Edition 58

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Child safe standards

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Where we are now

Victorian schools and school communities have worked hard to implement the child safe standards.

In our latest animation, Where We Are Now, we reflect on the work undertaken across the school sector and outlines activities that will help schools stay on track to embedding a culture of child safety.

The video is particularly helpful to schools participating in the VRQA's Implementation Feedback Project, a school review or that wish to check their compliance with the child safe standards.

Thank you to the Catholic Education Commission Victoria, Independent Schools Victoria and the Department of Education and Training for their support in producing this video.

Changes to duty of care and working with children requirements

On 1 July 2017, the Wrongs Amendment (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2017 commenced. This arises from the Betrayal of Trust Report and creates a new duty of care that:

  • an organisation that exercises care, supervision or authority over children owes a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent the abuse of a child by an individual associated with the organisation while the child is under the care, supervision or authority of the organisation.

A fact sheet detailing the changes is available on the Department of Justice and Regulation website.

As of 1 August 2017, new provisions to the Working with Children Act 2005 will take effect. The changes arise from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Recommendations, and include:

  • the expansion of the definition 'direct contact' to include oral, written or electronic communication as well as face-to-face and physical contact
  • the removal of references to 'supervision', meaning that if a person's contact with children as part of their child-related work is supervised by another person, they will still need to apply for a Working with Children Check. 

More information is available on the Working with Children Check website.