The current Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia highlights the devastating impact on individuals when organisations fail to treat the safety of the children in their care as their number one priority.
Organisations such as government agencies, welfare groups, schools, sporting clubs, religious bodies, youth and social groups, all play a vital role in the health, wellbeing and education of children and young people.
Sadly, however, far too many children have been abused by staff and volunteers in organisations that parents entrust with the care and safety of their children.
The consequences for children, young people and their families are shattering, and the impact for organisations is highly damaging. Our Safeguarding Children Team works with organisations that provide programs and activities for children and young people to make them safer and less vulnerable to exploitation.
It is the only program of its kind in Australia. It provides policies, training and an accreditation scheme that strengthens the capacity of organisations to build an effective child safe culture.
In its First Interim Report (2014), the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified the Safeguarding Children Program as an example of a voluntary accreditation scheme for organisations with a duty of care to children.
It is vital program because it aims to create a lasting community commitment to the safety of children and young people.
To protect the children in their care, organisations need to develop a set of integrated policies and strategies that are implemented at all levels, and the Safeguarding Children program equips them to do just that.
What is the Safeguarding Children Program?
The Safeguarding Children Program was developed by the Australian Council for Children and Youth Organisations (ACCYO) which merged with the Australian Childhood Foundation in July 2009. The program, now run and managed by the Foundation, is unique in Australia. It provides effective standards, training and an accreditation scheme that builds the capacity of organisations to protect the children and young people in their care from abuse and exploitation by staff, volunteers, or other individuals connected to the organisation.
- helps organisations to better understand the risks to children and young people in their care;
- helps organisations implement effective child protection policies and procedures;
- provides parents with assurance that the organisation values and safeguards children; and,
- promotes a child-safe and child-friendly culture within organisations, enhancing their connection to the community they serve.
The following organisations have successfully completed and or are currently registered and undertaking the Safeguarding Children Program. We and our supporters congratulate all these organisations for their initiative and commitment to provide a safer environment for children and young people.
Safeguarding Children Accredited Organisations
- Anglicare Tasmania
- Australian Zionist Youth Council (AZYC)
- Camp Quality
- Catholic Care NT
- CatholicCare Tasmania
- Chabad Youth
- Jewish Care Vic
- Parkerville Children & Youth Care Inc
- Relationships Australia NT
- Ruby Gaea Darwin Centre Against Sexual Violence
- Somerville Community Services Inc.
- Yeshivah Beth Rivkah
- YMCA Australia
- YMCA Ballarat
- YMCA Bendigo
- YMCA Brisbane
- YMCA Bundaberg
- YMCA Canberra
- YMCA Geelong
- YMCA Northern Grampians
- YMCA Hobart
- YMCA Inner North East Adelaide
- YMCA Launceston
- YMCA Manningham
- YMCA Northern Territory
- YMCA Queanbeyan
- YMCA South Australia
- YMCA Stanthorpe
- YMCA Victoria
- YMCA WA
- YMCA Whittlesea
What other organisations has the Safeguarding Children Program supported?
We have supported AusAID (the Australian Agency for International Development) to develop resources for all Australian volunteers who take on roles around the world. The Safeguarding Children Program produced training and policy resources to help all those involved in volunteering internationally to ensure that children are protected from abuse and exploitation in their communities around the world.
Recently, the Australian Sports Commission has asked the Australian Childhood Foundation to pilot a Safeguarding Children Program model across a sample of 62 sporting codes around Australia. With the millions of children involved in sport each year, this is an important program that will keep children safer from any forms of abuse, exploitation and bullying.
To find out more about the Safeguarding Children Program or to enquire about accreditation for your organisation click here