Child Safe Environments
Create a child safe environment
A child-safe organisation has a commitment to protect children from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological harm and from neglect.
This is more than simply minimising the risk or danger to children. It is about building an environment that is both child-safe and child-friendly. An environment where children can feel respected, valued and encouraged to reach their full potential.
This commitment is a part of the organisation’s culture, reinforced by policies and procedures, and is communicated and supported by all members.
You have created a child-safe organisation when your organisation recognises its moral and legal responsibilities to ensure that the children involved are protected and it provides a safe and positive environment for them.
What must your organisation do?
All sport and recreation organisations that provide services to children 17 and under must have lodged a statement with the Department for Education and Child Development to confirm they are meeting the obligations of a child safe environment.
This is an obligation under the Children’s Protection Act 1993.
Many state sporting and recreation organisations have done this on behalf of their affiliated clubs. Clubs who are unsure of whether they are covered by their governing body should contact them directly.
Further information regarding this can be found at www.decd.sa.gov.au/child-protection/child-safe-environments.
Under the Act every organisation/club must:
• develop a risk management plan addressing the safety of children with respect to other people within the organisation
• have a child safe policy or a member protection policy which addresses the child safe obligations
• have guidelines and procedures that support the policy
• have codes of conduct with respect to children
• understand their relevant history assessment obligations
• consider clear recruitment procedures for staff and volunteers eg. Referee checks, qualification checks if applicable
• provide staff and volunteers with information or training around child safe environments, and provide support in their roles
• encourage the participation of children in decision making (let them have a say or provide feedback)
• ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of their mandated notification obligations
Latest information for Sole Traders such as private coaches and parents of children that access these services
If you own a private business and you are a sole trader or a person in a partnership providing services to children you need to be aware of changes from April 11 2015 that have been made to the Children’s Protection Act 1993. A fact sheet regarding this is available at www.families.sa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net916/f/cse_sole_traders.pdf
Parents of children that access the services of a private provider must also be aware of their rights to sight information regarding criminal history, if any, of the person who is working with their child/ren.
What is a Child Safe Officer?
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 ORS assists the child safe officer to:
• understand the importance for organisations to adopt appropriate screening processes for members working with young children and young people and the requirement for criminal history assessments
• understand how and why child protection needs to be included in an organisation’s /group’s Member Protection Policy (MPP), or for a separate Child Protection Policy to be implemented if they do not have a MPP
• understand the definitions and indicators of child abuse and neglect
• acquire knowledge and understanding of the requirement under the Children’s Protection Act 1993 of the legal responsibilities of staff and volunteers working with children.
• have a broad knowledge of the Child Abuse Report Line processes and procedures.
The child safe officer 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.
Child Safe Officer Training
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
Resources and Links to help you
Keeping Children safe in recreation and sport booklets (PDF, 15263 KB)
Our Club Supports Kids poster (PDF, 491 KB)
Club PowerPoint Presentation for internal club education (PPT, 2101 KB)
Guidelines for Mandated notifiers and information for organisations
Codes of conduct for junior sport template (DOCX, 83 KB)
Managing allegations of child abuse (PDF, 225 KB)
Play by the Rules provides:
Online Training in Child protection and Harassment and Discrimination which is recommended for all involved. 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.
Relevant History Assessments
Relevant History Assessment Fact Sheet (PDF, 1141 KB)
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