What we do
The National Office for Child Safety was established on 1 July 2018 in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. We lead the development and implementation of several national priorities recommended by the Royal Commission, including implementing the measures under the National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse, the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework, and making improvements to information sharing arrangements to strengthen child safety and wellbeing. Key non-government institutions also report to us annually on their progress in implementing Royal Commission recommendations and creating a child safe culture.
Our work builds on existing initiatives such as the National Redress Scheme and the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020. The establishment of the National Office does not change the legal responsibilities of state and territory governments for child protection or law enforcement.
Implement the National Strategy
The National Office for Child Safety is responsible for implementing a National Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Child Sexual Abuse. The National Strategy was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and considers child abuse in all settings including institutional and non-institutional settings.
Lead the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations
The National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (the National Principles) provide a national approach to cultivating organisational cultures and practices that foster child safety and wellbeing across all sectors in Australia. They give effect to the Royal Commission’s recommended child safe standards while including broader child safety and wellbeing.
Engage with stakeholder and advisory groups
The National Office is committed to consulting and engaging with the community through a number of stakeholder and advisory groups. These include the National Strategy Advisory Group, the National Clinical Reference Group, and the Child Safe Sectors Leadership Group. The National Office will continue to engage with non government stakeholders to ensure implementation of the National Strategy is informed by a diverse range of stakeholders in the Australian community.
Lead the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework
In response to the Royal Commission’s findings about creating environments that are safe for children, the Australian Government has introduced the Commonwealth Child Safe Framework, a whole-of-government policy that sets minimum standards for creating and embedding a child safe culture and practice in Commonwealth entities.
The Royal Commission recommended that non-government institutions and peak bodies involved in child-related work report on their progress implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations within 12 months of its Final Report (Recommendation 17.3). The Final Report was made public on 15 December 2017.
Reporting on child sexual abuse – guidance for media and victims and survivors
The University of Canberra has developed media guides for reporting on child sexual abuse, including Reporting on child sexual abuse: Guidance for media and Engaging with media about child sexual abuse: For victims and survivors.
Minimum Practice Standards for services responding to child sexual abuse
The National Office for Child Safety commissioned the Australian Centre for Child Protection to develop the national Minimum Practice Standards: Specialist and Community Support Services Responding to Child Sexual Abuse.