In April 2012, the Victorian Government initiated an inquiry into the handing of child abuse allegations within religious and non-government organisations. The inquiry’s final report, “Betrayal of Trust”, made a number of recommendations that have been acted on by the Victorian Government. The creation of Child Safety Standards (the Standards) was one of the key recommendations.
The Standards came into effect on 1 January 2017 and applies to sporting organisations that operate and provide sporting services to children within Victoria (including National Sporting Organisations). The Standards apply to organisations as a whole, not only the areas that work with children.
In 2016, Netball Victoria undertook a compliance audit of its published materials on our website against the Standards. As a result of this audit, two documents have been developed to help support Netball Victoria and all its affiliates to comply with the new Standards – The Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct and the Child Safety in Netball Policy. Both of these documents came into effect 1 January 2017.
Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct
The Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct (Code) outlines the expected behaviour for interactions in netball in Victoria and aligns with the Child Safety in Netball Policy (Policy). The primary aim of this Code is to protect and safeguard children and young people.
The Code and Policy applies to Netball Victoria and its members as of 1 January 2017. Breaches of the Policy may lead to disciplinary sanctions in accordance with the processes provided in Part 3 of the Policy.
Click here to view the Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct.
Child Safety in Netball Policy
Where a complaint, incident or matter arises which may be dealt with under the Child Safety in Netball Policy (Policy), then it is to be resolved in accordance with the processes in this Policy, to the exclusion of all other Netball Victoria disciplinary or grievance policies or processes.
For the avoidance of doubt, this means that where a complaint relates to child safety and falls within the scope of this Policy, this Policy will prevail and any such complaint shall be dealt with in accordance with this Policy and not any other Netball Victoria policy.
Click here to view the Child Safety in Netball Policy
Does your organisation meet Child Safety Standards?
Netball Victoria encourages all its affiliates to review their culture, processes and practices against the Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct and the Standards and make any changes that are required moving forward.
Affiliates should adopt and communicate the Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct and Child Safety in Netball Policy to all members. There are seven Child Safe Standards relating to child protection within your association or club, and include requirements to have practices, procedures and policies in place to prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse.
The VicSport website provides support and up-to-date resources for organisations to review their compliance with the Standards, as well as checking if the culture and environment within their organisation is supportive and protective of children. Click here for information sheets, templates and guides, posters and other useful resources to help you prepare, plan and meet the standards.
Organisation review template
The Child Safe Standards organisation review template has been developed by VicSport to assist sporting organisations identify what is currently in place and what needs to be developed to meet the Standards.
The organisation review template addresses important areas of child safety and gives you the opportunity to assess whether your organisation is missing any of the essential ingredients.
To use the template:
- Identify to what degree your organisation meets each child safe item.
- List how your organisation does this. Be specific and include key documents, links and events wherever possible.
- Identify how your organisation can better meet the child safe items.
- Nominate who shall undertake each item, by when and any review dates require.
Click here to view a copy of the Child Safe Standards organisation review template.
Review Action Plan
After completing the plan, the review action plan will allow you to map out the next steps for your organisation to ensure you have a plan to meet the standards.
Click here to view a copy of the Child Safe Standards action review plan template.
Working With Children Check
The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is just one part of creating and maintaining a child safe environment. It screens a person’s criminal records and any reports about professional conduct by the bodies listed in what is checked. The Child Safety in Netball Policy also contains new requirements regarding the WWCC for all Netball Victoria affiliates from 1 January 2017.
Victorian affiliates must know:
- That the regulation applies to every adult (18 years and older) who hold a position of responsibility or authority with children.
- That positions of responsibility or authority cover a wide range of positions including directors, committee members, coaches, umpires, officials, team managers and other senior positions.
- That positions can be paid or unpaid, accredited or not accredited.
- Affiliates must keep a register of all members or persons within the club, association or league who hold a WWCC. Netball Victoria has developed a sample register template for use by affiliates.
- That details regarding the regulation are detailed in the Child Safety in Netball Policy and referenced in the Child Safety in Netball Code of Conduct.
About the Working With Children Check
Visit the Working With Children website for details about the application process.
As a Working with Children cardholder, you have certain obligations and responsibilities which can be viewed on the Working With Children website.
Changes in the law resulting from the Working with Children Amendment Act 2016 (Vic), effective 1 August 2017, has resulted in changes to the Netball Victoria regulation on the WWCC. Find all the information about the revised regulation and how it applies to affiliates with our Q&A document.