Resource Library  >  Child Safe Standards

*New Standards coming into effect 1 July 2022. Find out more.

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 have:

  • Standard 1: Strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements
  • Standard 2: A child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety 
  • Standard 3: A code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children 
  • Standard 4: Screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel
  • Standard 5: Processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse
  • Standard 6: Strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse
  • Standard 7: Strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children

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.