This page contains information about our current consultations and outcomes from previous consultations.
We believe child safety is everyone’s business. We are committed to engaging and consulting with stakeholders and the community to develop national policies and initiatives for child safety and wellbeing, in particular to prevent and address child sexual abuse.
We welcome your feedback, advice and suggestions on our national child safety policies, projects and resources. To share your views, contact us.
Following the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse 2021–2030 (National Strategy) launch in October 2021, the National Office will continue to consult and collaborate with the community on implementation. This includes on the design and evaluation of National Strategy measures, and the development of targeted resources and materials to meet diverse needs.
Organisations and individuals are invited to contact us to express interest in being consulted about a national offender prevention service. The service is likely to involve online functions and a helpline to intervene with adults prior to their first offence. Information from the community will help inform the design and delivery of the service. Expressions of interest will close at 5:00pm AEST on Tuesday 19 July 2022.
The National Office is developing a framework for the monitoring and evaluation of the National Strategy through a co-design approach. Co-design supports collaboration and decision making about the framework between equal partners, because child safety is everyone’s responsibility. The co-design group includes people with lived experience and their advocates, members of the National Strategy priority groups, community organisations, and Australian, state and territory governments. The co-design group will hold a total of 5 consultations between April and August 2022 to inform the final monitoring and evaluation framework.
Consultation between January – February 2022
From January to February 2022, the National Office conducted consultations with government and non-government stakeholders to inform the establishment of the National Strategy’s Advisory Group. The National Strategy Advisory Group Consultation Paper was released on 20 January 2022 and outlined a proposed model for an Advisory Group, as well as alternative mechanisms to consult stakeholders on the design and implementation of National Strategy measures.
The National Office received 54 submissions in response to the consultation paper from a range of stakeholders, including victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, clinical practitioners, non-government organisations, and academics.
The National Strategy Advisory Group Consultation Report 2022 provides an overview of feedback from stakeholders. Key themes highlighted throughout the submissions were:
- ensuring engagement with victims and survivors is trauma-informed
- avoiding duplication with existing mechanisms to consult stakeholders to prevent consultation fatigue
- ensuring the Advisory Group includes a range of stakeholders who can represent the National Strategy’s priority groups, and
- providing support to members, particularly victims and survivors, to support wellbeing and avoid re-traumatisation for those with lived experience.
Consultations to develop the National Strategy
From 2018 to 2021, the National Office for Child Safety consulted with a broad range of government and non-government stakeholders to inform National Strategy development.
Consultations involved Australian, state and territory government agencies, and non-government stakeholders including:
- victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- people with disability
- people who identify as LGBTQIA+
- advocates for children and young people
- regional and remote communities
- the Australian Children’s Commissioners and Guardians
- Victims of Crime Commissioners
- child protection experts
- peak bodies
- clinical practitioners
Consultations between July 2018 and June 2019
In July 2019, we completed the first stage of consultations to inform relevant National Office-related activities that had been recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. This included consulting on the new National Strategy.
Throughout this process, the National Office consulted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, advocates, clinical practitioners, child protection experts, non-government organisations, academics and organisations.
The National Office for Child Safety Public Consultation Report June 2019 reflects consultation outcomes. The key messages were the need for the National Strategy to include:
- education for the whole community on the nature of child sexual abuse and how to respond to it
- the development of a service system that is trauma-informed and responsive
- raising awareness to change culture and reduce stigma so that victims and survivors of child sexual abuse feel supported to speak about their experience and seek help
- offender prevention measures and support for children with harmful sexual behaviours, and
- a strong research program so we can better understand what causes child sexual abuse and how we can prevent it.
Consultations between November 2020 and July 2021
From November 2020 to July 2021, the National Office conducted extensive consultations with government and non-government stakeholders to inform the National Strategy’s final development and support its implementation. This includes targeted consultations with non-government stakeholders from April to July 2021.
These final development consultations included facilitated workshops with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, victims and survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates, and people with disability and their advocates. The National Office also held individual consultations with stakeholders, including those unable to attend facilitated workshops and conducted a written consultation process, inviting over 600 non-government stakeholders to participate.
The National Office for Child Safety Public Consultation Report 2021 reflects the outcomes of this final round of consultation.
Feedback from written submissions were consistent with past consultations and highlighted the need for:
- a trauma-informed service system that is culturally safe, accessible and responsive to address the impacts of child sexual abuse
- cultural change to reduce stigma around disclosing experiences of child sexual abuse, which could be addressed through further awareness raising
- a response to children with harmful sexual behaviours
- a larger evidence base of child sexual abuse.
Consultation workshops with victims and survivors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with disability focused on how the National Office could work with stakeholders on National Strategy implementation. Feedback from the workshops included a need for:
- ongoing, meaningful, and transparent consultation with the community
- the importance of ensuring consultations are trauma-informed
- culture and country being central to National Strategy-related actions, to empower and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- the National Office reaching and engaging a diverse range of victims and survivors, including older Australians, children with experience of homelessness and out-of-home care, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, LGBTQIA+ people, and people in closed settings such as prisons
- consultation processes that are accessible and inclusive for people with disability.
The National Office looks forward to continuing to work with its stakeholders to reduce the risk, extent and impact of child sexual abuse and related harms in Australia.