Commonwealth Child Safe Framework
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (the Royal Commission) examined what makes an organisation ‘Child Safe’ and highlighted the need to improve organisational environments so that children and young people are safe, protected and respected, and where staff have the skills, confidence and knowledge to safeguard children (people under 18 years). ACIAR has introduced a Child Safe Framework incorporating a Child Safe Policy, Risk Assessment, Annual Compliance Statement and is adopting the following:
- The 10 national child safety principles
- Commitment to undertaking a risk assessment annually to ensure the profile remains current and identified positions continue to be current
- Implement mandatory training to those in roles which interact with children
- Implement working with children checks for employees in identified positions as required
- Make child-safe resources available to staff
ACIAR has undertaken a risk assessment which identified that several controls are already in place to mitigate potential risks to child safety, indicating that ACIAR’s current risk profile is low.
ACIAR has developed the Statement of Commitment to Child Safety as an overarching statement that provides key elements of our approach to protecting children and young people from abuse. The statement is a demonstration of ACIAR’s commitment to child safety. ACIAR has a zero-tolerance approach to the abuse, harm or exploitation of young people. Each year ACIAR will complete a Statement of Compliance recognising the need to continually review and update the Child Safe Framework.
The 10 national child safety principles
- Child safety and well-being is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
- Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
- Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
- People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and well-being values in practice
- Processes for complaints and concerns are child-focused
- Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
- Physical and online environments promote safety and well-being while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
- Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
Mandatory reporting is a legal requirement to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. All jurisdictions possess mandatory reporting requirements; however, each State/Territory has different requirements in relation to who is mandated to report and the types of abuse that must be reported. Incidents can be reported as below:
- ACT: Online form from Access Canberra: ‘Reporting child and abuse and neglect’. or 1300 556 729
- NT: Child Abuse Hotline - 1800 700 250
- NSW: Child Protection Helpline - 132 111
- VIC: Child Protection - 1300 664 997 (Melbourne). For other areas visit Health and Human Service website
- QLD: Child Safety Services’ Enquiries Unit - 1800 811 810
- TAS: Advice and Referral Line - 1800 000 123
- WA: Crime Stoppers - 1800 333 000
- SA: Child Abuse Report Line - 131 478
Alternatively, if your concerns relate to abuse outside of a family context, or if you are unsure of who to report to, contact police on 131 444 to make your report.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger, contact the Police now by calling 000.
Child Safety Resources
- Australian Human Rights Commission
- United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Child friendly versions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
- National Office for Child Safety
- Child Safe Organisations
- Practical tools for implementing the National Principles
- Introductory self-assessment tool
- Guide for parents and carers
- Introductory video on the National Principles