From 5 July 2021, all adults in an organisational setting are obliged to comply with the new Queensland Child Protection Law Reform. Therefore, this falls under the Criminal Code (Child Sexual Offences Reform) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020.
In addition, it is critical for Swim Schools to be aware of the new criminal laws and how it impacts the child safe legal obligations all staff members.
Two New Criminal Offences
QLD law has been strengthened to improve the protection of children (16 years and under) from offences of a sexual nature. We provide an outline of the two new offences that have come into effect below.
The Failure to Protect Offence:
Failing to Protect Children from Sexual Offences
The failure to protect law makes it a criminal offence if an adult (18 years or older) fails to take steps to protect a child from a sexual offence in an organisational setting.
The failure to protect offence will apply if you are an adult associated with an organisation who have children under its care, supervision or control, and you:
- Know there is a significant risk that another adult associated with the organisation will commit a sexual offence against a child
- Have the power or responsibility to reduce or remove the risk
- Wilfully or negligently fail to reduce or remove the risk.
The Failure to Report Offence:
Failing to Report Sexual Offences against Children (‘The Failure to Report’)
The failure to report reform makes it a criminal offence for everyone over 18 years of age (all adults in QLD) not to report sexual offending against a child by another adult to police.
This means that all adults have a responsibility to report to police if they reasonably believe that a child is being or has been the victim of sexual abuse, unless there is a reasonable excuse for not doing so.
Why Swim Schools Need to Comply with Child Safe Standards
WWSS, in association with Child Safeguard, are proud to implement a child-safe training program, The Child Safe Training Hub. For instance, it focuses on essential compliance and safety standards to children’s health and well-being. In addition, this succeeds the Royal Commission‘s inquiry into institutional responses to child abuse. Furthermore, it recommends that organisations implement the 10 child safe standards to become child safe organisations.
What Does this Mean for Swim Schools?
The new Queensland Child Protection Law forms part of staff legal obligations to report & prevent child abuse. In addition, the reforms should reflect in the Swim School’s policies and procedures. They should also deliver to staff through training to ensure they are aware of their obligations and how to comply.
The new reforms can link to the following Standards:
- Recruitment & Induction: Standard 5
- Education & Training: Standard 7
- Complaints Handling Management: Standard 6
- Policies and Procedures: Standard 10
For more information refer to: https://www.qld.gov.au/law/crime-and-police/types-of-crime/sexual-offences-against-children