“As Archbishop, I am committed to ensuring that the Diocese, including its parishes and congregations, complies with these standards and I would like to assure you of the Diocese’s commitment to help and support you in that regard.”
– Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Philip Freier
The Child Safe Standards
All Victorian organisations that provide services or facilities to children (including religious bodies, parishes and authorised congregations) are required, under the Child Wellbeing and Child Safety Act 2005, to ensure that they comply with compulsory Child Safe Standards. This is to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of children is promoted, child abuse is prevented, and allegations of child abuse are responded to properly and promptly.
New Child Safe Standards apply from 1 July 2022. Refer to the New Child Safe Standards Information Sheet.
Implementing the Standards
CCYP require organisations to undertake a thorough self-assessment in order to form an action plan to address any gaps in compliance with the standards.
The Diocese is a complex organisation comprising over 200 parishes, congregations and other faith communities. Embedding a culture of child safety and wellbeing requires action at every level of the diocese from the Office of the Archbishop to the smallest parish or congregation and a commitment from their leaders, clergy and lay. Each community is expected to engage in this process of self-assessment. Click here for self-assessment template developed by the Safe Ministry Team for parishes and congregations.
The Diocese has developed an Action Plan for Meeting the New Victorian Child Safe Standards. This Action Plan has specific actions for both the diocese and for parishes/AAC to meet each Standard and its compliance indicators. This Action Plan can be found here.
Please refer to the Short Guide to the Child Safe Standards and the Guide for Creating a Child Safe Organisation for details of the documents and actions that are required as evidence of compliance with each standard.
The 11 Child Safe Standards (effective 1 July 2022)
Child Safe Standard 1 – Organisations establish a culturally safe environment in which the
diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are
respected and valued
Child Safe Standard 2 – Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership,
governance and culture
Child Safe Standard 3 – Children and young people are empowered about their rights,
participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously
Child Safe Standard 4 – Families and communities are informed, and involved in promoting
child safety and wellbeing
Child Safe Standard 5 – Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice
Child Safe Standard 6 – People working with children and young people are suitable and
supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice
Child Safe Standard 7 – Processes for complaints and concerns are child focused
Child Safe Standard 8 – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and
awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training
Child Safe Standard 9 – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing
while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed
Child Safe Standard 10 – Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed
Child Safe Standard 11 – Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for
children and young people
The Archbishop in Council of the Diocese (the governing body) has approved a number of key safe ministry documents including codes of conduct, a safe ministry policy, and a Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy. These can be found in the Document Library.
Child Safe reference documents:
- Action Plan Information Session Recording & Handout
- Action Plan Frequently asked questions
- Parish Self-Assessment Template to be used with Action Plan for Meeting New Victorian Child Safe Standards 2023 (note: download a copy of the document for parish use)
- Child Safe Standards Self-Assessment Template June 2022 for parishes and congregations (note: download a copy of the document for parish use)
- Plain Language Poster of the Victorian Child Safe Standards
- Short Guide to the Child Safe Standards
- Translated new Child Safe Standards Information
- Child safe standards CCYP Presentation
- Taking Children’s Safety Seriously
Diocesan resources (Kooyoora website)
Public Resources (Kooyoora website)