A child-safe organisation has a commitment to protect children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and from neglect.
This is more than simply minimising the risk or danger to children. It is about building an environment that is both child-safe and child-friendly. An environment where children can feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.
This commitment is a part of the organisation's culture, reinforced by policies and procedures, and is communicated and supported by all members.
You have created a child-safe organisation when your organisation recognises its moral and legal responsibilities to ensure that the children involved are protected and it provides a safe and positive environment for them.
All sport and recreation organisations that provide services to children 17 and under must have lodged a statement with the Department for Education and Child Development to confirm they are meeting the obligations of a child safe environment.
This is an obligation under the Children's Protection Act 1993.
Many state sporting and recreation organisations have done this on behalf of their affiliated clubs. Clubs who are unsure of whether they are covered by their governing body should contact them directly.
Further information regarding this can be found at www.decd.sa.gov.au/child-protection/child-safe-environments
Under the Act every organisation/club must:
State Sporting and Recreational Organisations in schools: Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) training requirements.
If your State sporting or recreational organisation is providing services to students in public schools, you need to be aware of their policy for third party providers. Depending on whether you are employed directly by the school, or your organisation is providing regular sport or recreational sessions, or just one-off presentations, the DECD policy requires Responding to Abuse and Neglect – Education and Care (RAN – EC) training in many of these situations. Independent schools also have similar requirements. A fact sheet regarding this can be viewed here:
Latest information for Sole Traders such as private coaches and parents of children that access these services
If you own a private business and you are a sole trader or a person in a partnership providing services to children you need to be aware of changes from April 11 2015 that have been made to the Children's Protection Act 1993. A fact sheet regarding this is available at www.childprotection.sa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net916/f/cse_sole_traders.pdf
Parents of children that access the services of a private provider must also be aware of their rights to sight information regarding criminal history, if any, of the person who is working with their child/ren.
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
The training provided by ORS assists the child safe officer to:
The child safe officer may work with the club to develop procedures specific to that club to assist with minimising risk to children, provide education to coaches, administrators and club members, promote the policies and procedures and provide advice if required.
This course is an evening 3 hour face to face training held at various locations around Adelaide and regional areas. Prior to attending this training you must complete the online training in Child Protection and Harassment and Discrimination on www.playbytherules.net.au
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Play by the Rules provides:
Online Training in Child protection and Harassment and Discrimination which is recommended for all involved. Coaches and Team Managers in particular should complete this and be required to present the certificate to the club for recording.
resources including coach guidelines, chaperone information, junior team selection policy template and more.
All staff and volunteers who occupy a prescribed position (as set out under section 8B (8) of the South Australian Children's Protection Act 1993) are required to undergo a relevant history assessment once every three years unless an exemption applies.
Organisations Member Protection Policy, Child Safe Policy or procedures should outline the process for meeting this obligation and the exemptions approved by the organisation.
The Office for Recreation and Sport understands that there is some confusion throughout our sector regarding current obligations for screening. The impact of policy changes through contract arrangements with organisations may present an added cost burden for a number of community organisations.
If your organisation would like further clarification of this information please visit: www.ors.sa.gov.au/create_a_child_safe_environment
or contact Senior Project Officer Sport Culture and Ethics 1300 714 990.
There are 2 options for meeting the obligation for relevant history assessments. Organisations should check with their governing body as to the process they require for meeting this requirement.
Police checks or Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) child related employment screenings which have been obtained for another role but are still valid (less than 3 years old) may be accepted.
An assessment of a National Police Check (NPC) from South Australia Police will be required for all persons taking on a role in a prescribed position prior to their appointment and then at three yearly intervals.
For many volunteers the cost for this application will be covered under the Volunteer Organisation Authorisation Number (VOAN) through the governing body or State Association.
The NPC application form is available from https://www.police.sa.gov.au/services-and-events/apply-for-a-police-record-check and can be filled in online by the applicant, printed and the 100 point check completed at the police station. Check with your organisation to clarify the procedure required if the VOAN applies.
On receipt of the NPC the applicant must present the original letter for viewing, assessment and recording to the nominated person at either their club or association according to the policy of the organisation. This may be posted to the organisation and they must return it to the applicant within 3 months. It must not be copied or retained by the organisation.
Where a person has no disclosable criminal history, the assessment is successfully completed and no further action in respect to an assessment is required.
Where an individual does have a criminal history, the organisation must assess this information in accordance with Standard 5 of the Standards for dealing with information obtained about the criminal history of employees and volunteers who work with children - www.decd.sa.gov.au/
The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DSCI) Screening Unit conducts assessments for child related employment for persons taking on a role in a prescribed position prior to their appointment and then at three yearly intervals.
Some organisations may have a policy position that only accepts this option as it is a higher level of assessment and therefore provides greater protection for children.
The VOAN Scheme does not apply for this screening and therefore is a cost which will need to be negotiated between the club or applicant.
The informed written consent of the applicant or employee is required prior to conducting this assessment. The Screening Unit's informed consent form is available from http://www.dcsi.sa.gov.au/services/screening.