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).
The department's interaction with children and young people
The department undertakes certain activities that may involve children, 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 for staff in vulnerable circumstances (such as those experiencing family and domestic violence).
- 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 2022. 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.
Following the department’s establishment on 1 July 2022, a risk assessment has been undertaken regarding child safe practices (in accordance with Requirement 1). The publication of this statement demonstrates compliance with Requirement 4.
Over the coming 12 months, the department will implement and strengthen a system of training and compliance for staff regarding the Framework, including by implementing the National Principles, to demonstrate compliance with the Framework (in accordance with Requirements 2 and 3). Specifically, the department will:
- Review the department’s ‘Working with Children and Vulnerable People Policy’ (and other child safety related policies, as applicable) to ensure alignment with the Framework.
- Provide child safety training to staff who work directly with children or may have contact with children as part of their work.
- Review current recruitment processes for positions identified as within the scope of the Framework, including by:
- formally recording which positions and staff require Working with Children Checks (WWCC); and
- monitoring staff adherence to training and WWCC requirements.
- Address detected and reported non-compliance with the Framework.
- Communicate with staff to provide information about:
- the Framework as a whole-of-government policy;
- the department’s policies in relation to child safety; and
- training and compliance requirements.