Compliance with the Child Safe Standards
The Victorian Child Safe Standards
All child-related organisations must take steps to prevent and minimise risks of child abuse. As a result, the Victorian Child Safe Standards were introduced in accordance with the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust inquiry. Therefore, Victorian Swim Schools are required by law to implement the 7 Victorian Standards.
In Victoria, the Victorian Standards remain mandatory for organisations in accordance with the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. In addition, Victoria’s Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) enforces compliance with the Victorian Standards. So, we discuss the 7 Victorian Standards for Victorian Swim Schools.
The National Principles
In 2019, the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations were endorsed. Therefore, these National Principles embedded the Child Safe Standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. In other words, The Royal Commission recommended that child-related organisations implement the 10 Child Safe Standards to become child safe organisations. In addition, you can read more about this in one of our previous blogs here.
What are the requirements for Victorian Swim Schools?
So, we outline the 7 Victorian Standards and the 3 overarching principles. For instance, it is important for Victorian Swim Schools to understand their obligations and what steps they must take to comply with the Standards.
The 7 Victorian Child Safe Standards aim to:
- Promote the safety of children
- Prevent child abuse
- Ensure organisations have effective processes in place to respond to, and report allegations of, child abuse.
The 7 Child Safe Standards are as follows:
- Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
- A Child Safe Policy or Statement of Commitment to Child Safety
- A Code of Conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children
- Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
- Processes for responding to, and reporting, suspected child abuse
- Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
- Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children
In addition, there are three overarching principles that require child-related organisations to consider for the increased vulnerability of:
- Aboriginal children
- Children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and
- Children with disabilities.
Complying with the Standards
Victoria’s Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) have powers to oversee and enforce organisations’ compliance with the Victorian Standards under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005 (Vic).
In addition, you can read more about the role and powers of the CCYP here.
The following online training material and policy templates are developed and customised for the Aquatics industry, which are as follows:
- Child Safe Training Hub Platform so, begin with the FREE introduction module
- Webinars with Child Safeguard and WWSS and you can watch here
- Resources produced by the Commission for Children and Young People.
How we can Assist you with Implementing the 7 Victorian Standards
WWSS, in partnership with Child Safeguard, have collaborated to create an online training and resource platform for Swim Schools, called the Child Safe Training Hub. In addition, you can find out more on the CSTH here. In other words, the Hub provides Swim Schools with a library of training and resources so it ensures they implement best practices and comply with the Child Safe Standards.
Swim Schools who implement the Child Safe Standards demonstrate their leadership and commitment to child safety and well-being, so they can become Swim Schools of choice by members of the community.
In conclusion, the Hub is designed for the Aquatics Industry so it gives Swim School Owners and Managers the knowledge and skills to:
- Create a Child Safe Policy
- Implement a Code Of Conduct
- Design a Child Safe Complaints Handling Procedure
- Provide Child Safe training to staff on their obligations according to the Standards
- Plan an induction and refresher staff training via the online platform.
For more information on the Child Safe Training Hub: