The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) is committed to ensuring the safety, participation and empowerment of children and young people.
VicHealth has zero tolerance to any and all harm and/or abuse of children and young people. To achieve the best outcomes for children and young people who engage with us or our funded projects, we expect our staff, Board, Committee and Panel members, contractors and our funded partners or service providers to work in line with the Victorian Child Safe Standards and meet VicHealth’s obligations under the National Redress Scheme. You can find VicHealth’s Statement of Commitment here.
Victorian Child Safe Standards
All organisations in Victoria that provide services or facilities for children are required to comply with Child Safe Standards, to ensure that the safety of children is promoted, child abuse is prevented, and allegations of child abuse are properly responded to.
The Child Safe Standards are minimum compulsory standards for all organisations that interact with children and young people. The Standards aim to prevent abuse through a focus on cultural change and help to protect children from the risks of abuse.
On 1 July 2021 the Victorian Government announced new Child Safe Standards to more closely align with the National Child Safe Principles.
These New Standards come into effect on 1 July 2022.
Definition of Services to Children
VicHealth’s definition for ‘Services to children’ means services provided by a non-government entity that is responsible for:
- the supervision of, or
- authority over, a child or young person under 18 years old.
- This includes the provision of care, education, services or activities for children.
This definition would include the activities of organisations facilitating regular sports training, band or theatre rehearsals, homework clubs, mentoring etc. where a parent, guardian, caregiver, or teacher is not in attendance.
It does not include one-off activities, nor incidental or ad hoc contact with children.
‘Services to children’ does not apply to funded activities where:
- Children are supervised. A parent, guardian, or caregiver (or other person with an existing duty of care to the child – eg teacher) retains direct supervision or authority over a child throughout the duration of the services.
- Ad hoc or incidental contact. Where the services may involve the possibility of ad hoc or incidental contact only (eg maintenance services for a sports or cultural facility that could be used by children).
- One-off activities provided on non-recurrent funding. Short-term event-based activities where unsupervised children may or may not be in attendance but are not under the control of the funded organisation (eg one-day come and try events, audiences at a concert).
National Redress Scheme for Children and Young People
Commission for Children and Young People promotes development of and improvement to policies and practices to protect children and young people from harm. They have a range of free resources available to support community sport and recreation clubs.
Working with Children Checks
The Working with Children Check was introduced in 2006 by the Victorian Government to help protect children under 18 years of age from physical or sexual harm by preventing those who pose a risk to their safety from working with them. The program is managed by the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The Working with Children Check enforces a mandatory minimum checking standard for people who work with children in either a paid or volunteer capacity.
- Current Victorian Child Safe Standards
- New Child Safe Standards (from 1 July 2022)
- Commission for Children and Young People
- Australian Government - National Office for Child Safety
- National Redress Scheme
- Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
- Working with Children Checks or the Department of Justice and Community Safety