A child safe organisation puts the best interests of children and young people first.

Policies and procedures alone are not enough to keep children safe in sport and recreation settings.

A child safe organisation is one that creates a culture, adopts strategies and takes action to promote child wellbeing and prevent harm to children and young people.

In South Australia, an organisation providing services or activities to children and young people must, by law, provide a child safe environment.  These organisations must:

  • have child safe environments policy in place and at a minimum, review their policy once every 5 years
  • meet Working with Children Check obligations
  • lodge a child safe environments compliance statement with the Department of Human Services and lodge a new statement each time their policy is reviewed and updated.

Note: State sport 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.

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

In February 2019, the Commonwealth Government and all Australian States and Territories endorsed the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

The principles aim to provide a nationally consistent approach to creating organisational cultures that foster child safety and wellbeing.

The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations have replaced the former South Australian Principles of Good Practice and must be reflected in organisational policy and procedures.

There are a number of practical tools and resources that can help organisations implement the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations and help club members and parents learn about child safe organisations.

Information and resources are available here: Child Safe Organisations

You need a Working with Children Check if you are 14 years of age or older and you do child-related work as a volunteer or employee for more than seven days a year.

Child-related work includes:

  • The operations of clubs and associations with significant membership or involvement of children
    • All workers and volunteers need a Working with Children Check regardless of whether they have direct contact with children
  • Coaching or tuition services for children


Parents or guardians do not require a Working with Children Check if the child-related work:

  • is voluntary; and
  • involves their own child.

For example, if you volunteer to coach the under 10’s netball team your child plays in, you do not require a Working with Children Check.

However, you will require a check if the child-related work involves:

  • accommodation and residential services for a child other than your own child (eg team training camps or trips away for competition that require an overnight stay)
  • close personal contact (eg, helping a child get dressed, or go to the toilet) with a child other than your own child.

What is not child-related work

Where you undertake the service or activity in the same capacity as a child. For example, an adult playing in a football team alongside a child does not need a Working with Children Check (however, they do need a Working with Children Check if they are coaching or volunteering in some other capacity for the football club).

Further information is available through the Department of Human Services Screening Unit.

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 safeguarding needs to be included in an organisation's Member Protection Policy (MPP), or for a separate Child Safeguarding  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

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 should complete this and be required to present the certificate to the club for recording.