Developing Child Safe Policies

Reporting a Concern

If you have immediate safety concerns about a child or young person, please call 000.

If you have general safety concerns about a child or young person, please contact the Child Protection intake office where the child lives.

For concerns about organisations that may not be complying with the Child Safe Standards, you can contact the Commission for Children and Young People.

Report a Child Safe Standards safety concern to the Commission >>

All organisations that provide services for children must implement Child Safe Standards to protect them from abuse.

Victoria’s Child Safe Standards are a set of mandatory requirements to protect children and young people from harm and abuse. The new Child Safe Standards came into force on 1 July 2022 and organisations now need to comply with these new Standards.

As of January 2023, the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) expect organisation to have comprehensively implemented the new Standards. Stronger penalties now apply for organisations, businesses, and sole traders that do not comply with the Child Safe Standards.

What the Standards aim to achieve

All children have the right to feel safe and be safe, but safety does not just happen. The Standards exist to prevent harm and abuse from happening in organisations.

The Child Safe Standards aim to:

  • promote the safety of children
  • prevent child abuse
  • ensure organisations and businesses have effective processes in place to respond to and report all allegations of child abuse

Child Safe Standards work by:

  • driving changes in organisational culture – embedding child safety in everyday thinking and practice
  • providing a minimum standard of child safety across all organisations
  • highlighting that we all have a role to keep children safe from abuse

The 11 Child Safe Standards

The new requirements in the Standards include:

  • involving families and communities in organisations’ efforts to keep children and young people safe
  • a greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people
  • managing the risk of child abuse in online environments
Standard 1

Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued

Standard 2

Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture

Standard 3

Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously

Standard 4

Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing

Standard 5

Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice

Standard 6

People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice

Standard 7

Processes for complaints and concerns are child-focused

Standard 8

Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training

Standard 9

Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed

Standard 10

Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved

Standard 11

Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people

Guides to implementing the new Child Safe Standards

The CCYP have developed a number of guides to implementing the new Child Safe Standards. They have resources in plain English, ones for if you are just getting started, and more detailed information in resources if you are already familiar with the new Standards. We encourage all organisation to use these resources when developing their own policies, plans and procedures, and refer back to them regularly.

Go to Resources and Support for the Child Safe Standards >>

Now that the new Child Safe Standards are in force you must ensure that:

  1. You have policies that address each of the 11 Child Safe Standards
  2. That you place a Policy Statement or Commitment to Child Safe Statement somewhere visible (for example on the wall of your dance studio’s entrance) to alert students, visitors, and parents of your policies and how they can gain access to them

Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and is not intended to be legal advice. Organisations should confirm the legal requirements that apply to them and seek legal advice about their specific situation as required.