Making institutions child safe

The government is working to achieve cultural change in institutions and the community to ensure children are safe and valued, their rights are respected, and their best interests are paramount in all decision making. Victoria’s Child Safe Standards aim to ensure that the safety of children is promoted, child abuse is prevented, and allegations of child abuse are properly responded to and reported. The Victorian Government is also focused on preventing and responding to online sexual abuse.

Child Safe Standards

The Royal Commission identified 10 Child Safe Standards to form the foundation of a nationally consistent approach to child safety in institutions. These 10 Child Safe Standards are included in the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The Council of Australian Governments, including Victoria, endorsed the National Principles in February 2019.

Victoria’s Child Safe Standards have been in effect since 2017, and are guided by three overarching principles that require organisations to promote the safety needs of Aboriginal children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with disability.

Victoria’s Child Safe Standards broadly align with those recommended by the Royal Commission. They require organisations to place child safety at the forefront of organisational thinking, and embed child safety in everyday practice.

The Victorian Government conducted a review of Victoria’s Child Safe Standards to understand:

  • whether they have been implemented by organisations to promote a child safe culture
  • whether the regulatory scheme that supports compliance with Victoria’s Child Safe Standards is operating effectively
  • if any adjustments are needed to better align Victoria’s Child Safe Standards with those recommended by the Royal Commission

A wide range of stakeholders were consulted as part of the review, and over 450 survey responses and written submissions were considered. This review is now complete and the Victorian Government has endorsed all 15 recommendations in the review's final report.

Online safety

The Victorian Government is working closely with the Australian Government and other states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments Education Council to ensure that there is a nationally consistent curriculum for online safety education in schools.