New Child Safe Standards start in Victoria on 1 July 2022 to better protect children

New Child Safe Standards are coming to better protect children and young people from abuse.

The Victorian Government has announced that the new Standards will commence on 1 July 2022, giving organisations time to plan, prepare and comply. 

The eleven new Standards will replace Victoria’s current seven standards and principles.

Key changes include new requirements:

  • to involve families and communities in organisations’ efforts to keep children and young people safe
  • for a greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people
  • to manage the risk of child abuse in online environments
  • for greater clarity on the governance, systems and processes to keep children and young people safe.

Changes have been made to support greater national consistency, reflecting the National Principles for a Child Safe Organisation developed following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

There will be some unique features in the new Standards. A new standard focuses on cultural safety for Aboriginal children and young people and was recommended by Justin Mohamed, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, after undertaking an Aboriginal-led development process.

‘Creating organisations that properly include Aboriginal children, young people and their families, and that acknowledge and appreciate the strengths of Aboriginal culture, can make such a difference. Organisations will have requirements to ensure racism within the organisation is identified, confronted and not tolerated. We know that if Aboriginal children and young people feel safe to be themselves in an organisation, this better protects them from child abuse’ reflected Justin Mohamed, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.

The new Standards provide greater clarity for organisations on actions required to meet minimum standards. Victoria has over five years’ experience of mandatory Child Safe Standards, so many organisations will have well developed child safety frameworks.

Organisations will need to get to know the new Standards, identify what changes they need to make and plan to comply by 1 July 2022. Until then, organisations will need to continue complying with the current Standards. 

The Commission has produced initial guidance to assist organisations to understand the new Standards:

More guidance to help organisations move to the new Standards will be released over the coming months.  You can subscribe here to make sure you are notified of new releases.

Child Safe Standards regulators and peak or industry bodies may also be able provide information and support to assist organisations to transition to the new Standards.

You can contact the Commission with questions or queries:

Telephone:  1300 782 978 or (03) 8601 5281

Email:  contact@ccyp.vic.gov.au

Visit the Commission’s website:  www.ccyp.vic.gov.au