Commitment to safety
The department is committed to building a positive and proactive culture to support child safety and wellbeing. It endeavours to ensure children and young people feel safe, supported, and respected, and that their rights, needs, and interests are met.
The department is committed to protecting and safeguarding children and young people by:
- creating policies and procedures to protect children and young people
- ensuring all staff are aware of the policies and procedures and comply with them
- creating conditions that reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people
- regularly undertaking risk assessments of all child safety related risks, and managing child safety incidents effectively
- adopting and implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (National Principles).
DCCEEWs interactions with children and young people
The department undertakes certain activities that may involve children and young people, including:
- events and exhibitions where children and young people may visit departmental stands, displays and booths, including events on departmental premises.
- parents occasionally bringing children and young people onto departmental premises for short periods while working, for a variety of reasons. For example, between end of school hours and end of work hours, or to accommodate specific support arrangements.
- school/educational institution visits and community events to discuss departmental work.
- departmental celebrations and team building events where children may attend.
Risks to child safety arising from these activities may be physical, psychological and/or emotional.
The department has completed its annual child safe risk assessment for the period commencing 31 October 2023. The risk assessment has identified a ‘Low’ overall level of risk for the department.
The department will strengthen measures to address and mitigate identified risks, including by implementing identified risk treatments.
Compliance with the Framework
The four core requirements of the Framework require the department to:
- Undertake risk assessments annually to identify the level of responsibility for, and contact with, children; evaluate risks to child safety; and implement appropriate controls to manage those risks.
- Establish and maintain a system of training and compliance, to make staff aware of, and comply with, the Framework and relevant legislation.
- Adopt and implement the National Principles.
- Publishing an annual statement of compliance with the Framework.
The department has demonstrated compliance with Requirements 1 and 4 of the Framework by completing the 2023 Annual Risk Assessment and publicising its Annual Child Safety Statement of Compliance on the department’s internet page.
The department recognises the role it plays in protecting the safety of children and continue to embed child safety and wellbeing into our leadership, governance, and culture. Over the past 12-months, the department:
- reviewed and promoted the department’s ‘Working with Children and Vulnerable People Policy’ (and other child safety related policies) to ensure alignment with the Framework.
- distributed communications aimed at supporting greater awareness and understanding of our obligations under the Framework and promoting the department’s commitment.
- included working with children training requirements in the Training Need Assessment for Parks Australia.
- implemented a process within the department’s online recruitment system, eRecruit, to identify if a Working with Children Checks is a requirement for the role.
In continuing to comply with the Framework and 10 National Principles, and as part of continuing to mature our approach, our key initiatives over the coming 12 months include:
- continuing to improve staff awareness of the department’s Child Safety Policy and obligations.
- reviewing internal systems to enhance processes relating to training and maintaining relevant checks.
- ensuring child safe clauses are included in grants or procurement documents for funded third parties where required.