ROBUST GOVERNANCE

SAFEGUARDING OF CHILDREN

Institutions interact with children across a broad range of sectors and activities, such as schools, sport and recreation clubs, support services and childcare centres. These institutions are part of the fabric of our daily lives and reflect community priorities, needs and values.

Making such institutions safe for children requires making communities safe – places where every child is valued, and where their rights to safety and wellbeing are respected and upheld.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Child Safe Standards recommended by the Royal Commission provide a framework for making organisations safer for children. They have been accepted by the NSW Government, and across the Australian community.

Based on extensive research and consultation, the Standards provide tangible guidance for organisations to create cultures, adopt strategies and act to put the interests of children first, and to keep them safe from harm.

In March 2020, the Children’s Guardian Act of 2019 came into effect, the main objective being to protect children by promoting the quality of organisations and persons providing services to children and regulating those organisations and persons in providing those services. The regulatory framework for this legislation will be released soon.

OVER THE PAST YEAR, THE SOCIETY HAS CONTINUED TO UPHOLD
OUR COMMITMENT TO SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN BY:

  • Establishing a dedicated Safeguarding Team in the Governance Directorate and aligning Vinnies Services objectives with the overall organisation as One Society.
  • Providing dedicated coaching and professional development on advanced child protection training and reporting responsibilities to approximately 400 employees who are mandatory reporters in our frontline services.
  • Adopting the Catholic Professional Safeguarding Standards.
  • Developing a range of resources and communications to ensure our commitment to safeguarding is understood and our policy is accessible to a range of different audiences, including our personnel, the people we serve and the general public.
  • Establishing a dedicated Child Safe Quality Action Group with representatives from all parts of the organisation. The role of the Group is to develop resources, policies and procedures to support the implementation of the NSW Child Safe Standards and the Catholic Professional Safeguarding Standards.
  • Developing a reporting mechanism to provide feedback to the Directorates on child safe reporting and practices to identify opportunities for continuous improvement.