New Child Safe Standards now apply

New Child Safe Standards now apply in Victoria, to better protect children and young people from abuse

Stronger Standards, safer children

Victoria’s Child Safe Standards are a set of mandatory requirements to protect children and young people from harm and abuse.

The Child Safe Standards (the Standards) commenced in Victoria in January 2016. After six years, we have seen how the Standards improve safety for children and young people.

Changes have been made to make our Standards even stronger. The new Child Safe Standards came into force on 1 July 2022 and organisations now need to comply with these new Standards.

The new Child Safe Standards

There are now 11 Standards, which include new requirements such as:

  • 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.

Victoria has over five years’ experience of mandatory Standards, so many organisations will already have well developed child safety frameworks. Most organisations will need to make some changes to comply with the new Standards.

The new Standards are outlined in the information sheet below.

Why do the Standards exist?

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 new Standards provide more clarity for organisations and are more consistent with standards in the rest of Australia. For more information about the Standards and how they keep children and young people safe, see the Short Guide to the Child Safe Standards.

Who do the Standards apply to?

Most organisations that work or volunteer with children and young people are required to meet the Standards. An ‘organisation’ can include a business, group, club, government, not-for-profit or volunteer organisation. For more information on the types of organisations that must comply with the Standards, click here.

How will the Standards be enforced?

The new Child Safe Standards have now started and the old Standards no longer apply. For some organisations, it may take time and effort to get things right and they may not have fully completed implementation by 1 July 2022.

We will initially focus on informing and educating organisations about their obligations under the new Standards. From January 2023, the Commission will expect organisations to have more comprehensively implemented the new Standards.

To learn more about the Commission’s approach to regulating the new Standards, see here.

Guides to implementing the new Child Safe Standards

If you’re just getting started, download the Short guide to the Child Safe Standards. This guide provides an overview of the key concepts and requirements to assist organisations to comply with the new Standards, including information on what the Commission will look for when assessing compliance.

If your organisation is familiar with the current Standards or you are looking for more detailed information, you can access A guide for creating a Child Safe Organisation. This guide has detailed information and advice on how to comply with each Standard.

The Commission also has a range of tools and templates to help organisations develop key policies, practices and procedures. These are available in the resources section of our website.

Resources and support

For further information about the Child Safe Standards, watch our Community of Practice videos or read some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Getting the right information for your industry or sector

There are a number of different regulators for the Standards in Victoria. Currently, the Commission has powers to regulate all organisations that have to comply with the Standards and works together with other regulators to do this. You may have an additional regulator who may lead regulation of the Standards for your organisation if you are funded or regulated by a Victorian Government department, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority or the Wage Inspectorate Victoria.

Here are some regulators:

Information for parents and carers

When your child is attending or being cared for by an organisation, you want to know that they will be safe. The Standards are designed to prevent child abuse and harm from occurring within organisations. Click here for resources and support services for parents and carers.

Information in your language

The Commission has information sheets on the Standards available in plain English and community languages:

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:

Sign-up for updates

Sign-up to the Commission’s email list to receive updates on the Child Safe Standards and any new resources or events.

You can contact the Commission with questions or queries:

Telephone:  1300 782 978 or (03) 8601 5281