A child safe organisation protects children from harm in an environment where children feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.
This is embedded in an organisation’s policies and procedures and supported by all members.
A child safe and child friendly environment minimises the risk to children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and from neglect.
On 22 October 2018 some of the requirements to create and maintain a child safe environment were removed from the Children’s Protection Act 1993 and replaced by the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.
All sport and recreation organisations that provide services to children and young people under 18 years of age must lodge a Child Safe Environment Compliance Statement with the Department for Education to confirm appropriate child safe environment policies and procedures are in place.
A sport and recreation organisation can be government or non-government agencies, not-for-profit organisations or commercial enterprises or those in business as sole traders or in partnership.
Compliance Statements lodged with the Department for Education prior to 22 October 2018 were “rolled over”. If your organisation has submitted an incomplete Statement or needs to do so for the first time, please address this as a priority.
Many state sporting and recreation organisations have lodged a Statement on behalf of their affiliated clubs. Clubs who are unsure of whether they are covered by their governing body Statement should contact them directly.
Under the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 a Compliance Statement will need to be lodged whenever relevant policies and procedures are adopted, varied or substituted.
The Act also requires organisations to review their child safe environment policies and procedures at least once every 5 years. Further information can be found here.
Applying the Principles of Good Practice
The principles of good practice, which are issued under the Act, are a practical guide to establishing and maintaining a child safe environment.
For more information view Department for Education’s Principles of Good Practice.
As at 22 October 2018 there are no changes to legislation regarding relevant history assessments. Sections 8B, 8BA and 8D of the Children’s Protection Act 1993 continue to apply. Recreation and sport organisations must continue to adhere to current requirements.
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
What does a Child Safe Officer do?
The training provided by ORSR assists the CSO to:
The CSO 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
Play by the Rules provides:
Online training in Child Protection and Harassment and Discrimination is recommended for all involved in delivering services and activities to children. 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, Sport and Racing understands that there is some confusion throughout our sector regarding current obligations for screening. The implementation of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 has not changed relevant history assessment requirements. The current options available under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 are explained below:
Procedure for conducting relevant history assessments
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.
National Police Certificates or Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI)/Department of Human Services (DHS) 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.
An individual must present an original National Police Certificate 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 about a person’s criminal history as part of a relevant history assessment - https://www.education.sa.gov.au/child-protection/child-safe-environments/additional-resources-creating-child-safe-environments
Department of Human Services 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.
Child related employment screenings for volunteers are free however a fee applies to those in a paid position and therefore is a cost which will need to be negotiated between the club and applicant.
The screening process needs to be started by the organisation requiring the screening, and is completed by the individual applicant. Details of the application process are available from https://screening.sa.gov.au/apply
The Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 will commence 1 July 2019. All persons undertaking child-related work will be required to have a Working with Children Check.
For more information please refer to the Department of Human Services or call 1300 321 592.