Careers and employment
Meet our Educational Leaders of the Year
Two amazing Goodstarters jointly won at the national Goodies Awards 2023.
While the National Principles are a nation-wide set of standards, the implementation of them is the responsibility of each state and territory, and each takes a slightly different approach. So what are the current requirements in your state?
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has committed to implementing the National Principles, however there are currently no Child Safe Standards in place. The ACT currently has a Reportable Conduct Scheme administered by the ACT Ombudsman, which oversees how organisations prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse and misconduct.
In October 2019, the ACT government began the development of child safe standards scheme. Public consultation ran from November 2019 until February 2020. The government had planned to develop legislation during 2020, however, the implementation of the scheme has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently no publicly available timeline for implementation of the National Principles in the ACT.
The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian released the NSW Child Safe Standards in mid-2020, with early learning services being required to implement the standards from February 2022. The NSW Child Safe Standards are aligned with the National Principles, and the OCG has confirmed that if an organisation is complying with the National Principles, it will be considered to be also complying with the NSW Child Safe Standards. The OCG oversees compliance with the NSW Child Safe Standards and administering the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The child safe standards are not currently in force in the Northern Territory (NT). The National Principles have been endorsed by the NT Government, however, the NT has not yet indicated that it will legislate the National Principles.
Queensland has accepted the National Principles, however they do not currently have any Child Safe Standards in place. Queensland Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs is leading the work relating to the development of a new child safe framework. There is currently no publicly available timeline for implementation of the National Principles in Queensland.
The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations have replaced the former South Australian Child Safe Environments – Principles of Good Practice. From 1 July 2021, all organisations developing child safe policies and procedures must align these with the National Principles, and reflect the SA legislative context.
Organisations that work with children are required to lodge a Child Safe Environments compliance statement with the Department of Human Services. The statement must be lodged every 5 years and organisations must update their compliance statement whenever there are changes to their organisation.
The Department of Human Services South Australia is responsible for the implementation of the National Principles and the monitoring of organisations’ compliance statements.
The Tasmanian government has committed to implementing the National Principles, however there are currently no Child Safe Standards in place. The Tasmanian Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework will be a legislatively mandated framework comprising of Child Safe Standards and a Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The project to develop and implement the Framework is expected to go for three years. The indicative commencement date of the Framework is 1 January 2024, and it is expected there will be phased implementation across the range of organisations required to comply.
Victoria introduced the Victorian Child Safe Standards in January 2016. The standards were amended in July 2022 to align more closely with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and to strengthen protection from child abuse. The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) oversees compliance with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and administering the Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The implementation of the National Principles in Western Australia (WA) is currently voluntary. In 2019, the Commissioner for Child and Young People (CCYP) revised their child safe resources to align with the National Principles.
Western Australia implemented a reportable conduct scheme on 1 January 2023. Conduct covered by the Scheme in the first year includes: sexual offences; sexual misconduct; physical assault; and other prescribed offences. After 12 months of the operation of the Scheme, conduct will also include: significant neglect of a child; and any behaviour that causes significant emotional or psychological harm to a child. The types of organisations covered by the Scheme in the first year include childcare services.