What Are The Childsafe Standards?
Child safety in sport means protecting children from abuse, providing safe, quality experiences and empowering children’s voices. The Victorian Government’s Betrayal of Trust report and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse highlighted just how significant an issue child safety is within sport and that action is required now.
Basketball Victoria is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. We support the rights of the child and will act without hesitation to ensure a child safe environment is maintained at all times.
The Victorian Child Safety Standards apply to sporting organisations that operate and provide sporting services to children within Victoria (including National Sporting Organisations). There are several different requirements which make up the standards, and which sports will be required to comply.
The standards relate to child protection within your Association or Club, and include requirements to have practices, procedures and policies in place. Basketball organisations should be reviewing their compliance with the standards, as well as checking if the culture and environment within their organisation is supportive and protective of children.
NEW VICTORIAN CHILD SAFE STANDARDS ARE IN PLACE (as of July 1, 2022)
New Victorian Child Safe Standards have come into effect to better protect children and young people from abuse. From 1 July 2022, the Victorian Government has brought in eleven new Standards that replaced Victoria’s original 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 and Torres Strait Islander 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.
Please note, the Victorian standards have some differences to the national standards.
The overview below and the resources focus on the Victorian standards.
An overview of the new Standards is provided below:
- Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued
- Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture
- Children and young people are empowered 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 wellbeing 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 wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
- Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
The Standards apply to organisations as a whole, not only the areas that work with children. This includes:
- Board of management/committee members
- All paid staff (CEO, Executive, employees)
- All volunteers (coaches, officials, administrators, scorers etc)
- All students on placement
- Any contractors that are engaged.
Basketball Victoria encourages all of its affiliated members to review their culture, processes and practices against the Child Safety Standards and make any changes that are required moving forward. This should be communicated to your affiliate clubs and all members.
Remember: Child safety is not an add-on or one-off exercise. It is a legal requirement that your organisation will need to be compliant with. Having policies and procedures in place is not enough. It’s about creating a culture and environment within sport that is supportive and protective of children.
The following resources from the Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) provide further information and details about the incoming changes:
What’s New? – An overview of the Child Safe Standards
What’s Changing? – A comparison of current and new Child Safe Standards
Vicsport has also compiled some resources here and a Change Management Guidance resource to assist organisations implementing a change process, utilising a combination of elements from various theoretical change models.
For information regarding Working with Children Check requirements go to: http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/
What action should I take?
- Develop a working group or sub-committee to lead your organisations focus on developing a child safe culture
- Undertake a child safety review to identify:
- What you already have in place
- What you are doing well
- Where you need to improve
- Do you need anyone else to help?
Your Child Welfare Officer
Your association or club should take steps to ensure that a Child Welfare Officer is appointed to look over matters concerning child safety and abuse. All members and staff are expected to discuss any concerns that they may have about the welfare of a child IMMEDIATELY with the nominated Child Welfare Officer.
The Club or Association welfare officer will be required to report all the incidents noted by them to the appropriate authority at Basketball Victoria who will then ascertain whether or not the person/s involved in the incident play a role in the organisation and act accordingly.
Child Safe Standards Contacts