employment screening, emphasise child safety and wellbeing.
  • 6.2 Relevant staff and volunteers have current working with children checks or equivalent background checks.
  • 6.3 All staff and volunteers receive an appropriate induction and are aware of their responsibilities to children and young people, including record keeping, information sharing and reporting obligations.
  • 6.4 Ongoing supervision and people management is focused on child safety and wellbeing.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 7.1 The organisation has an accessible, child focused complaint handling policy which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of leadership, staff and volunteers, approaches to dealing with different types of complaints, breaches of relevant policies or the Code of Conduct and obligations to act and report.
  • 7.2 Effective complaint handling processes are understood by children and young people, families, staff and volunteers, and are culturally safe.
  • 7.3 Complaints are taken seriously, and responded to promptly and thoroughly.
  • 7.4 The organisation has policies and procedures in place that address reporting of complaints and concerns to relevant authorities, whether or not the law requires reporting, and co-operates with law enforcement.
  • 7.5 Reporting, privacy and employment law obligations are met

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 8.1 Staff and volunteers are trained and supported to effectively implement the organisation’s child safety and wellbeing policy.
  • 8.2 Staff and volunteers receive training and information to recognise indicators of child harm including harm caused by other children and young people.
  • 8.3 Staff and volunteers receive training and information to respond effectively to issues of child safety and wellbeing and support colleagues who disclose harm.
  • 8.4 Staff and volunteers receive training and information on how to build culturally safe environments for children and young people.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 9.1 Staff and volunteers identify and mitigate risks in the online and physical environments without compromising a child’s right to privacy, access to information, social connections and learning opportunities.
  • 9.2 The online environment is used in accordance with the organisation’s Code of Conduct and child safety and wellbeing policy and practices.
  • 9.3 Risk management plans consider risks posed by organisational settings, activities, and the physical environment.
  • 9.4 Organisations that contract facilities and services from third parties have procurement policies that ensure the safety of children and young people.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 10.1 The organisation regularly reviews, evaluates and improves child safe practices.
  • 10.2 Complaints, concerns and safety incidents are analysed to identify causes and systemic failures to inform continuous improvement.
  • 10.3 The organisation reports on the findings of relevant reviews to staff and volunteers, community and families and children and young people.

Minimum Compliance Points

  • 11.1 Policies and procedures address all Child Safe Standards.
  • 11.2 Policies and procedures are documented and easy to understand.
  • 11.3 Best practice models and stakeholder consultation informs the development of policies and procedures.
  • 11.4 Leaders champion and model compliance with policies and procedures.
  • 11.5 Staff and volunteers understand and implement policies and procedures.

Additional Resources

Remember: 

Child safety is not an add-on or one off exercise. It is a legal requirement that your organisation will need to be compliant with. Having policies and procedures in place is not enough. It’s about creating a culture and environment within sport that is supportive and protective of children.

DISCLAIMER: 

This information provides general guidance regarding the Child Safe Standards. It should not be considered as a substitute for legal advice. 

These resource are supported by the Victorian Government. 

These documents are designed for the Netball Community and developed utilising and adapting content from:  

- Commission for Children and Young People (2021)

- VicSport's Child Safe Standards