The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has two distinct roles in relation to the Child Safe Standards. It is both an entity that must comply with the Standards and a regulator that supports department funded and/or regulated organisations to comply with the Standards.
Department as an entity
All children have the right to feel and be safe. Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. The department is committed to providing a child safe environment where children are safe and feel safe, and where their voices are heard about the decisions that affect their lives.
The department is committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children. We have a zero-tolerance approach to child abuse. All allegations and safety concerns are treated seriously and consistently through our policies and procedures. Our aim is to prevent child abuse through identifying risks, and, as soon as possible, taking steps to remove and reduce those risks.
We are committed to ensuring the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.
In accordance with Child Safe Standards one, two and five the department has developed a Child Safe Code of Conduct, Child Safe Policy and Reportable Conduct Policy:
- Child safe code of conduct - DHHS (Word)
- Child safe standards policy (Word)
- Reportable conduct policy (Word)
For more information about the operation of the Child Safe Standards and the Reportable Conduct Scheme within the department, contact the department’s Investigation and Review Team.
Tel: (03) 9096 2671
Department as a relevant authority
While the Commission for Children and Young People is the oversight body for the Child Safe Standards, the department also has a regulatory role as a ‘relevant authority’ under the Child Wellbeing and Safety Act 2005. This role is administered by the Human Services Regulator on behalf of the department.
To support department funded and/or regulated organisations to comply with the Child Safe Standards, the Human Services Regulator has developed a suite of resources about the Child Safe Standards can be found on the Child Safe Standards page of the Service Providers website.
Queries from in-scope organisations can be directed to the Human Services Regulator’s Child Safeguarding team.
Review of Victoria’s Child Safe Standards
In December 2019, the previous Department of Health and Human Services published its review of the Victorian Child Safe Standards. The Victorian Government endorsed all 15 of the review’s recommendations.
Following the review, new Child Safe Standards will be introduced on 1 July 2022. The new Standards will implement five of the review recommendations. A further eight recommendations will be implemented through legislative amendments passed by Parliament in 2021, to improve the regulatory framework for the Standards. The remaining two recommendations can be implemented administratively.
Transition to new Child Standards
In-scope organisations have 12 months to transition to the new Standards, which come into effect on 1 July 2022. Until then, the current Standards continue to apply.
In the coming months, the Commission for Children and Young People will provide further information and guidance to support organisations to comply with the new Standards by 1 July 2022. For more information, please see the Commission’s Child Safety webpage or sign up for their email alerts.
Commission for Children and Young People
Further information about the Child Safe Standards, including a range of advice, resources, templates and information on the Child Safe Standards is available on the Child Safe Standards page of the Commission for Children and Young People website.
Tel: 1300 78 29 78
Schools and education providers
Information for schools and education providers is available from the Protect children webpage on the Department of Education and Training website.
Early childhood services
Queries for early childhood services operating under the National Quality Framework or the Children's Services Act 1996 should be directed to the Department of Education and Training.
Licensed children's services enquiry line: 1300 307 415