On this page
- Stronger Standards, safer children
- The new Child Safe Standards
- Why do the Standards exist?
- Who do the Standards apply to?
- How will the Standards be enforced?
- Guides to implementing the new Child Safe Standards
- Resources and support
- Getting the right information for your industry or sector
- Information for parents and carers
- Information in your language
- Reporting a concern
- Sign-up for updates
Stronger Standards, safer children
Victoria’s Child Safe Standards are a mandatory framework to protect children and young people from harm and abuse.
The Child Safe Standards (the Standards) commenced in Victoria in January 2016. After five years, we have seen how the Standards improve safety for children and young people.
Changes are being made to make our Standards even stronger. Organisations covered by the current Standards will need to comply with updated Standards from 1 July 2022. Until then, the current Standards apply.
The new Child Safe Standards
The new Standards have been updated from 7 to 11 Standards and 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.
- New Child Safe Standards Information Sheet (PDF, 146kb)
- New Child Safe Standards Information Sheet (Word, 132kb)
- Translated information sheets
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, see here.
How will the Standards be enforced?
On 1 July 2022, the new Standards commence, and the old Standards will 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
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:
- the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) is a relevant authority for Child Safe Standards compliance in registered schools
- the Quality Assessment and Regulation Division (QARD) of the Department of Education is a relevant authority for early childhood education and care providers (such as registered childcare centres)
- the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) is a relevant authority for out-of-home care providers (amongst other services)
- Wage Inspectorate Victoria is a relevant authority for organisations who employ children and hold a child employment permit.
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