All children and young people have the right to be safe and feel safe no matter where they are.
It is the responsibility of adults and organisations to make sure that every child-related activity or environment is safe for children and young people.
Where to get help.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People is committed to establishing and maintaining child-friendly cultures and practices that foster child safety and wellbeing in our own office and promoting their uptake across all sectors.
One way the Commissioner does this is by implementing the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (called the National Principles for short) and encouraging other organisations to do so too.
The National Principles establish child safe principles for all organisations to follow. The National Principles give effect to the child safe standards recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Adopting the National Principles helps organisations create a safe environment for children and young people.
- Child safety and wellbeing is embedded in organisational leadership, governance and culture.
- Children and young people are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
- People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- Processes to respond to complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Implementation of the national child safe principles is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Policies and procedures document how the organisation is safe for children and young people.
The Tasmanian Government is establishing a new and legally binding system to improve the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in organisations. This is known as the Child and Youth Safe Organisations Framework.
The Child and Youth Safe Organisations Act 2023 came into effect on 1 July 2023, enabling the Framework to apply from 2024 onwards.
The Framework will include:
- Child and Youth Safe Standards; and
- a Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The Framework will legally apply to a wide range of Tasmanian organisations that engage with children and young people from 2023 onwards.
A dedicated independent oversight body called the Independent Regulator will regulate the Child and Youth Safe Standards and Reportable Conduct Scheme.
The Department of Justice has published an explainer resource about the Framework.
You can also visit the Framework webpage to find out what your organisation can do now to prepare for the introduction of the Framework.
Tasmanian Government agencies are putting in place new and stronger measures to safeguard and protect all children in their care or who come into contact with their workers.
To find out about their approaches or how to raise a concern visit:
Office of Safeguarding Children and Young People – Department for Education, Children and Young People
Child Safety and Wellbeing Framework – Department of Health
The Australian Government commissioned the National Children’s Commissioner to lead the development of National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. The National Principles were endorsed by the Tasmanian Government in 2019.
The National Principles are:
• Underpinned by a child rights, strengths-based approach.
• Designed to allow for flexibility in implementation across all sectors engaging with children and young people, and in organisations of various sizes.
• Aligned with existing child safe approaches at the state and territory level.
Download the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.
The National Children’s Commissioner has also developed practical tools and resources for organisations, parents and carers, children and young people, and people with diverse needs.
These child safe information, tools and resources are available on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
The University of Tasmania runs a short course, An Introduction to Children’s Rights and Safety, which is available at no cost to all members of the public.
The Australian Catholic University has also developed tools and resources for child safe and child-centred approaches:
• ACU Safeguarding Children and Young People Portal
• Tools and resources for how to support children through child-centred approaches (acu.edu.au)
Other websites with useful information and resources include:
• National Office for Child Safety
• Commission for Children and Young People (Victoria)
• Office of the Children’s Guardian (NSW)
• Australian Institute of Family Studies
• Keeping our kids safe – SNAICC