ACWA is working with AbSec to develop an online child safety good practice tool, which aims to give agencies practical policy and procedural advice to help them comply with child safe standards, and is tailored to suit the needs of individual sectors.
Click here to view a sample copy of the tool that would house the advice and supporting resources to guide agencies in complying with the child safe regulatory requirements.
Details of this initiative were sent to our members in June. The responses we have received to date reveal that there is strong sector support for a product of this kind to be available in the market. In fact, a number of our member agencies have already signalled that they are keen to make a substantial financial commitment to the cost of this initiative. Others have indicated that they would be interested in investing as a partner under a consortium arrangement with other ‘like’ agencies. ACWA is supportive of proposals along these lines, and would welcome feedback from those of you who may be interested in this kind of arrangement.
Our members have also provided us valuable suggestions regarding the approach that we should take in moving this initiative forward:
- Firstly, given that the NSW Departments of Communities and Justice, Health and Education are also required to be child safe, many agencies have correctly pointed out that it would be more efficient and cost effective for this work to be undertaken as a joint government/non-government venture, with a shared financial investment. ACWA welcomes and supports the proposition that tackling the challenge of child safe practice via a cross-sector approach would certainly lend itself to a stronger overall outcome.
- Secondly, our member agencies have highlighted the potential benefits of other States and Territories becoming involved. In response to this issue, ACWA has held productive discussions with key stakeholders in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland to gauge their interest in this work. While these discussions are still ongoing, ACWA is committed to establishing a national platform for developing a child safe tool that has cross-jurisdictional support, as well as the backing of the relevant regulators. We accept that gaining support of this kind will take some time, but securing the ‘buy in’ of other jurisdictions is pivotal to promoting effective and nationally consistent child safe practice as envisaged by the Royal Commission.
- Thirdly, it is important to stress that our proposed tool is designed to complement, rather than substitute, the work of the regulators.
The support and ongoing feedback of our members is crucial in our efforts to deliver an efficient, cost effective way of meeting our child safe obligations, and we look forward to keeping you updated as work progresses on this key sector initiative.
In the meantime, ACWA invites you to contact CEO Steve Kinmond should you wish to discuss any aspect of this initiative further: 0409 782 614.