As of today, new child safety standards will come into effect in Victoria to better protect children from harm and abuse.
The standards are mandatory for most organisations, companies or groups that work or volunteer with children under the age of 18 in Victoria, including Brimbank.
After six years of implementation of the Child Safety Standards and further review by the Victorian Government, the standards are being tightened in important ways to better protect children from physical, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect.
The 11 new standards, which are more closely aligned with the national principles for child safety organizations, will replace the current seven standards.
As an Australian first, the new Child Safe Standard 1 will play an important role in protecting Aboriginal children and celebrating their diverse and unique identities.
In addition to a greater focus on safety for Aboriginal children and young people, the new standards will require organizations to involve families and communities in their efforts to keep children safe.
They will also be required to manage the risk of abuse in online environments, and an important and welcome focus on empowering children about their rights and taking them seriously when they raise concerns.
The work organizations that have already done to meet the current standards will help them to meet the new standards, but most of the organizations will have to make some changes.
The Commission has released guidance to help organizations understand the new standards and what the Commission will look for when assessing compliance.
Organizations must take action to comply with the new standards by July 1, but there will be fees for organizations that need more time.
Chief Commissioner for Children and Youth, Liana Buchanan, confirmed that the initial focus would be on informing and educating organizations about their obligations under the new standards.
“From January 2023, the Commission expects organizations to have more comprehensively implemented the new standards.
“Children deserve to feel safe, nurtured and protected by the organizations they interact with, and the new Child Safe Standards will help organizations make safer and more inclusive for all children,” she said.