A child safe organisation protects children from harm in an environment where children feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.

This is embedded in an organisation’s policies and procedures and supported by all members.

A child safe and child friendly environment minimises the risk to children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and from neglect.

SA legislation requires organisations to provide services for children that create and maintain a child safe environment.

  • Create and maintain an environment that is both child safe and child friendly.
  • Meet the legal requirements of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 and the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016.
  • Lodge a child safe environments compliance statement with the Department of Human Services.

Note: State sporting and recreation organisations may have lodged a statement on behalf of their affiliated clubs. If you are unsure of whether you are covered by your governing body statement, contact them directly.

Under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017, a compliance statement will need to be lodged whenever relevant policies and procedures are adopted, varied or substituted.

The Act also requires organisations to review their child safe environment policies and procedures at least once every 5 years.

Further information can be found through the Department of Human Services.

Online training in Child Protection and Harassment and Discrimination (delivered by Play by the Rules) is recommended for all involved in delivering services and activities to children. Coaches and Team Managers in particular should complete this and be required to present the certificate to the club for recording.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made recommendations about:

  • what makes institutions safe for children
  • improving child safe approaches

The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations have replaced the former South Australian 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

Further information can be found through the Department of Human Services.

The Child Safe Officer (CSO) is a person who can deliver advice and awareness within their organisation or club around developing a child safe environment.

Training is provided to support people taking on this role and is delivered as a 3 hour session held at various locations around Adelaide and regional areas.

What does a Child Safe Officer do?

The training provided by Sport SA assists the CSO to:

  • understand the importance for organisations to adopt appropriate screening processes for members working with young children and young people and the requirement for Working with Children Checks.
  • understand how and why child protection needs to be included in an organisation's Member Protection Policy (MPP), or for a separate Child Protection Policy to be implemented if they do not have a MPP.
  • understand the definitions and indicators of a child at risk.
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of the legal responsibilities of staff and volunteers working with children.
  • have a broad knowledge of the Child Abuse Report Line processes and procedures.

The CSO may work with an organisation’s committee to develop procedures specific to their environment to assist with minimising risk to children, provide education to coaches, administrators and volunteers working with children and promote the organisation’s policies and procedures to all members.

Benefits of having a CSO in your organisation

People working or volunteering with children in South Australia must, by law, have a Working with Children Check.

A Working with Children Check (WWCC) is an assessment of whether a person poses an unacceptable risk to children. As part of the process, the Screening Unit will look at criminal history, child protection information and other information.

The above information has been provided with permission from the Department of Human Services website.

Full details, including applications for a WWCC, are available through the Department of Human Services website or by calling the DHS Screening Unit on 1300 321 592.

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