4th-10th September 2022
In light of the Royal Commission and National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, it is critical to embed a child safe culture into every single organisation. This involves any organisation that has contact with children or young people, either directly or indirectly. To help children and young people thrive, every member of an organisation needs to understand their role in keeping children safe and preventing child abuse and neglect.
Child Protection Week is the first week in September every year. The 2022 theme is ‘Every child in every community needs a fair go’
An opportunity for congregations to highlight the 11 standards for child protection introduced in 2022. Victoria’s Child Safe Standards are a set of mandatory requirements to protect children and young people from harm and abuse.
National Child Protection Week will continue to embrace the overarching message that ‘Every child, in every community, needs a fair go’. In particular, the priority for children growing up to be safe and supported.
Children and young people thrive when they grow up safe, connected and supported in their family, community and culture.
They have the right to grow up in environments that support them according to their needs, now and into the future.
To grow up safe and well, children and young people to:
- feel loved and safe
- have a positive sense of identity and culture
- have material basics
- be healthy
- be able to learn
- be able to participate.
This year let’s talk about how we create a supportive environment for every child in our congregations, and faith communities.
In the news
Catholic Diocese of Sale
National Child Safety Standards – NCCA
(National Council of Churches in Australia)
This framework of 10 standards for child safety is the first of its kind for churches and faith-based organisations in Australia. It encompasses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Royal Commission recommendations and the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
The NCCA engaged the services of Child Wise – an organisation which has pioneered the use of child safety standards in Australia – to consult with NCCA Safe Church Program members to develop the best resource possible.
The NCCA Child Safety Framework is a suite of five documents that each builds on the other as outlined below. It is available for purchase by heading to our online shop here or using the shopping cart icon below.
Culture of Safety Unit (Uniting Church – Vic/Tas Synod)
Josh Tuhipa-Turner, Safe Church Coordinator
Josh is a social worker who has worked in child protection, adult offenders, youth justice and with sex offenders and training.
Josh is responsible for:
- Safe Church Training for implementation of safe church policies.
- Advice about the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
- Implementation and support of the Synod’s Person of Concern policy.
- Advice about implementing Safe Church policies, including the UCA Child Safe Policy and Working with Children/Vulnerable People Check/Registration.
Josh can be contacted Tuesday-Thursday by email or on 03 9116 1438
Candice Coles, Culture of Safety Advisor
Candice is a social worker who has worked in family services, youth mental health, training and policy implementation.
Candice is responsible for:
- Assisting with resourcing and implementation of the Synod’s Child Safe Policy.
- Advice about the protection of children and vulnerable adults.
- Being the contact person for Direct Personal Responses as part of the National Redress Scheme or through other redress processes.
- Providing support and direction for Reportable Conduct issues.
Candice can be contacted Monday – Thursday by email or 0499 408 889
National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 – 2031 Safe and Supported
The National Framework was developed by the Australian Government, in collaboration with State and Territory Governments, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives and the non-government sector. It provides a framework for how all these groups can come together to make sure that every child inAustralia is safe and supported. The first implementation plans will be released in mid-2022.
10 National Principles for Child Safe Organisations applied in a Uniting Church context.
Those ten principles are:
- Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
- Children and young people are informed 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.
- Diversity is respected and equity is promoted.
- Our people are suitable for work with children and committed to the values of child safety and wellbeing.
- Child-focused complaints processes
- Our people are provided with ongoing education and training on child safety
- Physical and online environments promote safety
- Policies and procedures document child safety
- Review and continuous improvement of policy, procedure and practice
The 11 Child Safe Standards (Victoria)
Click on the links below to see the minimum requirements and compliance indicators for each Standard. Every organisation that works with children including churches and congregations needs to document how they will implement each standard.
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.