Standard 5: Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice

Minimum requirements

In complying with Child Safe Standard 5 an organisation must, at a minimum, ensure:

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.

Compliance indicators

What will the Commission look for when assessing this Standard?

Organisations will generally comply if they produce these documents and undertake these actions in a way that supports the organisation to achieve this Standard. The nature or characteristics of your organisation may mean you need to do something different to what is proposed below. Read our guidance materials for more information.

Documents

  • Materials for children, including information about complaints processes and supports, are accessible, age-appropriate and available in a range of languages and formats as needed. Written documents alone are not relied on, particularly for children who are blind or vision impaired, or children who cannot read. (5.2)
  • The Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy describes:
    • the organisation’s commitment to equity and inclusion (5.1)
    • how the organisation will recognise and respect the diverse needs of all children (5.1)
    • how the organisation provides avenues for children or their families to identify their individual needs (5.1)
    • how the organisation will provide children with access to information, support and complaints processes in ways that are culturally safe, accessible and easy to understand (5.2)
    • how the organisation will support equity and make reasonable changes to support participation by all children and respond to all children’s needs (5.1, 5.3, 5.4)
    • how the organisation upholds equity for all children and prevents child abuse and harm resulting from discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, intersex status, gender identity or sexual orientation. (5.1, 5.3, 5.4) 

Actions

  • The organisation takes steps to understand the diverse circumstances and needs of children who engage, or may engage, with it. (5.1, 5.3)
  • Staff and volunteers:
    • are provided with information and guidance about children’s diverse circumstances, how to identify factors that can increase a child’s vulnerability to harm, and how to promote equity and safety for all children
    • take action to support and respond to children who are experiencing vulnerability, including making inquiries and responding where there are signs of increased vulnerability
    • take action to uphold equity for all children, promote children’s safety and prevent child abuse and harm. (5.1, 5.3, 5.4)
  • Leaders set clear expectations around achieving equity and respect for diversity. (5.1 and links to 2.2)
  • The organisation ensures all children are reasonably supported to participate. (5.1)

Learn more about Standard 5

Our Guide for creating a Child Safe Organisation has detailed information and advice on how to comply with each Standard. This guide is helpful for people who are responsible for implementing the Child Safe Standards:

If you’re looking for an overview of all the Standards and requirements, download the Short Guide to the Child Safe Standards. This guide is useful for people who are just getting started with the Standards, or people who have oversight of the Standards in their organisation.

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.