What is a Child Safe Organisation and why is it important?

    A Child Safe Organisation is one that creates a culture, adopts strategies and takes action to promote child well-being and prevent harm to children and young people.

    New legislation and reforms have been enacted to help protect children and young people.  A key focus of the reform is to create Child Safe Organisations based on Child Safe Standards.

    Child safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have a role to play in keeping children safe from harm.

    What is a Child Safe Commitment and a Child Safe policy?

    The Child Safe Commitment will be our public statement committing to child safety and sits within the Child Safe Policy. 

    The Child Safe Policy introduces a framework based around 10 child safe standards that support Council and the Wollongong community in keeping children safe.  The draft policy covers:

    • Council’s Child Safe Commitment statement
    • Practices that support Council’s commitment as a Child Safe Organisation
    • Mandatory reporting and reporting child protection concerns or incidents
    • Selection and recruitment of staff
    • Risk management and training

    The draft Policy is designed to assist Council prevent and respond to any alleged child abuse or child safety concerns.  

    What steps have been taken so far?

    Last year a project was undertaken to understand our current policies, practices and ideas related to child safety. A plan has been developed and endorsed by EMC to pave the way to creating a child safe Wollongong. One of the first steps is developing a Commitment Statement and Child Safe Policy.

    What are the next steps?

    We will collect staff feedback through targeted workshops and an internal exhibition of the Child Safe Commitment and Child Safe Policy. The draft Policy will be updated and reported to Council for Public Exhibition in May 2021. The Child Safe Wollongong Implementation Plan will be delivered over the next two years.

    Who do I contact for more information?

    Gillian Vickers – Community Development Officer