Our mission is for all children and young people in South Australia to be protected, cared for and to have every opportunity to reach their full potential. That’s why it’s so important for organisations that provide services to or work directly with and around children ensure that their operations are child safe.
If your organisation delivers services in South Australia, here’s what you need to know about becoming and remaining child safe, and how Child Wise can support your journey.
What is child safety in the South Australian context?
The 2013 (to 2018) Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found serious failings in the way institutions protect children and young people, and deal with reports of abuse when they occur. The Royal Commission identified the conditions that institutions need to adopt to reduce the likelihood of harm to children, increase the likelihood of identifying and reporting harm, and of responding appropriately to disclosures, allegations or suspicions of harm.
The 2016 Child Protection Systems Royal Commission conducted a comprehensive investigation into South Australian laws, policies, practices and structures in place for children at risk of harm.
Findings of both the Commonwealth and State Royal Commissions have reinforced the need for systems that are better equipped to protect children and young people from harm. Collectively, these two Royal Commissions delivered 669 recommendations designed to improve the safety and wellbeing of children.
How has the South Australian government responded to the recommendations?
The South Australia government has adopted and embedded many of these recommendations. This includes updates to working (and volunteering) with children check legislation and processes through the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016. The new law means that anyone working or volunteering with children must have a Working with Children Check (WWCC).
In addition, the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 requires that all organisations that deliver child related work in South Australia must provide a child safe environment, by meeting the 7 Principles of Good Practice.
In 2019, following recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), including the Premier of South Australia, endorsed 10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. Implementation of the National Principles is now a requirement of all Commonwealth entities and sets an expectation for all organisations where children and people of young age spend time. The South Australian Government has made a commitment to integrate the 10 National Child Safe Principles into the State’s existing regulatory and policy framework for implementation. (Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Government of South Australia 2019 Annual Report)
Why does your organisation need to consider child safety policy and procedures?
Policies and procedures set out the expectation of staff behaviour and activities within your organisation. They specify what staff (including management and board or governance/executive members), volunteers, interns, contractors, sub-contractors, etc must or must not do as well as communicate organisational boundaries, guiding principles and best practice.
South Australia’s Principles of Good Practice require organisations that deliver services to children and young people to have Child Safe Policy and Procedures that are regularly reviewed.
If children and young people spend time in your organisation, it would be worth reviewing your policies and procedures to ensure they are robust and meet child safety and wellbeing needs.
What are the key industries that need to ensure they remain child safe in South Australia?
While it is essential for all industries to ensure their operations, policies and procedures are child safe, there are some sectors that interact more closely or directly with children and young people. There are also some organisations that are required to do so through South Australian legislation. The Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 prescribes these organisations.
Organisations include those that provide the following activities and services:
Child Wise coaching and consulting can support your organisation to become child safe
Our child safety and protection consulting and tailored coaching services may include, but are not limited to:
- Providing guidance and building the capacity of organisations to write, communicate and implement child safe policies and procedures, improve practice and manage change;
- Reviewing and editing existing policies and procedures, as well as developing new best practice documents (e.g. policies, procedures, strategies) tailored to your organisational needs;
- Undertaking a child safety review of your organisation to identify gaps and strengths;
- Supporting you in developing an improvement plan; and
- Conducting a systems analysis, i.e. analysing your organisation's end-to-end response to select child safety incidents to identify areas for improvement.
South Australian organisations who engage us for child safety consulting may go on to participate in the Child Wise Accreditation program. Click here to learn more about our Accreditation services.
Register for a virtual classroom child safety training
Our virtual classroom training programs are available to anyone with an interest in keeping children safe. We now offer a selection of virtual programs that participants can access from the comfort of their home or office and where they can interact, communicate, view and discuss presentations, as well as engage with learning resources while working in groups, all in an online setting.
Delivered by highly qualified and experienced Child Wise trainers, our virtual classrooms are very interactive and limited to a small class of up to 20 participants to ensure a complete learning experience for participants.
Face to Face Child Safety Training Sessions
As well as virtual training sessions, our team of experts can also deliver face to face child safety training sessions in South Australia. Our programs range in length from 2 hours to 2 days and provide different levels of engagement for participants based on their needs.
You can choose between both public or in-house training sessions.
Public child safety training programs
We offer a range of face-to-face child safety training sessions, but due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Australia, we aren’t able to provide any face-to-face training at this time. Please revisit this landing page for future updates.
For information about the training programs we offer, browse our upcoming events here.
In-house child safety training programs
We also offer in-house child safety training sessions that our experts can deliver to your organization, recommended for organisations that need to train groups of staff and volunteers, or the board/leadership team. In-house training can be delivered in its standard format or customised to suit your organisational needs and context.
If you have any questions or would like to book an in-house training session, contact us to discuss your needs and get a free quote.