Resource Library  >  Child Safe Standards

The Victorian Child Safe Standards* are compulsory minimum standards that apply to organisations that provide services for children - including Neighbourhood Houses - in order to help protect children from harm.

Organisations included are those that exercise care, supervision or authority over children, whether as part of its primary function or otherwise.

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, an entity to which the Standards apply must ensure:

  • 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.
  • Standard 2: Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
  • Standard 3: Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
  • Standard 4: Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
  • Standard 5: Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
  • Standard 6: People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
  • Standard 7: Processes for complaints and concerns are child-focused.
  • 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.
  • Standard 9: Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
  • Standard 10: Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
  • Standard 11: Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.

A range of advice, resources and templates can be found on the Commission for Children and Young People's website

The resources include the Guide to Creating a Child Safe Organisation to assess how child safe your organisation is and get practical guidance in improving child safety.

DHHS have also created a resource to assist organisations in creating a child safe policy and statement of commitment.

Reportable Conduct Scheme

Neighbourhood houses which are providers of children’s services such as long day care, kindergarten, out of school hours care/vacation care, family daycare, occasional care, and some other special streams of children's services, fall under the scope of the Reportable Conduct Scheme. If an organisation provides any of these services as part of their business, the entire organisation comes into scope.

The scheme requires the heads of organisations (in neighbourhood houses usually coordinators or managers) to report to the Commission for Children and Young People (CYPC) any allegation that one of their workers or volunteers has committed child abuse or child related misconduct. The organisation must investigate the allegations and report findings and actions taken to the Commission.

In the event of a report being made, the nominated head of the organisation will be supported by a case worker and other resources through the investigation and reporting processes.

Further information and resources can be found on the Commission’s website. 

Neighbourhood houses that are not licensed child care providers but do have various types of activities that often involve children such as playgroups, community family meals and events, toy libraries, family support groups etc. are not required to comply with the Reportable Conduct Scheme. However they are required to implement the Child Safe Standards. These standards aim to promote the safety of children, prevent child abuse and put in place effective processes for dealing with allegations of abuse.